Confusing: Tom said Jim lost his wallet. Here are examples: Collective Nouns army, audience, board, cabinet, class committee, company, corporation, council department, faculty, family, firm, group jury, majority, minority, navy public, school, senate, team, troupe When the members of the group act in unison—everyone doing essentially the same thing at the same time—then the collective noun is singular and requires singular pronouns for agreement. If the meaning of the sentence is unclear, the pronoun is in the wrong position. Jesse's relationship skills are disgusting! Unfortunately, we sometimes let the heart choose whoever it wants, and worry about the consequences later. In this example, the jury members are acting as twelve individuals; therefore, the referent pronoun is plural.
We say things like the examples below: It said on the news today that a sinkhole appeared on Primrose Avenue. Our bulldog Ricky, who has his own internet video channel, enjoys surfing and skateboarding. Either one of the following will commit the sentence to a clearer context. Incorrect: One should take your responsibilities seriously. In the above example, faulty pronoun reference occurs because the pronoun it has two possible noun antecedents. Correct: The size of the shoe should be the same as that of this shoe. Correct: He and I are brothers.
Somebody left their her dog in a hot car with the windows rolled up! The boys scratched their armpits. If the pronoun reference is clear, the sentence should make sense. To fix the problem, you can replace the pronoun with a specific noun. He smashed the insect with his open palm before he could eat. When you write, you do have time to edit and can easily fix these two sentences. Read these revisions: On the news today a reporter said that a sinkhole appeared on Primrose Avenue. Pronoun errors also occur when the writer uses a pronoun whose antecedent is missing, is ambiguous, or is too far removed from its antecedent.
He creates a puzzle out of it for the police to solve. An alligator bit a boy that was fishing at the lake. How could she blame you and he for the accident? Explanation It is considered conceited to put I first when there are two subjects. Pronouns are valuable little words. A word can refer to an earlier noun or pronoun in the sentence. Therefore, some writers intentionally use their and they as singular problems, despite the fact that many of their readers may object to the grammar error. Explanation The noun people is plural in number.
Remember, a subject is a noun that's performing the action of a sentence, and an object is a noun that receives that action. Kevin's fingers were strumming the guitar when this young man winked at Donna. Some becomes plural too, and them is the appropriate pronoun for agreement. The sentence should read Matt likes fish. Correct: One should have his or her teeth checked every six months. Most possessive pronouns are used messily in spoken language, so be careful to take special note when you see two pronouns in a sentence.
You should keep in mind that the problem of pronoun agreement is related to the problem of pronoun shift, which is explained further below. Each and every are singular and can strong-arm an otherwise plural antecedent to become singular as well. Look at these examples: Incorrect: One should have their teeth checked every six months. Ambiguity occurs when there are two or more possible meanings. I wish you happiness and success, thank you for helping me and lots of people in writing! During a conversation, you can clarify a pronoun's antecedent by pointing to someone or something.
Instead, professional writers might revise the sentence so that a pronoun is unnecessary. The modifier should clearly refer to a specific word in the sentence. But when you write, words like everyone, somebody, and nothing are singular and require a singular pronoun for agreement. When pronouns are used with linking verbs, they must use the subject case, not the object case. Incorrect: I and he are brothers.
Automatically, we replace the noun Lincoln's with a pronoun. Correct: You should have your teeth checked every six months. Avoid these constructions if you can. Additional Grammar Resources from YourDictionary YourDictionary has an extensive of links of grammar rules and tips. Understand how correlative conjunctions can confuse pronoun agreement. This is a sentence fragment because the reader does not know who jumped high.
Faulty Parallelism Definition: Faulty parallelism occurs when parts of a sentence that are either in balance or part of a series are not presented with the same or parallel grammatical structure. When we read this sentence, we assume that Kevin is the he winking at Donna. Here are some ways that happens: 1 The Generic You The pronoun you takes the place of the name of the person addressed when you speak or write. The committee members wish that they had spent their surplus on soft teddy bears, not skull-crushing yo-yos. When students come to class, they should at least have their homework ready. Because we cannot tell which of the nouns is the antecedent, this sentence is an unclear pronoun reference outlaw. He smashed the bread with his open palm before he could eat.
. With a noun wealth in the place of the pronoun it , no antecedent is needed. Anna and Pat are plural, and he is singular. Is there such a thing as using pronouns too little or too much? We should know to what each pronoun refers. The explanation can be applied directly to practice, thus making the book really useful. Read these examples: The woodpecker and his mate tried their best to oust the squirrel who had stolen their nest.