2 PronounsPronouns are words that take the place of nouns, groups of words acting as nouns, or other pronouns.Pronouns are necessary to avoid sentences that look/sound like these:Walt Whitman went to school until Walt Whitman was eleven. Walt Whitman then worked as an office clerk, and for a time Walt Whitman taught school.
3 Pronouns Pronouns take the place of nouns: Bob forgot his homework.In 1855, Walt Whitman published his collection under the title Leaves of Grass.Pronouns also take the place of other pronouns:Several are bringing their lunches.Both decided they would practice after school.
4 AntecedentsThe word or words the pronoun takes the place of is an antecedent.For example: The students all opened their notebooks, and began writing.But what if the sentence looked like this?The students all opened his notebook, and began writing.
5 AgreementYour task is to make sure that the pronoun and its antecedent always agree, in terms of1. Gender: male, female, neuter2. Number: singular, plural
6 The railroad tycoon invited scientists to come with him to Alaska. To determine if a pronoun agrees with its antecedent in number,Find the pronoun.Find the antecedent.Is the antecedent singular or plural?Does the pronoun match the antecedent?
7 Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Use the verb “to be” to determine the number of tricky antecedents.For example,Anybody is welcome. ORAnybody are welcome.“Is” works in the sentence, so “anybody” must be singular.Are these words singular or plural?-Each -All -Many -Both-Everyone -Anything -Neither
8 Agreement in Number General Guidelines Singular -one -body -thing each Neither/nor Billy or SallyPluralseveralbothfewmanyBilly and Sally
9 The common mistake:Errors in pronoun antecedent agreement usually take the form of using plural pronouns for singular antecedents.For example: Everyone did well on their exam.Though this sentence sounds correct, it’s not.“Everyone” is singular, as in Everyone is coming.The corrected sentence would be:Everyone did well on his or her exam.
10 Don’t fall into the trap! Using a plural pronoun for a singular antecedent is so appealing, students often will change a perfectly correct sentence to an incorrect one by plugging in a plural pronoun. For instance: General Motors will probably recall most of its four-wheel-drive vehicles. Correct Might sound better in your head as: General Motors will probably recall most of their four-wheel-drive vehicles. Incorrect
11 Don’t fall into the trap 2 Antecedents followed by a prepositional phrase are not affected by that phrase: One of the twins lost her notebook. The antecedent “one” is singular, despite the presence of the plural word “twins” in the prepositional phrase.
12 Practice: Do they agree in number? One of the students must give their oral report tomorrow.Everybody was hoping to have his lottery number picked.If anyone doesn't like the music I'm playing, they can go somewhere else.If anybody wants to succeed in corporate life, they have to know the rules of the game.
13 Which is Correct?Each member of the committee must submit (their, his) response in writing.Neither of the girls knew that (her, their) teacher had seen the police report.Either of the boys may take (his, their) seat in the front of the room.Sara and Jen had to finish (their, her) homework before they could go to the movies.
14 Another common mistake: Me or I? Compound nouns with “Me” or “I” are tricky. “Me” is often over-corrected by those who “think” they know. To figure it out for yourself, subtract everything from the subject except the personal pronoun.She gave the reward to Jake and I.Subtract “Jake and,” and you’re left with…
15 “She gave the reward to I” What about,“Leave Jake and me alone!”Subtract everything but “me” from the subject, and you have…“Leave me alone,” which is perfectly acceptable. In this case, “Me” is correct.