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Pronoun Reference

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					Pronoun Reference
I’ll position the target,
and when I nod my
head, shoot at it.
 Ohhh, nooo!




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Contents

   1. Ambiguous Reference
   2. Implied Antecedents
   3. Imprecise References




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1. Ambiguous Reference
 More than one possible antecedent
   Mother told Ann that her skirt is too short.
     Whose skirt?
        Mother told Ann that Ann’s skirt … [Mother’s …]
        Mother said to Ann, “Your skirt … [“My …]
        Mother said, “Ann, your skirt … [“Ann, my …]
   Jim sold his car to Bill before he moved to
    Banff.
     Who moved to Banff?
          Jim sold his car to Bill before Jim [Bill] moved …
          Jim … before the former [the latter] moved …
          Just before Jim moved to Banff, he sold … to Bill.
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          Just before Bill moved to Banff, Jim sold him …
2. Implied Antecedents
 Antecedent implied, not stated
   At Red River College, they provide a great
    deal of hands-on training.
     Who are “they”?
        At Red River College, instructors provide …
        Red River College provides …
        A great deal of hands-on training is provided at …
   The parents tried to explain the risks
    involved in hitch hiking, but it was useless.
     What was useless?
        The parents …, but their efforts were useless.
        The parents …, but they were ignored.
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        The parents …, but the children ignored them.
3. Imprecise References
 Pronoun referring to entire clause or
  complete sentence
   When John finally proposed, it was only
    because he had learned of her inheritance.
     When John finally proposed, he did so only …
     John finally proposed only because he …
   The storm lasted all weekend long, which
    made us feel depressed.
     Because the storm …, we felt depressed.
     We felt depressed because the storm lasted …
     The storm’s lasting all weekend long made …

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Imprecise References            (cont’d)

  You didn’t return any of his calls. This
   made him feel that you don’t care.
    After you didn’t return any of his calls, he
     felt that you don’t care.
    Your not returning any of his calls made him
     feel that you don’t care.




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Test your knowledge:
1.   She spends most of her spare time doing math
     homework because it is her most difficult subject.
2.   Rita told Helen that her pearl necklace is a fake.
3.   My cousin from Ottawa gave me a new portable
     television, which pleased me very much.
4.   We have not yet tried the sport of curling, but we are
     very much interested in it.
5.   Because Ronald’s father is a doctor, this is the
     profession he wants to pursue.
6.   After I parked my van next to the SUV, I noticed that
     there was a deep scratch on it.
7.   When I called emergency at the hospital, they put me
     on hold.
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8.    After the guest speaker entered the room, they stood
      and gave him a huge round of applause.
9.    The Board of Directors is organizing a workshop for
      our administrators since they need to sharpen their
      managerial skills.
10.   Camille told Alice that she is being promoted.
11.   My nephew wants to pursue a career in medicine, but
      he doesn’t know how to go about it.
12.   My sister always shares her good fortune with others,
      and this makes me proud of her.
13.   Our soccer team has asked the owners to award
      them a bonus for finishing in first place.
14.   I have never experienced real tornado, but I am
      terrified of them.
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15. When it flooded the valley it was because the dam
    had burst.
16. The plumber told the homeowner that he needed a
    new set of taps.
17. When Paul volunteered to host the Christmas dinner,
    it was a surprise to us all.
18. On the bulletin board, it says that our instructor is
    absent today.
19. The jury members could not reach a decision; this
    caused the charge to be dismissed.
20. Whenever I take my brothers to this ice cream stand,
    they make us wait in line for at least ten minutes.

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21. After Maureen returned from her Mexican vacation,
    she complained about their air pollution.
22. Our class coordinated the food bank drive, which
    was praised in an SA newsletter.
23. Just because lasagna is one of Italy’s favorite dishes
    doesn’t mean they eat it every day.
24. When Ernest was told to take his younger sister for
    a walk, it annoyed him very much.
25. I called our local drama society and they told me
    that they would send me a schedule of plays for the
    coming year.


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