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Using Clear Pronoun Reference

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Using Clear Pronoun Reference What does reference mean? Ambiguous reference General reference Weak reference Indefinite reference Review A Review B – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using Clear Pronoun Reference


1
Using Clear Pronoun Reference
What does reference mean? Ambiguous
reference General reference Weak
reference Indefinite reference Review A Review B
2
What does reference mean?
A reference is a way of pointing out a connection
between two things.
3
What does reference mean?
A pronoun stands for, or refers to, another word
or word group, called the antecedent.
Pronoun
Antecedent
The guide showed the tourists where they should
meet the bus.
they
tourists
Think of the arrow as the reference, or the
connection, between the pronoun and its
antecedent.
4
What does reference mean?
Generally, the meaning of a pronoun is clear only
when the antecedent is known.
Antecedent
Pronoun
Vans idea sounds great. It will appeal to most
students.
idea
It
The meaning of it is clear because we know it
refers to the word idea.
End of Section
5
Ambiguous reference
A pronoun should refer clearly to its antecedent.
An ambiguous reference occurs when any one of two
or more words can be a pronouns antecedent.
Ambiguous reference
When Jim finally met my father, he had plenty to
say.
Who had plenty to say, Jim or the father?
6
Ambiguous reference
To correct an ambiguous reference, change the
wording so that the pronoun clearly refers to
just one antecedent.
Ambiguous reference
When Jim finally met my father, he had plenty to
say.
Ambiguous reference
Lisa saw Sara while she was in El Paso.
Clear reference
When he finally met my father, Jim had plenty to
say.
Clear reference
Who was in El Paso, Lisa or Sara?
While Lisa was in El Paso, she saw Sara.
When Jim finally met him, my father had plenty to
say.
Clear reference
While Sara was in El Paso, Lisa saw her.
Clear reference
End of Section
7
General reference
A general reference is the use of a pronoun that
refers to a general idea rather than a specific
antecedent.
General reference
I found out Jeremy had already been to
Gettysburg. That surprised me.
That has no specific antecedent.
Avoiding general references makes your writing
clearer and easier to understand.
8
General reference
To correct a general reference, reword the
sentence to avoid using the pronoun.
General reference
I found out Jeremy had already been to
Gettysburg. That surprised me.
I was surprised when I found out Jeremy had
already been to Gettysburg.
Clear
9
General reference
Some pronouns commonly found in general-reference
errors are it, that, this, and which.
General reference
Add some bananas and honey to plain yogurt. It
makes a delicious and healthy snack.
Adding some bananas and honey to plain yogurt
makes a delicious and healthy snack.
Clear
10
General reference
Some pronouns commonly found in general-reference
errors are it, that, this, and which.
General reference
The bridge was damaged. That made commuting
difficult.
Clear
The damage to the bridge made commuting
difficult.
11
General reference
Some pronouns commonly found in general-reference
errors are it, that, this, and which.
General reference
The shuttle launch was postponed. This was a
disappointment to the astronauts.
Clear
The astronauts were disappointed when the shuttle
launch was postponed.
12
General reference
Some pronouns commonly found in general-reference
errors are it, that, this, and which.
General reference
My alarm did not go off, which means Ill be late
for school again.
Clear
My alarm did not go off, so Ill be late for
school again.
13
General reference
On a computer, you can use the search feature to
highlight all occurrences of the pronouns it,
this, that, and which.
Grammar Guy Says...
Our class visited the aquarium, which was
educational.
Our class visit to the aquarium was educational.
Make sure each pronoun refers to a clear
antecedent. If it doesnt, revise your sentence.
14
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
1. Ever since Joan started practicing with Luisa,
her tennis skills have been improving.
2. Hank has been eating more vegetables and
getting more exercise, and he feels much better
because of this.
3. The citizens waved at the mayor and his family
as they passed by.
15
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
1. Ever since Joan started practicing with Luisa,
her tennis skills have been improving.
Her could refer to either Joan or Luisa.
(ambiguous reference)
16
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
2. Hank has been eating more vegetables and
getting more exercise, and he feels much better
because of this.
This refers to a general idea, not a specific
antecedent. (general reference)
17
Using clear pronoun reference

Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
3. The citizens waved at the mayor and his family
as they passed by.
They could refer to either citizens or mayor and
his family. (ambiguous reference)
18
Using clear pronoun reference
On Your Own
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference. 1. Pat made a shot at the
last second. That made the fans go wild.
2. Grace visits her neighbor when she gets home
from work. 3. Before introducing the speaker, the
principal mentioned his latest book. 4. The rain
had stopped by morning, which was a relief.
5. Dr. Sanchez works long hours and has many
responsibilities, but she says it doesnt bother
her.
End of Section
19
Using clear pronoun reference
Possible Answers
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference. 1. Pat made a goal at the
last second. That made the fans go wild.
2. Grace visits with her neighbor when she gets
home from work. 3. Before introducing the
speaker, the principal mentioned his latest
book. 4. The rain had stopped by morning, which
was a relief. 5. Dr. Sanchez works long hours
and has a lot of responsibility, but she says it
doesnt bother her.
When Pat made a shot at the last second, the fans
went wild.
When Grace gets home from work, she visits her
neighbor.
Before introducing him, the principal mentioned
the speakers latest book.
The fact that the rain had stopped by morning was
a relief.
Dr. Sanchez says the long work hours and level of
responsibility dont bother her.
20
Weak reference
A weak reference occurs when a pronoun refers to
an antecedent that has been suggested but not
expressed. If the reader or listener cant link
the pronoun to the antecedent, meaning may be
misunderstood.
Weak reference
After winning the soccer match, they gave the
coach a gift.
The antecedent players is suggested but not
expressed by the use of the pronoun they.
21
Weak reference
Revise sentences to eliminate weak pronoun
references.
Weak reference
After winning the soccer match, they gave the
coach a gift.
Weak reference
Charles Dickens was a great writer, and this is
one of his best.
Clear
After winning the soccer match, the players gave
the coach a gift.
Clear
Charles Dickens wrote many great books, and this
is one of his best.
End of Section
22
Indefinite reference
An indefinite reference is the use of a pronoun
that refers to no particular person or thing and
that is unnecessary to the meaning of the
sentence.
Indefinite reference
In the newspaper, it reported that the robbers
had been caught.
The pronoun it is not necessary to the meaning of
the sentence.
23
Indefinite reference
To correct an indefinite reference, reword the
sentence to avoid using the pronoun.
Indefinite reference
In the newspaper, it reported that the robbers
had been caught.
Clear
The newspaper reported that the robbers had been
caught.
24
Indefinite reference
Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by
the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you.
Indefinite reference
In this book it explains how car engines work.
Clear
This book explains how car engines work.
25
Indefinite reference
Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by
the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you.
Indefinite reference
In the movie they portray the aliens as violent
creatures.
Clear
The movie portrays the aliens as violent
creatures.
26
Indefinite reference
Most indefinite-reference errors are caused by
the misuse of the pronouns it, they, and you.
Indefinite reference
During the Middle Ages, you very likely would not
live past the age of thirty.
During the Middle Ages, a person very likely
would not live past the age of thirty.
Clear
The pronoun you does not refer to the reader and
does not have a specific antecedent.
27
Indefinite reference
Certain familiar expressions using it are
acceptable even though it does not refer to a
definite antecedent.
Grammar Guy Says...
It is raining.
It seems dark.
Its early.
28
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
1. After looking through the Indian cookbook, I
made one.
2. In the encyclopedia it has a picture of a
koala bear.
3. At McDonald Observatory, they have four
research telescopes.
29
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
1. After looking through the Indian cookbook, I
made one.
The antecedent of one is suggested but not
expressed. (weak reference)
30
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
2. In the encyclopedia it has a picture of a
koala bear.
It refers to no specific antecedent and is
unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence.
(indefinite reference)
31
Using clear pronoun reference
Identify the unclear pronoun in each sentence.
Then, revise the sentence to correct the error.
Be prepared to explain your answer.
3. At McDonald Observatory, they have four
research telescopes.
They does not refer to any specific persons and
has no antecedent. (indefinite reference)
32
Using clear pronoun reference
On Your Own
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference. 1. On the time line they show
when the borders were changed. 2. I like hockey,
but Ive never been to one. 3. Dentists should
listen to what you say. 4. In the article it
includes details about the Egyptian pyramids.
5. I dropped the cup, and it splashed all over
the floor.
End of Section
33
Using clear pronoun reference
Possible Answers
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference. 1. On the time line they show
when the borders were changed. 2. I like hockey,
but Ive never been to one. 3. Dentists should
listen carefully to what you say. 4. In the
article it includes details about the Egyptian
pyramids. 5. I dropped the cup, and it splashed
all over the floor.
The time line shows when the borders were
changed.
I like hockey, but Ive never been to a game.
Dentists should listen to what their patients say.
The article includes details about the Egyptian
pyramids.
I dropped the cup, and the milk splashed all over
the floor.
34
Review A
In each sentence, identify the pronoun that has
an unclear reference.
1. The math test is tomorrow, which is why they
will be studying tonight.
2. Becky called Maria when she got home from the
library.
3. Lola enjoys her mountain bike and says it is
her favorite pastime.
4. In this film they show the challenges of
frontier living.
5. On the radio it said that afternoon
thunderstorms were likely.
35
Review A
In each sentence, identify the pronoun that has
an unclear reference.
1. The math test is tomorrow, which is why they
will be studying tonight.
2. Becky called Maria when she got home from the
library.
3. Lola enjoys her mountain bike and says it is
her favorite pastime.
4. In this film they show the challenges of
frontier living.
5. On the radio it said that afternoon
thunderstorms were likely.
36
Review B
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference.
1. Most people prefer loyal friends, but some
people think it is not important.
2. Do not leave the bag open. It will cause the
rolls to dry out.
3. On that station they are showing a film about
Alaska.
4. Mike gave Pedro a copy of the diagram he had
made.
5. Serena had worked hard, and that is why she
succeeded.
End of Section
37
Review B
Revise each sentence to correct the unclear
pronoun reference.
Most people prefer loyal friends, but some people
think loyalty is not important.
1. Most people prefer loyal friends, but some
people think it is not important.
2. Do not leave the bag open. It will cause the
rolls to dry out.
Leaving the bag open will cause the rolls to dry
out.
3. On that station they are showing a film about
Alaska.
That station is showing a film about Alaska.
4. Mike gave Pedro a copy of the diagram he had
made.
Mike made a diagram and gave a copy of it to
Pedro.
5. Serena had worked hard, and that is why she
succeeded.
Serena succeeded because she worked hard.
38
The End
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