Presentation on theme: "Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement. Why is P-A agreement important? I got this sentence while grading college essays: “Ellen bought Sharon some cookies. She."— Presentation transcript:
Why is P-A agreement important? I got this sentence while grading college essays: “Ellen bought Sharon some cookies. She ate her cookies.” Tell me, who did what in this sentence?
Therefore… If it’s not clear who did what, no one will understand you!
What do you need to understand before you can find pronoun- antecedent agreement errors? What’s a pronoun? What’s an antecedent? What’s a pronoun-antecedent agreement error?
What’s a Pronoun? A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or other pronoun – It can take the place of a subject word (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) – It can take the place of an object word (me, you him, her it, us, them) – It can take the place of a possessive word—thus acts like an adjective (my, mine, your, yours, his, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs)
What’s an antecedent? The word that the pronoun replaces. – Hermione Granger threw her wand onto the floor (“her” renames “Hermione Granger”). – When Ron Weasley saw the wand drop, he picked it up and handed it to her. (“it” renames the “wand”) – Then Ron and Hermione went to their Defense Against the Dark Arts class. (“their” renames “Ron and Hermione”)
What is a common mistake involving p-a agreement? Often writers will pair a singular pronoun with a plural antecedent or vice versa. They MUST be either both singular or both plural. Ex: The boy finished his dinner. (boy and his are both singular) Ex: The boys finished their dinner. (boys and their are both plural) Aka…very similar to SV Agreement
What are some other rules involving p-a agreement? A pronoun must also agree in person and gender with its antecedent. Ex: Amy brought her homework to school. (Amy is the antecedent and her is the pronoun to which Amy refers. The pronoun and antecedent are both third person and feminine.)
To recap... -An antecedent is the word the pronoun refers to -Pronouns and antecedents must agree in number, person, and gender
As always….some rules…. Rule #2: Singular indefinite pronouns take singular antecedents (just as they take singular verbs). What does indefinite mean? What is an indefinite pronoun? An indefinite pronoun refers to an unknown or ambiguous noun.
Singular Indefinite Pronouns: Eacheither neither every one one no one anyone someone everybody anybody nobody
(Wrong): Someone left their iPod on the desk. R IGHT : Someone left his or her iPod on the desk. TIP: Just because we don't know the gender of the owner doesn't mean he or she does not have a gender. (Wrong): Everyone has a right to their own opinions. R IGHT : Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion. TIP: Indefinite pronouns are singular. (Wrong): No one on the boy's track team brought their shoes. R IGHT : No one on the boy's track team brought his shoes. TIP: Remember "no one" and "nobody" are singular.
Another rule to consider… Rule #7: “Collective nouns" usually refer to individuals as one unit or group and are therefore treated as singular nouns. Examples of "collective nouns": armycrowdorchestraaudienceflock publicclassgroupswarmclub herdteamcommitteejurytroop Example: The football team had its best season ever. "team" - refers to the "collected" group of individuals working together as one unit "its" - a singular pronoun to match the collective noun "team”
However, there is an exception Special Case--Plural!!: if each member of the group is referred to individually, the pronoun should be plural. Example: The football team received their varsity letters. "team" - here, each individual player from the larger group "team" receives a letter "their" - a plural pronoun is used to refer to the group of many individuals referred to as a "team"
Final rule… Rule #8: Avoid the ambiguous “they”; remember, collective nouns (a corporation, organization, government, etc.) are referred to as singular nouns, so use a singular pronoun. (Wrong): The administration announced they would no longer consider students tardy. R IGHT : The administration announced it would no longer consider students tardy. TIP: The noun "administration" refers to the single organized, governing body of an institution; therefore a singular pronoun is to be used.