Writing Boot Camp
Noun: person, place, thing
Pronoun: word that replaces a noun (its antecedent)
Noun and pronouns must agree...
... agree in number
If a student joins a sorority, she is assigned a Big Sister. (not they)
A can of red beets sits on its shelf in the pantry. (not their shelf)
... agree in person
When a student joins a sorority, she is assigned a Big Sister. (not you are assigned)
...agree in gender
Fred's father is proud of his son, but the new wife thinks her stepson is not working up to his potential.
...agree in case
Pronouns as subjects: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, who
Bob and I share a ride. (not Bob and me)
He and I have been best friends since middle school. (not him and me)
Pronouns as objects: me, him, her, us, them, whom
She picked up the book at the library for Mary and me. (not Mary and I)
The money is for me. The money is for Sam and me. The money is for him and me.
Pronouns that show possession: my, mine, your, yours, its, our, their, whose
Personal (Definite) Pronoun
Must have an antecedent (noun it is replacing): I, he, she, it, they; him, her, them; his, hers, theirs; himself, herself, themselves
Gustavo is studying for his test. (his = pronoun, replacing noun Gustavo)
He is worried because he missed the review session. (He = pronoun, replacing noun Gustavo)
Confusion re: each and every (which require a singular pronoun)
The quarterback and his coach registerered for their tournament photos. (or photo)
Each quarterback and coach registered for his tournament photo.
Every quarterback and coach registered for his tournament photo.
Usually are singular: everybody, everything, someone, nothing, anybody
Everything has its purpose.
Anybody can apply himself and succeed in this class.
Everybody must take his seat. Everybody must take his or her seat.
All students must take their seats.
Sometime indefinite pronouns are plural: most, some, all, any
Most people want their vote to remain confidential.
All of us want our lunch as quickly as possible.
Confusion: Some pronouns can be singular or plural, depending on use: all, some, none
Some of it is. None of them are.
Be careful collective nouns as antecedents.
The jury read its verdict. The jury members were asked to announce their votes.
The United States cherishes its freedoms.
Avoid pronouns with ambiguous antecedents
When the car hit the tree, it was not damaged.
I don't think they should show violence on TV
If you put this handout in your notebook, you can refer to it later.
Us / We men like our new coach.
Marty and me / myself / I like to work out together.
When someone joins the football team, he is / they are given a work-out schedule.
If you have any questions, email Marian or me / myself / I.
Neither of the women gave her / their homework to the professor.
The department made its / their decision about the scholarship.
If a student wants to be successful in this class, you / they / he or she must turn in the work on time.
The media will report what it wants / they want to report.
This is between me / myself / I and Marilyn, so butt out.
Somebody left their / his or her book on the shelf.
The student delegation asked to meet with the department chair so it / they can complain about Professor Smith.
Neither my mother nor yours will give her / their permission for us to go backpacking this weekend.
If anybody doesn't like the music I'm playing, he / they / he or she / you can go elsewhere.
One of my friends can bring his / his or her / their DJ setup to my party this weekend.
Maxwell doesn't see himself / hisself / themself / themselves reflected in the teacher's criticism.
Answers: 1 We. 2 I. 3 he is. 4 me. 5 her. 6 its. 7 he or she. 8 they want. 9 me. 10 his or her. 11 it. 12 her. 13 he or she. 14 his or her. 15 himself.