Pronouns and Inclusivity – How Are Pronouns Tied to Inclusive Language?

Related Concepts: Ableist Language – Disability Metaphors – Disability Studies; Inclusivity – Inclusive Language The way we use pronouns—in particular the use of the traditionally plural pronouns they/them in reference to both males and females—has recently been a subject of intense debate. This furor over pronoun use feels very current, yet linguistic scholars trace this ...

Pronoun – Guide to Writing with Pronouns

If these sentences seem ok, that may be because you may hear people say them in everyday discourse. Still, from the standard of British or American English, the first three sentences contain a pronoun error. The fourth sentence, which until recently would have been considered an error, is correct. What Are Pronouns? Pronouns are words that ...

Pronouns and Antecedents

Pronouns are an important part of speech because you use them frequently. And you should use pronouns because they serve important purposes. However, you need to make sure when you use pronouns, you’re using them effectively.

The main purpose of a pronoun is “to replace” a noun. The noun a pronoun replaces is called an antecedent. Pronouns, though, need to be coordinated with their antecedents. If they’re not, confusion quickly emerges for readers.

A pronoun is like a backup quarterback. When the starting quarterback is injured, the backup steps in.

Identifying and Addressing Unclear Pronouns & Antecedents

What are pronouns and antecedents?

pronoun is any word that stands in for a previously stated noun, and an antecedent is whatever noun a certain pronoun represents. Using pronouns helps make writing less wordy and repetitive, improving style and expressing the same ideas in fewer words. For example, a piece about “George Washington,” the first president of the United States, does not need to repeat this full name every time it appears, but can instead refer to the antecedent “George Washington” with the pronoun “he”:

When George Washington was asked to run for office, he initially refused.

Clarify Vague Pronoun References

What is a vague pronoun reference?

A pronoun is a part of speech that can replace a noun; its antecedent is the person, place, or thing to which the pronoun refers. A vague pronoun reference might include words such as it, that, this, and which, and can leave the reader wondering what or to whom the pronoun refers. Writers who strive for clarity in their work should be certain that each pronoun has a specific antecedent.