Pronoun Antecedent Agreement

• Personal pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number, person, and gender.

Antecedents are the nouns, or the words that take the place of nouns, which pronouns replace in a sentence.

Agreement in Number

- Use a singular personal pronoun when two or more singular antecedents are joined by or or nor.

Neither George nor Darrell can find his book.

- Use a plural personal pronoun when two or more singular antecedents are joined by and.

George and Darrell have found their books.

Agreement in Person and Gender

- Do not shift person or gender.

Incorrect: Juan is taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test, something you need to take for some colleges. (Shifts from Juan to you)

Correct: Juan is taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test, something he needs to take for some colleges. (No shift)

• Use a singular personal pronoun when the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun such as anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, none, no one, somebody, someone, and something.

On this team everyone works up to his or her (not their) potential.

Anybody who wants to join the scholastic society must turn in his or her grades (not their) to the advisor.

Note: To correct a pronoun error, you can replace the mistaken plural pronoun with he or she (or his or her), make the antecedent a plural, or revise the sentence so that there is no problem with agreement.

• Use a plural personal pronoun when the antecedent is a plural indefinite pronoun such as few, one, or some.

Some of the girls have memorized their lines.

0 0

Post a comment