English Grammar:- Pronoun-antecedent Agreement

English Grammar:- Pronoun-antecedent Agreement

Pronoun-antecedent agreement is a crucial aspect of English grammar, ensuring that pronouns agree in number, gender, and person with their antecedents (the nouns or pronouns to which they refer). Here’s an overview:

1. Agreement in Number:

  • Singular Pronouns: such as “he,” “she,” “it,” and “this,” should agree with singular antecedents.
  • Example: The dog ate its food.

  • Plural Pronouns: such as “they,” “we,” and “these,” should agree with plural antecedents.

  • Example: The dogs ate their food.

2. Agreement in Gender:

  • Pronouns should match the gender of their antecedents.
  • Example: Mary lost her book.

3. Agreement in Person:

  • Pronouns should match the person of their antecedents.
  • Example: We are going to the store.

4. Indefinite Pronouns:

  • Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “anyone,” and “each” are singular and require singular pronouns.
  • Example: Everyone should bring his or her homework.

5. Agreement with Collective Nouns:

  • Collective nouns can be singular or plural depending on the context, and the pronoun should agree accordingly.
  • Example: The team won its game. (Singular)
  • Example: The team celebrated their victory. (Plural)

6. Agreement with Compound Antecedents:

  • When the antecedent consists of two or more nouns joined by “and,” the pronoun should be plural.
  • Example: John and Sarah brought their lunches.

7. Agreement with Indefinite Antecedents:

  • If the antecedent is indefinite (not specific), choose a singular pronoun for clarity.
  • Example: Any student can bring his or her laptop.

Ensuring pronoun-antecedent agreement is essential for maintaining clarity and coherence in writing. By ensuring that pronouns match their antecedents in number, gender, and person, writers can effectively convey their intended meaning and avoid confusion for the reader.

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