The UVic Writer's Guide

Pronoun Reference (P)

This comment may mean that you have used the wrong pronoun (e.g. "He which hesitates is lost") or that it is unclear what the pronoun refers to.

Confusion is particularly prevelant when you are writing about two people of the same sex, in which case you often end up with sentences like this one:

She told her that her face was dirty, and she told her to take a bath.

Another pronoun problem is the indeterminate "this":

Because of this, I can't go to the moon.

The reader will ask, "This what?" When you use a pronoun, make sure that its meaning is absolutely clear.

For more information, see the pages about subject/verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and the general discussion on agreement.

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Copyright, Department of English, The University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated Sept. 24, 1995