Agreement of Pronoun and Antecedent B Answer Key

As a copy editor, ensuring proper grammar and syntax is a crucial component of my work. One area where this attention to detail is particularly important is in ensuring agreement between pronouns and their antecedents. This is crucial both for clear communication and for effective search engine optimization (SEO). In this article, we will examine the basics of pronoun-antecedent agreement and provide an answer key to test your understanding of this important aspect of writing.

First, let`s define our terms. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun, such as “he,” “she,” “it,” or “they.” An antecedent is the noun that the pronoun replaces. For example, in the sentence “John went to the store because he needed milk,” “John” is the antecedent and “he” is the pronoun.

The most important rule of pronoun-antecedent agreement is that the pronoun and antecedent must agree in number. This means that if the antecedent is singular, the pronoun must also be singular. If the antecedent is plural, the pronoun must also be plural. For example, in the sentence “The dog ate its bone,” “dog” is singular, so “its” (which is a singular pronoun) is the correct form of the pronoun to use.

There are a few other important considerations when it comes to pronoun-antecedent agreement. One of these is gender agreement. In some cases, the gender of the antecedent may dictate the gender of the pronoun. For example, in the sentence “Samantha went to the store because she needed milk,” “Samantha” is a female name, so “she” (which is a feminine pronoun) is the correct pronoun to use.

Another important consideration is proximity agreement. This refers to the idea that the pronoun should be as close as possible to the antecedent to avoid confusion. For example, in the sentence “The cat chased the mouse and it got away,” the pronoun “it” is somewhat ambiguous because it could refer to either the cat or the mouse. A clearer sentence might be “The cat chased the mouse, but the mouse got away.”

Now, let`s put your knowledge of pronoun-antecedent agreement to the test with this answer key:

1. The teacher gave her students ___ assignments before the weekend.

a) their

b) his

c) her

d) its

Answer: c) her (because “teacher” is a singular, female antecedent)

2. The Smiths are moving to a new house, and ___ are excited for the change.

a) they

b) she

c) he

d) it

Answer: a) they (because “Smiths” is a plural antecedent)

3. This book is one of ___ favorites.

a) their

b) his

c) her

d) its

Answer: b) his (because “book” is a singular antecedent)

4. The dog chased the cat, and ___ got away.

a) she

b) he

c) it

d) they

Answer: c) it (because “cat” and “dog” are both singular, so “it” is the clearest pronoun to use)

By understanding the basics of pronoun-antecedent agreement, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and effective for both your readers and search engines. So the next time you`re proofreading or editing your work, be sure to pay attention to this important aspect of grammar!