4 1. Ambiguous Reference More than one possible antecedent Mother told Ann that her skirt is too short. Whose skirt? Mother told Ann that Anns skirt … [Mothers …] Mother said to Ann, Your skirt … [My …] Mother said, Ann, your skirt … [Ann, my …] Jim sold his car to Bill before he moved to Banff. Who moved to Banff? Jim sold his car to Bill before Jim [Bill] moved … Jim … before the former [the latter] moved … Just before Jim moved to Banff, he sold … to Bill. Just before Bill moved to Banff, Jim sold him …
5 2. Implied Antecedents Antecedent implied, not stated At Red River College, they provide a great deal of hands-on training. Who are they? At Red River College, instructors provide … Red River College provides … A great deal of hands-on training is provided at … The parents tried to explain the risks involved in hitch hiking, but it was useless. What was useless? The parents …, but their efforts were useless. The parents …, but they were ignored. The parents …, but the children ignored them.
6 3. Imprecise References Pronoun referring to entire clause or complete sentence When John finally proposed, it was only because he had learned of her inheritance. When John finally proposed, he did so only … John finally proposed only because he … The storm lasted all weekend long, which made us feel depressed. Because the storm …, we felt depressed. We felt depressed because the storm lasted … The storms lasting all weekend long made …
7 Imprecise References (contd) You didnt return any of his calls. This made him feel that you dont care. After you didnt return any of his calls, he felt that you dont care. Your not returning any of his calls made him feel that you dont care.
8 Test your knowledge: 1.She spends most of her spare time doing math homework because it is her most difficult subject. 2.Rita told Helen that her pearl necklace is a fake. 3.My cousin from Ottawa gave me a new portable television, which pleased me very much. 4.We have not yet tried the sport of curling, but we are very much interested in it. 5.Because Ronalds father is a doctor, this is the profession he wants to pursue. 6.After I parked my van next to the SUV, I noticed that there was a deep scratch on it. 7.When I called emergency at the hospital, they put me on hold.
9 8.After the guest speaker entered the room, they stood and gave him a huge round of applause. 9.The Board of Directors is organizing a workshop for our administrators since they need to sharpen their managerial skills. 10.Camille told Alice that she is being promoted. 11.My nephew wants to pursue a career in medicine, but he doesnt know how to go about it. 12.My sister always shares her good fortune with others, and this makes me proud of her. 13.Our soccer team has asked the owners to award them a bonus for finishing in first place. 14.I have never experienced real tornado, but I am terrified of them.
10 15.When it flooded the valley it was because the dam had burst. 16.The plumber told the homeowner that he needed a new set of taps. 17.When Paul volunteered to host the Christmas dinner, it was a surprise to us all. 18.On the bulletin board, it says that our instructor is absent today. 19.The jury members could not reach a decision; this caused the charge to be dismissed. 20.Whenever I take my brothers to this ice cream stand, they make us wait in line for at least ten minutes.
11 21.After Maureen returned from her Mexican vacation, she complained about their air pollution. 22.Our class coordinated the food bank drive, which was praised in an SA newsletter. 23.Just because lasagna is one of Italys favorite dishes doesnt mean they eat it every day. 24.When Ernest was told to take his younger sister for a walk, it annoyed him very much. 25.I called our local drama society and they told me that they would send me a schedule of plays for the coming year.