February 2, 2023
February 22, 2023.
Pronoun-antecedent agreement means choosing a pronoun that matches its antecedent (the earlier noun or noun phrase it refers to) in terms of number, person, and gender. Agreement errors can cause confusion or just make your writing read poorly.
For example, the sentence “Jennifer is here, and she isn’t happy” is correct because the pronoun “she” is singular (Jennifer is one person), third-person (Jennifer is not the speaker and isn’t being directly addressed), and feminine (Jennifer is a woman).
The vast majority of common agreement errors relate to number (singular vs. plural). Examples of some errors and how they can be fixed are shown in the table below. The following sections explain various contexts where mistakes commonly occur.
January 27, 2023
March 15, 2023.
As well as is an expression that means “in addition to.” It’s used as a conjunction or preposition to connect two parts of a sentence, usually placing emphasis on the one that comes before it. Synonyms of “as well as” include “along with,” “besides,” and “plus.”
An intensive pronoun (sometimes called an emphatic pronoun) is a word that’s used to place special emphasis on another noun or pronoun (e.g. “the man himself”). It can indicate something special or unexpected or distinguish the person or thing in question from others.
In English, intensive pronouns are identical to reflexive pronouns—both always end in -self or -selves—but their grammatical functions are different. There are intensive forms of all the personal pronouns and of the impersonal pronoun “one.”
A reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that’s used in the object position when the subject and object of the sentence are the same (i.e., to show someone acting on themselves). For example, “himself” is a reflexive pronoun in the sentence “He hurt himself while cooking.”
Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves depending on whether they’re singular or plural. Each of the personal pronouns, along with the impersonal pronoun “one,” has a reflexive form. They are listed in the table below.
Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that are used to refer to someone or something in a general way, without being specific about whom or what you’re referring to.
The main group of indefinite pronouns is formed by various combinations of no-, any-, some-, and every- with -thing, -one, and -body (e.g., “anything”). The same prefixes combined with -where form indefinite adverbs (e.g., “somewhere”), which work similarly but are not technically pronouns.
There are also other indefinite pronouns that aren’t formed in this way, such as “many” and “little.”
Possessive pronouns are pronouns that are used to indicate the ownership (possession) of something or someone by something or someone else. The English possessive pronouns are mine, ours, yours, his, hers, theirs, and whose.
Possessive pronouns are closely related to possessive determiners, which are used differently since they appear before a noun instead of replacing it. The possessive determiners are my, our, your, his, her, its, their, and whose.
January 11, 2023
April 24, 2023.
Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that are used to ask questions. The main English interrogative pronouns are what, which, who, whom, and whose.
An interrogative pronoun normally appears at the start of a question, but it may instead appear in the middle or at the end, depending on the phrasing. A question can also include more than one interrogative pronoun.
Like other pronouns, interrogative pronouns are said to have an antecedent. This is the noun or noun phrase that they stand for. The antecedent of an interrogative pronoun is the answer to the question.
A relative pronoun is a pronoun that’s used to introduce a relative clause. The main English relative pronouns are which, that, who, and whom. These words can also function as other parts of speech—they aren’t exclusively used as relative pronouns.
A relative clause introduces further information about the preceding noun or noun phrase, either helping to identify what it refers to (in a restrictive clause) or just providing extra details (in a nonrestrictive clause).
The relative clause comes after a noun or noun phrase (called the antecedent) and gives some additional information about the thing or person in question. The relative pronoun represents the antecedent.