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

An antecedent is a word for which a pronoun stands.

The pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number and gender. An antecedent is a word for which a pronoun stands.

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Rules

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

Indefinite pronouns as antecedentsSingular indefinite pronoun antecedents take singular pronoun referents.

SINGULAR: each, either, neither, anyone, anybody, somebody, everyone, everybody Plural indefinite pronoun antecedents require plural referent PLURAL: several, few, both, many Compound subjects joined by and always take a plural referent.

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

Collective Nouns (group, jury, crowd, team, etc.) may be singular or plural, depending on meaning.
Plural form subjects with a singular meaning take a singular referent. (news, measles, mumps, physics, etc)

Practice

Anyone can join our group if (he, they) is really interested.
Neither Mary nor Laura has turned in (her, their) report.
George wants to go into politics; he finds (it, them) exciting.

An antecedent is a word for which a pronoun stands.

The pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number and gender. An antecedent is a word for which a pronoun stands.

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Rules

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

Indefinite pronouns as antecedentsSingular indefinite pronoun antecedents take singular pronoun referents.

SINGULAR: each, either, neither, anyone, anybody, somebody, everyone, everybody Plural indefinite pronoun antecedents require plural referent PLURAL: several, few, both, many Compound subjects joined by and always take a plural referent.

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

Collective Nouns (group, jury, crowd, team, etc.) may be singular or plural, depending on meaning.
Plural form subjects with a singular meaning take a singular referent. (news, measles, mumps, physics, etc)

Practice

Anyone can join our group if (he, they) is really interested.
Neither Mary nor Laura has turned in (her, their) report.
George wants to go into politics; he finds (it, them) exciting.

Contact Us

Have more questions? Visit the Writing Studio, and we’ll be happy to help!

Contact Information

Campus Address
Writing Studio, Kemp Library
Title of Department Leader
Director, Writing Studio
Name
Sandra Eckard
Phone:
(570) 422-3593