As Graphics Coursework Examples Of Pronouns

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Usage - Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

A pronoun is a word used to stand for (or take the place of) a noun.

A word can refer to an earlier noun or pronoun in the sentence.

        Example:

                 

We do not talk or write this way.  Automatically, we replace the noun Lincoln's with a pronoun.  More naturally, we say

                   

The pronoun his refers back to President LincolnPresident Lincoln is the ANTECEDENT for the pronoun his

Anantecedentis a word for which a pronoun stands.  (ante = "before")

The pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number.

Rule: A singular pronoun must replace a singular noun; a plural pronoun must replace a plural noun.

Thus, the mechanics of the sentence above look like this:

               

        

Here are nine pronoun-antecedent agreement rules.  These rules are related to the rules found in subject-verb agreement.

1.  A phrase or clause between the subject and verb does not change the number of the antecedent.

            Example:

                   


2. 
Indefinite pronouns as antecedents

  • Singular indefinite pronoun antecedents take singular pronoun referents.  

         

            Example:

                   

  • Plural indefinite pronoun antecedents require plural referents.

                PLURAL:  several, few, both, many

            Example:

                   

  • Some indefinite pronouns that are modified by a prepositional phrase may be either singular or plural. 

          EITHER SINGULAR OR PLURAL:  some, any, none, all, most

             

               Examples:

                       

                        Sugar is uncountable; therefore, the sentence has a singular referent pronoun.

                        

                       

                        Jewelry is uncountable; therefore, the sentence has a singular referent pronoun.

                

             

                Examples:

                          

                        Marbles are countable; therefore, the sentence has a plural referent pronoun.

                

                           

                        Jewels are countable; therefore, the sentence has a plural referent pronoun.

3.  Compound subjects joined byandalways take a plural referent.

                    Example:

                        


4.  With compound subjects joined byor/nor, the referent pronoun agrees with the antecedent closer to the pronoun.

                    Example #1 (plural antecedent closer to pronoun):

                         

                    Example #2 (singular antecedent closer to pronoun):

                         

    Note:  Example #1, with the plural antecedent closer to the pronoun, creates a smoother sentence
               than example #2, which forces the use of the singular "his or her."  


5.  Collective Nouns  (group, jury, crowd, team, etc.) may be singular or plural, depending on meaning.    

                         

                In this example, the jury is acting as one unit; therefore, the referent pronoun is singular.

                    

                          

                In this example, the jury members are acting as twelve individuals; therefore, the referent
                 pronoun is plural.

            

                             

                  In this example, the jury members are acting as twelve individuals; therefore, the referent
                  pronoun is plural.

      
              

6.  Titles of single entities. (books, organizations, countries, etc.) take a singular referent.

        EXAMPLES:

                             

                               



7. 
Plural form subjects with a singular meaning take a singular referent.  (news, measles, mumps, physics, etc)

        EXAMPLE:  

                           


8. 
Everyor Many a  before a noun or a series of nouns requires a singular referent.

            EXAMPLES:

                           

                           


9.  The
number of   vs  A number of  before a subject:

  • The number of is singular.  

                          

                                    

 

                   

 

    

 

                     

 

                   

 

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun in a sentence. Pronouns are used so that our language is not cumbersome with the same nouns being repeated over and over in a paragraph. Some examples of pronouns include I, me, mine, myself, she, her, hers, herself, we, us, ours and ourselves. You may have noticed that they tend to come in sets of four, all referring to the same person, group or thing.

  • He, him, his and himself, for example, all refer to a male person or something belonging to him
  • They, them, theirs and themselves all refer to a group or something belonging to a group, and so on.

The truth is that there are many different types of pronouns, each serving a different purpose in a sentence.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns can be the subject of a clause or sentence. They are: I, he, she, it, they, we, and you. Example: “They went to the store.”

Personal pronouns can also be objective, where they are the object of a verb, preposition, or infinitive phrase. They are: me, her, him, it, you, them, and us. Example: “David gave the gift to her.”

Subjective

Subject pronouns are often (but not always) found at the beginning of a sentence. More precisely, the subject of a sentence is the person or thing that lives out the verb.

  • I owe that person $3,000. – I am living out that debt. I is the subject pronoun.
  • He and I had a fight. – This sentence has two subjects because he and I were both involved in the fight.
  • He broke my kneecaps. – You get the idea.
  • To him, I must now pay my children's college funds. – If you'll notice, the verb in this sentence – the action – is "pay." Although I is not at the beginning of the sentence, it is the person living out the action and is, therefore, the subject.

Objective

By contrast, objects and object pronouns indicate the recipient of an action or motion. They come after verbs and prepositions (to, with, for, at, on, beside, under, around, etc.).

  • The guy I borrowed money from showed me a crowbar and told me to pay him immediately.
  • I begged him for more time.
  • He said he'd given me enough time already.
  • I tried to dodge the crowbar, but he hit me with it anyway.
  • Just then, the police arrived and arrested us.

Subject vs. Object Pronouns

There is often confusion over which pronouns you should use when you are one half of a dual subject or object. For example, should you say:

  • "Me and him had a fight." or "He and I had a fight?"
  • "The police arrested me and him." or "The police arrested he and I?"

Some people will tell you that you should always put the other person first and refer to yourself as "I" because it's more proper, but those people are wrong. You can put the other person first out of politeness, but you should always use the correct pronouns (subject or object) for the sentence.

A good test to decide which one you need is to try the sentence with one pronoun at a time. Would you say, "Me had a fight?" Of course not. You'd say, "I had a fight." What about, "Him had a fight?" No, you'd say, "He had a fight." So when you put the two subjects together, you get, "He and I had a fight." The same rule applies to the other example. You wouldn't say, "The police arrested he," or, "The police arrested I." You would use "him" and "me."

So the correct sentence is, "The police arrested me and him."

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns show ownership. The term covers both possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives.

Absolute possessive pronouns – mineyoursourstheirshishersits – are truly pronouns because they refer to a previously named or understood noun. They stand alone, not followed by any other noun. Take a look at this sentence:

  • You have your vices, and I have mine.

There are two types of pronouns here: personal (you/I) and possessive (mine). There's also a possessive adjective (your). 

Your is followed by the noun vices, so although we know that your refers to you, it is not the noun or the noun substitute (pronoun). Vices is the noun. In the second half of the sentence, however, the noun and the possessive adjective have both been replaced with one word – the pronoun, mine. Because it stands in the place of the noun, mine is an absolute pronoun whereas your is a possessive adjective that must be followed by a noun.

Pronominal possessive adjectives include: my, your, our, their, his, her and its. They are used as pronouns as they refer to an understood noun, showing possession by that noun of something. They are technically adjectives, though, because they modify a noun that follows them.

  • My money is all gone.
  • I gambled it all away on your race horse.
  • His jockey was too fat.

In all of these examples, there is a noun (money, race horse, jockey) that has not been replaced with a pronoun. Instead, an adjective is there to show whose money, horse and jockey we’re talking about.

Indefinite Pronouns

These pronouns do not point to any particular nouns, but refer to things or people in general. Some of them are: few, everyone, all, some, anything, and nobody

  • Everyone is already here.

Relative Pronouns

These pronouns are used to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. These are: who, whom, which, whoever, whomever, whichever, and that.

  • The driver who ran the stop sign was careless.

Intensive Pronouns

These pronouns are used to emphasize a noun or pronoun. These are: myself, himself, herself, themselves, itself, yourself, yourselves, and ourselves. 

  • He himself is his worst critic.  

Demonstrative Pronouns

There are five demonstrative pronouns: these, those, this, that, and such. They focus attention on the nouns that are replacing.

  • Such was his understanding.
  • Those are totally awesome.

Interrogative Pronouns

These pronouns are used to begin a question: who, whom, which, what, whoever, whomever, whichever, and whatever.

  • What are you bringing to the party?

Reflexive Pronouns

There is one more type of pronoun, and that is the reflexive pronoun. These are the ones that end in “self” or "selves." They are object pronouns that we use when the subject and the object are the same noun.

  • I told myself not to spend all my money on new shoes.
  • My friend really hurt himself when he tripped on the stairs.

We also use them to emphasize the subject.

  • Usually, the guy I borrowed the money from will send an employee to collect the money, but since I owed so much, he himself came to my house.

Examples of Pronouns in Context

Now see if you can find all the pronouns and possessive adjectives in this paragraph:

No matter what your teachers may have taught you about pronouns, the I's don't always have it. If your teachers ever warned you about the evils of gambling, however, they were right about that. You don't want someone breaking your kneecaps with his crowbar; it will hurt, the police might arrest you, and you may never forgive yourself.

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Types of Pronouns

By YourDictionary

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun in a sentence. Pronouns are used so that our language is not cumbersome with the same nouns being repeated over and over in a paragraph. Some examples of pronouns include I, me, mine, myself, she, her, hers, herself, we, us, ours and ourselves. You may have noticed that they tend to come in sets of four, all referring to the same person, group or thing. He, him, his and himself, for example, all refer to a male person or something belonging to him They, them, theirs and themselves all refer to a group or something belonging to a group, and so on. The truth is that there are many different types of pronouns, each serving a different purpose in a sentence.
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