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Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View

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Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View

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  1. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View • Pronouns are words that substitute for nouns (names of persons, places, or things). • A pronoun’s antecedent is the word or words it replaces. • Examples of pronouns and their antecedents: • Karis (antecedent) is a good friend to my daughter; she (pronoun replaces the word Karis) is very thoughtful. • I fell asleep during the movie (antecedent) because it (pronoun replaces the word movie) was boring.

  2. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View • A pronoun must agree in number with its antecedent. • If the antecedent is singular, the pronoun must be singular. • If the antecedent is plural, the pronoun must be plural. • Pronouns and their antecedents: • Shannon (singular antecedent) tried to arrive on time, but she (singular pronoun) got caught in traffic. • Shannon and Jason (plural antecedent) tried to arrive on time, but they (plural pronoun) got caught in traffic. • The visitors (plural antecedent) tried to arrive on time, but they (plural pronoun) were caught in traffic.

  3. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Indefinite pronouns always take a singular antecedent. Indefinite Pronouns one nobody nothing each anyone anybody anything either someone somebody something neither everyone everybody everything • Everyone (singular antecedent) received his or her (singular pronoun) book. • Each (singular antecedent) of the Girl Scouts has her (singular pronoun) own backpack.

  4. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronouns and Gender Fairness • Consider the sentence: Everybody in the math class brought ____ own calculator. • How do you choose the correct pronoun to fill in the blank? If everyone in the class is male, you can write: • Everybody in the math class brought his own calculator. • If everyone in the class if female, you can write: • Everybody in the math class brought her own calculator. • If the class has students of both sexes, you can write: • Everybody in the math class brought his or her own calculator.

  5. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronouns and Gender Fairness • In the past, most writers used the pronoun “his” to refer to both sexes. Today, writers use “his or her” to avoid sexual bias. If you find using “his or her” to be awkward or repetitive, you can rewrite the sentence and make the antecedent plural: • The students in the math class brought their own calculators.

  6. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronoun Reference • If a sentence has problems with pronoun reference, then either a pronoun does not have an antecedent or it has more than one possible antecedent. • Example of no antecedent: • Wrong: When I am in the checkout line at the grocery store, she always asks if I want paper or plastic. • Correct: When I am in the checkout line at the grocery store, the cashier always asks if I want paper or plastic.

  7. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronoun Reference • The sentence is confusing when a pronoun could refer to two antecedents. • Example of two antecedents: • Wrong: The waiter told Brandon that he needed to buy a new computer. (Is he the waiter or Brandon?) • Correct: The waiter needed to buy a new computer, and he told Brandon. • Correct: The waiter told Brandon, “I need to buy a new computer.”

  8. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronouns This and Which • These pronouns are often used incorrectly. • The Pronoun This • When you see the pronoun this, ask “This what?” If you cannot answer that question, then this probably doesn’t have an antecedent. • Example: Parts of the world are filled with hunger and crime. This should be addressed. • Example corrected: Parts of the world are filled with hunger and crime. These problems should be addressed.

  9. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View • The Pronoun Which • The word which can cause confusion in a sentence when the word does not have an antecedent. • To repair this problem, rewrite the sentence without the word which. • Example: Stan lost his wallet and then his car was stolen, which depressed him. • Example corrected: Stan lost his wallet and then his car was stolen; he was depressed.

  10. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronoun Point of View • In a sentence, do not shift the point of view from one person to another. • Point of View Singular Plural • First person I we (the person speaking) • Second person you you (the person spoken to) • Third person he, she, it, they (the person spoken about) singular indefinite pronouns (each, either, neither…)

  11. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Pronoun Point of View • Example: Carrie (third-person antecedent) likes vacationing at a warm beach because you (second-person pronoun) always enjoy the water and seafood. • Example corrected: Carrie (third-person antecedent) likes vacationing at a warm beach because she (third-person pronoun) always enjoys the water and seafood.

  12. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Identify and correct improper use of pronoun agreement or reference. Q. Every dog owner should walk their dog each day. A. Every dog owner should walk his or her dog each day. Q. Henry and Austin spent his summer studying meteorology. A. Henry and Austin spent their summer studying meteorology. Q. After months of the lengthy contest, either Samuel or Michael will earn the award because of their own individual hard work. A. After months of the lengthy contest, either Samuel or Michael will earn the award because of his own individual hard work.

  13. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Identify and correct improper use of pronoun. Q. Julia works long hours and is not doing well in school. This is hard on students. A. Julia works long hours and is not doing well in school. Working while going to school is hard on students. Q. The principal’s daughter won the chess championship and traveled to London, which made the principal proud. A. The principal’s daughter won the chess championship and traveled to London. The principal was proud of his daughter’s intellect. (The word “which” removed.)

  14. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Identify and correct improper use of pronoun agreement or reference. Q. The jury came to their final decision. A. The jury came to its final decision. Q. After graduation, the audience threw its hats in the air. A. After graduation, the audience threw their hats in the air. Q. Everyone in the Girl Scouts is selling their yummy cookies. A. Everyone in the Girl Scouts is selling her yummy cookies.

  15. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate sexist pronouns. Q. A successful politician helps members of his community. A. A successful politician helps members of his or her community. A. A successful politician helps members of the community. Q. A person of this country deserves to have his freedom. A. A person of this country deserves to have his or her freedom. A. People of this country deserve to have their freedom.

  16. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate sexist pronouns. Q. A nurse should be knowledgeable about medications, and she should be kind as well. A. A nurse should be knowledgeable about medications, and he or she should be kind as well. A. Nurses should be knowledgeable about medications, and they should be kind as well. Q. The cashier should always be polite to her customers. A. The cashier should always be polite to his or her customers. A. The cashier should always be polite to the customers. A. Cashiers should always be polite to their customers.

  17. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate sexist pronouns if needed. Q. Each Boy Scout was selling his handmade wooden craft. A. correct Q. If a student wants to receive good grades, he must study. A. If a student wants to receive good grades, he or she must study. A. If studentswant to receive good grades, they must study.

  18. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate sexist pronouns. Q. A president of the company should be smart, and he should also listen to his employees. A. A president of the company should be smart, and he or she should also listen to his or her employees. A. A president of the company should be smart, and he or she should also listen to the employees. Q. A female doctor’s job is to treat patients. A. A doctor’s job is to treat patients. (The word “female” is removed.)

  19. Chapter 18: Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View Exercises • Correct the point of view problems. Q. Paula didn’t have enough money for the trip, but you should have guessed that with her uncontrollable spending habits. A. Paula didn’t have enough money for the trip, but she should have expected that with her uncontrollable spending habits. Q. Nate exercises every day before school because he knows it’s good for you. A. Nate exercises every day before school because he knows it’s good for him.