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PRONOUN AND

ANTECEDENT
IF A PERSON WANTS
TO SUCCEED IN
CORPORATE LIFE,
YOU HAVE TO KNOW
THE RULES OF THE
Antecedent a person (third person)

Pronoun you (second person)

Conclusion no person agreement

Solution Example
Change the second person singular, you, to a third If a person wants to succeed in corporate life, he or
person singular pronoun. she has to know the rules of the game.
Change the third person singular antecedent, a person, If you want to succeed in corporate life, you have to
to a second person singular antecedent. know the rules of the game.
IF ANYBODY WANTS TO
SUCCEED IN
CORPORATE LIFE, THEY
HAVE TO KNOW THE
RULES OF THE GAME.
Antecedent anybody (third person singular)

Pronoun they (third person plural)

Conclusion no number agreement

Solution Example
If people want to succeed in corporate life,
Make the antecedent plural.
they have to know the rules of the game.
If anybody wants to succeed in corporate life,
Make the pronoun singular.
he or she has to know the rules of the game.
IF A PERSON WANTS TO
SUCCEED IN
CORPORATE LIFE, HE
HAS TO KNOW THE
RULES OF THE GAME.
a person (third person neutral
Antecedent
singular)
he (third person masculine
Pronoun
singular)
Conclusion no gender agreement

Solution Example
If a person wants to succeed in corporate life,
Replace the pronoun he with he or she.
he or she has to know the rules of the game.
If people want to succeed in corporate life,
Make the entire sentence plural.
they have to know the rules of the game.
1. During early rehearsals, an actor may forget
(his or her, their ) lines.

2. The Washington team was opportunistic;


(it, they ) took advantage of every break.

3. A person needs to see (his or her, their )


dentist twice a year.
4.The committee members put
(its, their ) signatures on the document.

5. If any one of the sisters needs a ride,


(she, they ) can call me.
6. When someone has been drinking,
(he or she, they ) may drive poorly.

7. If the board of directors controls the


company, (it, they ) may vote for a
raise.
8. Neither the pilot nor the attendants gave (his or
her, their ) opinion about the mishap.

9. Each of these companies had (its, their )books


audited.

10. Some of the china has lost (its, their ) luster.