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Understanding Clear Reference What does reference mean? Pronouns and antecedents Ambiguous reference General reference Weak reference Indefinite reference.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Clear Reference What does reference mean? Pronouns and antecedents Ambiguous reference General reference Weak reference Indefinite reference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Clear Reference What does reference mean? Pronouns and antecedents Ambiguous reference General reference Weak reference Indefinite reference Review A Review B

2 What does reference mean? When you refer to something, you point to something specific.

3 A reference is a way of pointing out a connection or relationship between two things. What does reference mean? If your references are unclear, your readers and listeners can’t make connections.

4 Pronouns and antecedents A pronoun stands for, or refers to, another word or word group, called the antecedent. Steven wanted to visit the museum, but it had closed for the day. itmuseum PronounAntecedent Think of the arrow as the reference, or the connection, between pronoun and antecedent.

5 Pronouns and antecedents Generally, the meaning of a pronoun is clear only when the reader knows to which word or word group the pronoun refers. Amy promised Jim she would help him clean the kitchen. him The meaning of she is clear because we know she refers to Amy. sheAmyJim The meaning of him is clear because we know him refers to Jim.

6 Pronouns and antecedents A pronoun should refer clearly to its antecedent. A pronoun reference is sometimes unclear because the pronoun and its antecedent do not agree—in number, gender, person, or case. numbergenderpersoncase Eli is always thinking about computers. It seems to be his only interest. Eli is always thinking about computers. They seem to be his only interest. Eli is always thinking about his computer. It seems to be his only interest. Unclear Clear [End of Section]

7 Pronouns and antecedents Number Imemy, mine you your, yours he, she, ithim, her, ithis, hers, its A pronoun should agree in number with its antecedent. A word that refers to one thing is singular. A word that refers to more than one thing is plural. weusour, ours you your, yours theythemtheir, theirs Singular personal pronouns Plural personal pronouns

8 Pronouns and antecedents Gender Some singular pronouns indicate gender. Masculine he him his himself Masculine pronouns refer to males. Feminine pronouns refer to females. Neuter pronouns refer to places, things, ideas, and sometimes animals. Feminine she her her, hers herself Neuter it its itself

9 Pronouns and antecedents Person Person indicates whether a pronoun refers to the one(s) speaking I reminded myself to finish my chores. first person the one(s) spoken to Did you plant your garden by yourself? second person the one(s) spoken about They should be ashamed of themselves. third person

10 Pronouns and antecedents Case NominativeObjectivePossessive Singular First personImemy, mine Second personyou your, yours Third personhe, she, ithim, her, ithis, her, hers, its Plural First personweusour, ours Second personyou your, yours Third persontheythemtheir, theirs Case is the form that a pronoun takes to show its relationship to other words in a sentence.

11 Ambiguous reference An ambiguous reference occurs when any one of two or more words can be a pronoun’s antecedent. Ambiguous reference Colleen called Alicia while she was doing her homework. Who is she? Who was doing her homework—Colleen or Alicia? ??

12 To correct an ambiguous reference, change the wording so that the pronoun clearly refers to just one antecedent. When the ship struck the dock, it burst into flames. When it struck the dock, the ship burst into flames. The dock burst into flames when the ship struck it. Ambiguous reference Colleen called Alicia while she was doing her homework. While Alicia was doing her homework, Colleen called her. Which burst into flames—the ship or the dock? While Colleen was doing her homework, she called Alicia. [End of Section] Ambiguous reference Clear

13 A general reference is the use of a pronoun that refers to a general idea rather than a specific antecedent. Mariana told jokes and sang funny songs. This amused her audience. This has no specific antecedent. What does this refer to? General reference

14 To correct a general reference, rephrase the sentence or replace the pronoun with a noun. Mariana amused her audience by telling jokes and singing funny songs. General reference Clear Mariana told jokes and sang funny songs. This amused her audience. Mariana told jokes and sang funny songs. Her act amused the audience. Clear

15 Some pronouns commonly found in general- reference errors are this, that, it, and which. My family got a new carpet and curtains. That certainly improved the room’s appearance. General reference The new carpet and curtains that my family got certainly improved the room’s appearance. General reference Clear The room’s appearance was improved by the new carpet and curtains that my family got.

16 Some pronouns commonly found in general- reference errors are this, that, it, and which. The trail was washed out and blocked in some places. It made the climb nervewracking. General reference The climb was nervewracking because the trail was washed out and blocked in some places. General reference Clear That the trail was washed out and blocked in some places made the climb nervewracking.

17 Some pronouns commonly found in general- reference errors are this, that, it, and which. Half of the pine trees had to be cut down, which was unfortunate. General reference Unfortunately, half of the pine trees had to be cut down. General reference Clear That half of the pine trees had to be cut down was unfortunate.

18 General reference On a computer you can use the search feature to highlight all occurrences of the pronouns it, this, that, and which. I found out that two library books were overdue, which was a surprise. Make sure each pronoun refers to a clear antecedent. If it doesn’t, revise your sentence. I was surprised to find out that two library books were overdue.

19 1.When the limousine passed the bus, it swerved sharply to the right. Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer. General reference 2.Several hikers were late returning, which worried the park rangers. 3.Last Saturday we pulled weeds in the garden, but it took longer than we had planned.

20 1.When the limousine passed the bus, it swerved sharply to the right. General reference Possible Revision 1.The limousine swerved sharply to the right when it passed the bus. It could refer to either limousine or bus. (ambiguous reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer.

21 2.Several hikers were late returning, which worried the park rangers. General reference Possible Revision 2.The park rangers worried because several hikers were late returning. Which refers to a general idea, not a specific antecedent. (general reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer.

22 3.Last Saturday we pulled weeds in the garden, but it took longer than we had planned. General reference Possible Revision 1.Last Saturday pulling weeds in the garden took longer than we had planned. It refers to a general idea, not a specific antecedent. (general reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer.

23 Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference. 1. The wind grew stronger and the rain began. This made the campers look for shelter. 2.Alia spoke to Mrs. Davidson about her plans for the summer. 3.Until the police led the jurors away, they had been mobbed by reporters. 4.The plows removed all the snow and cleared the roads, which means we have school today. 5.Carlos is always cheerful and kind, which is why everyone enjoys his company. On Your Own Understanding clear reference

24 Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference. 1. When the wind grew stronger and the rain began, the campers looked for shelter. 2.Alia told Mrs. Davidson about her plans for the summer. 3.The police led away the jurors, who had been mobbed by reporters. 4.We have school today because the plows removed all the snow and cleared the roads. 5.Because Carlos is always cheerful and kind, everyone enjoys his company. Possible Answers Understanding clear reference

25 Weak reference A weak reference occurs when a pronoun refers to an antecedent that has been suggested but not expressed. The people want honest public servants, but many people think that it is not a virtue of any of the candidates. What does it refer to? The antecedent honesty is suggested but is not expressed. Weak reference

26 I take many photographs with my camera and consider it an enjoyable hobby. Being neighborly is important because you may need their help some day in an emergency. Revise sentences to eliminate weak pronoun references. I take many photographs with my camera and consider photography an enjoyable hobby. Weak reference Being neighborly is important because you may need your neighbor’s help someday in an emergency. Weak reference Clear [End of Section]

27 An indefinite reference is the use of a pronoun that refers to no particular person or thing and that is unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence. In the magazine article it describes the aftermath of the eruption. The pronoun it is not necessary to the meaning of the sentence. Indefinite reference

28 To correct an indefinite reference, reword the sentence to avoid using the pronoun. In the magazine article it describes the aftermath of the eruption. The magazine article describes the aftermath of the eruption. Indefinite reference Indefinite reference Clear

29 Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you. Throughout the book it uses expressions unique to Maine. Indefinite reference Expressions unique to Maine are used throughout the book. Indefinite reference Clear

30 Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you. Indefinite reference In Japan they have the world’s tallest roller coaster. The world’s tallest roller coaster is in Japan. Indefinite reference Clear

31 Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you. Indefinite reference In some countries, you do not dare to express your political views openly. In some countries, people do not dare to express their political views openly. Indefinite reference Clear

32 Indefinite reference Certain familiar expressions using it are acceptable even though it does not refer to a definite antecedent. It is raining. It’s early. It seems dark.

33 1.In some parts of Africa, they mine diamonds and sell them to jewelers to be cut. Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer. Indefinite reference 2.Even though they spent two hours in the laundry room, they didn’t finish it all. 3.In large cities you don’t feel comfortable calling the mayor about problems.

34 1.In some parts of Africa, they mine diamonds and sell them to jewelers to be cut. Indefinite reference Possible Revision 1.In some parts of Africa, diamonds are mined and sold to jewelers to be cut. They refers to no specific antecedent and is unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence. (indefinite reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer.

35 2.Even though they spent two hours in the laundry room, they didn’t finish it all. Indefinite reference Possible Revision 2.Even though they spent two hours in the laundry room, they didn’t finish all the laundry. A specific antecedent for it is suggested but not expressed. (weak reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer.

36 Indefinite reference Possible Revision 3.People in large cities don’t feel comfortable calling the mayor about problems. You refers to no specific antecedent and is unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence. (indefinite reference) Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence. Then, revise the sentence to correct the error. Be prepared to explain your answer. 3.In large cities you don’t feel comfortable calling the mayor about problems.

37 [End of Section] Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference. 1. In the telephone book they list five music stores. 2.Luis is highly intelligent, but he hides it from people he doesn’t know well. 3.Prospective students must fill out a college application form if they want to get into one. 4.On the book jacket it says that the authors took part in the events they describe. 5.I like mountain biking, but I can’t afford one. On Your Own Indefinite reference

38 Possible Answers Indefinite reference Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference. 1. The telephone book lists five music stores. 2.Luis is highly intelligent, but he hides his intelligence from people he doesn’t know well. 3.Prospective students must fill out an application form if they want to get into the college. 4.According to the book jacket, the authors took part in the events they describe. 5.I like mountain biking, but I can’t afford a mountain bike.

39 Review A In each sentence, identify the pronoun that has an unclear reference. 1.The race is tomorrow, which is why they are going to bed early tonight. 2.Silvio told Pat that he had to start exercising regularly. 3.When that band comes to town next week, it will be a sold-out show. 4.They said on the news that some roads are flooded. 5.At the old fort a guide showed us around, and this made the visit especially interesting.

40 1.The race is tomorrow, which is why they are going to bed early tonight. 2.Silvio told Pat that he had to start exercising regularly. 3.When that band comes to town next week, it will be a sold-out show. 4.They said on the news that some roads are flooded. 5.At the old fort a guide showed us around, and this made the visit especially interesting. In each sentence, identify the pronoun that has an unclear reference. Review A

41 Review B [End of Section] 1.Over the door it read “No Admittance.” 2.When foods are high in calories but low in nutrients, this causes them to be called junk foods. 3.The teachers told the students that they did not need to go to the assembly. 4.The dog barks at the cat when it goes outside. 5.They say all ten fingerprints stay the same even as a person ages. Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference.

42 4.When the cat goes outside, the dog barks at it. 3.The teachers said that the students did not need to go to the assembly. Revise each sentence to correct the unclear pronoun reference. Review B 1.The sign over the door read “No Admittance.” 2.Foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients are called junk foods. 5.Even as a person ages, all ten fingerprints stay the same.

43 The End


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