pronounagreement

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chomp! chomp! This presentation is brought to you by Grammar Bytes! , © 2013 by Robin L. Simmons.

Pronoun Agreement:

Pronoun Agreement Everyone should know their pronouns? Or his or her pronouns?

PowerPoint Presentation:

This presentation covers maintaining agreement between a pronoun and its antecedent .

A pronoun agreement item on an objective test might look like this . . .:

A pronoun agreement item on an objective test might look like this . . .

Sample Item:

Sample Item Spendthrifts are quickly parted from their money. So a person who wants to start saving should not spend all of their time at the mall. his or her someone his No change is necessary. Spendthrifts are quickly parted from their A money. So a person who wants to start saving B should not spend all of their time at the mall. C his or her someone his No change is necessary. Spendthrifts are quickly parted from their A money. So a person who wants to start saving B should not spend all of his time at the mall. C his or her someone his No change is necessary. Is the first their , a person , or the second their a problem? The second their does not agree with a person , an error that choice C fixes.

Agreement in a Nutshell:

Agreement in a Nutshell The kangaroo carries its joey in a pouch. The kangaroos carry their joeys in pouches. kangaroo = singular antecedent its = singular pronoun kangaroos = plural antecedent their = plural pronoun

Know your pronouns.:

Know your pronouns. Plural they them their, theirs themselves Singular ! Singular he, she, it him, her, it his, her, hers, its himself, herself, itself Plural !

Two [or more] singular things joined by and make a plural antecedent.:

Two [or more] singular things joined by and make a plural antecedent. The new puppy and kitten have destroyed their owner’s sofa.

When each or every precedes two [or more] singular things joined by and, you have a singular antecedent.:

Each new puppy and kitten destroy s its owner’s sofa. When each or every precedes two [or more] singular things joined by and , you have a singular antecedent. Every new puppy and kitten destroy s its owner’s sofa.

In this situation, no matter how many singular nouns you join with and, the antecedent is still singular.:

In this situation, no matter how many singular nouns you join with and , the antecedent is still singular. Each new puppy, kitten, rabbit, tarantula, python, parrot, turtle, and ferret destroy s its owner’s sofa.

Use caution with these three conjunctions: either … or, neither … nor, and not only … but also.:

Use caution with these three conjunctions: either … or , neither … nor , and not only … but also . Not only the Smiths but also Louise fixed their famous squid eyeball stew for the picnic. You’ll have two antecedents — the Smiths and Louise — but only the closer one counts ! Not only the Smiths but also Louise fixed her famous squid eyeball stew for the picnic. Not only Louise but also the Smiths fixed their famous squid eyeball stew for the picnic. If you want to use their , you will need to flip the Smiths and Louise so that the Smiths are closer to the pronoun.

These indefinite pronouns are always singular [even when they seem plural].:

These indefinite pronouns are always singular [even when they seem plural]. Each, either, neither Anyone, anybody, anything Everyone, everybody, everything No one, nobody, nothing Someone, somebody, something

PowerPoint Presentation:

Everyone on Earth = more than one person— billions of people, in fact. The word everyone , however, is still singular .

Beware interrupting phrases.:

Neither of my two brothers show much sense when they date women. Beware interrupting phrases. Neither of my two brothers show s much sense when he dates women. This sentence might sound right, but it is completely wrong ! Of my two brothers = prepositional phrase; neither = singular antecedent.

Wow, what a babe!:

Wow, what a babe ! Wow, what a fat wallet ! Wow, what a loser !

Company, organization, department, and school names are singular.:

Company , organization , department , and school names are singular . One urban legend is that Tito’s Taco Palace makes their burritos with kangaroo meat. Did you know that ? We did not ! One urban legend is that Tito’s Taco Palace makes its burritos with kangaroo meat.

Quick Test:

Quick Test Directions: In the items that follow, choose the option that corrects an error in the underlined portion(s). If no error exists, choose “No change is necessary.” Show me what you know .

Item 1:

Item 1 Not only my brothers but also Mom loves to drench their omelets in ketchup. his her his and her No change is necessary. Not only my brothers but also Mom loves to drench their omelets in ketchup. his her his and her No change is necessary. Not only my brothers but also Mom loves to drench their omelets in ketchup. his her his and her No change is necessary.

Item 2:

Item 2 The students and their professor sweated in the hot classroom. Each one of them wondered why they had decided to commit to summer school. his or her Every she No change is necessary. The students and their professor sweated in the A hot classroom. Each one of them wondered why B they had decided to commit to summer school. C his or her Every she No change is necessary. The students and their professor sweated in the A hot classroom. Each one of them wondered why B she had decided to commit to summer school. C his or her Every she No change is necessary.

Item 3:

Item 3 Robert and Sue Ellen concentrated on the dead worm on the dissection tray. They used tweezers to pick through innards looking for the heart. He She He or she No change is necessary. Robert and Sue Ellen concentrated on the dead worm on the dissection tray. They used tweezers to pick through innards looking for the heart. He She He or she No change is necessary. Robert and Sue Ellen concentrated on the dead worm on the dissection tray. They used tweezers to pick through innards looking for the heart. He She He or she No change is necessary.

Item 4:

Item 4 The students have decided to eat at Tito’s Taco Palace, where they can order the special. Their discount burrito and soda will satisfy hunger, and its cheap prices will help wallets! he or she Its their No change is necessary. The students have decided to eat at Tito’s Taco Palace, where they can order the special. Their A B discount burrito and soda will satisfy hunger, and its C cheap prices will help wallets! he or she Its their No change is necessary. The students have decided to eat at Tito’s Taco Palace, where they can order the special. Its A B discount burrito and soda will satisfy hunger, and its C cheap prices will help wallets! he or she Its their No change is necessary.

Item 5:

Item 5 Either of these thick books by respected authors will have the answer to your research question in their many pages. his his or her its No change is necessary. Either of these thick books by respected authors will have the answer to your research question in their many pages. his his or her its No change is necessary. Either of these thick books by respected authors will have the answer to your research question in their many pages. his his or her its No change is necessary.

Item 6:

Item 6 If everyone stopped to smell the roses, they might get stung by bees and have their allergies kick in to overdrive! people he or she his or her No change is necessary. If everyone stopped to smell the roses, they might A B get stung by bees and have their allergies kick in to C overdrive! people he or she his or her No change is necessary. If people stopped to smell the roses, they might A B get stung by bees and have their allergies kick in to C overdrive! people he or she his or her No change is necessary.

Item 7:

Item 7 Weaver Hill High has strange school colors. Their hot pink and bright yellow combination really stands out on the field. Its His His and her No change is necessary. Weaver Hill High has strange school colors. Their hot pink and bright yellow combination really stands out on the field. Its His His and her No change is necessary. Weaver Hill High has strange school colors. Their hot pink and bright yellow combination really stands out on the field. Its His His and her No change is necessary.

Item 8:

Item 8 Sam is starving, and his buddies have just ordered their “upsized” meals. Despite Sam’s drooling, neither of them will part with their French fries. his him his No change is necessary. Sam is starving, and his buddies have just ordered their “upsized” meals. Despite Sam’s drooling, A neither of them will part with their French fries. B C his him his No change is necessary. Sam is starving, and his buddies have just ordered their “upsized” meals. Despite Sam’s drooling, A neither of them will part with his French fries. B C his him his No change is necessary.

Item 9:

Item 9 Clyde refuses to return to the weight room because its staff always pokes fun of his skinny arms and legs. their his her No change is necessary. Clyde refuses to return to the weight room because its staff always pokes fun of his skinny arms and legs. their his her No change is necessary. Clyde refuses to return to the weight room because its staff always pokes fun of his skinny arms and legs. their his her No change is necessary.

Item 10:

Item 10 Everyone should memorize a Shakespeare monologue for Mrs. Smith because the extra credit points will help them improve their averages at the end of the semester. The students him or her his or her No change is necessary. Everyone should memorize a Shakespeare A monologue for Mrs. Smith because the extra credit points will help them improve their averages at B C the end of the semester. The students him or her his or her No change is necessary. The students should memorize a Shakespeare A monologue for Mrs. Smith because the extra credit points will help them improve their averages at B C the end of the semester. The students him or her his or her No change is necessary.

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chomp! chomp! Grammar Bytes! provides additional handouts and exercises on pronoun agreement . Go to chompchomp.com !

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The End.

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