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Examples of Antecedent-Pronoun Agreement Errors

Dr. Brian Campbell, 2014

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Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Video
Duration: (7:28)
User: n/a - Added: 2/2/16

 

Students, please carefully study the information on antecedent-pronoun errors contained in this document.  This type of error is one of the most frequently encountered errors in graduate writing.  You will receive extra points on your JAR if you do not make these errors.  I also strongly recommend that you take the tutorial on this topic.

Tutorial on Antecedent-Pronoun Agreement 

The errors were obtained from written assignments submitted for evaluation.  In each case, the antecedent is highlighted in turquoise; the pronoun errors are highlighted in yellow.  Below each incorrect sentence, I have offered suggested corrections.  Typically, changing the antecedent to plural rather than singular, results in a better sounding sentence.  I have highlighted the best option in green.

Please note:  The words "client" and "counselor" are singular nouns and require singular pronouns.

The word THEIR is a plural pronoun.

Examples: Errors and Corrections
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  1.  The point of counseling is to help someone understand themselves to the point that they can heal.
  • The point of counseling is to help someone understand himself/herself to the point that he or she can heal.
  • The point of counseling is to help people understand themselves to the point that they can heal.
  1.   I would help the patient by first trying to lead the patient to God if they do not follow God.  
  • I would help the patient by first trying to lead the patient to God if he/she does not follow God.
  • I would help patients by first trying to lead them to God if they do not follow God.
  1.   I feel like a person needs to understand their self and what is going on with them, first of all, before that person can even begin to heal.
  • I feel like a person needs to understand himself or herself and what is going on with him or her, first of all, before that person can even begin to heal.
  • I feel like people need to understand themselves and what is going on with them, first of all, before they can even begin to heal.
  1.   In my opinion, someone has to understand their own life and feelings and counseling can get someone to that point.
  • In my opinion, someone has to understand his/her own life and feelings and counseling can get someone to that point.
  • In my opinion, people have to understand their own lives and feelings, and counseling can get them to that point.
  1.   Once a person understands themselves through counseling, that person can begin to heal.
  • Once a person understands himself/herself through counseling, that person can begin to heal.
  • Once people understand themselves through counseling, they can begin to heal.
  1.  During the initial session, my main objective would be to help my client cope with misunderstanding and grief regarding their current situation.
  • During the initial session, my main objective would be to help my client cope with misunderstanding and grief regarding his/her current situation.
  • During the initial session, my main objective would be to help clients cope with misunderstanding and grief regarding their current situation.
  1.   In addition, I would encourage my client to bring their Bible with them to every session.
  • In addition, I would encourage my client to bring his/her Bible with him/her to every session.
  • In addition, I would encourage my clients to bring their Bible with them to every session.
  1.   As my client undergoes hurt, confusion, and temptation, it is important that they understand that the Bible will lead them to salvation through faith in Christ.
  • As my client undergoes hurt, confusion, and temptation, it is important the he or she understands that the Bible will lead him or her to salvation through faith in Christ.
  • As my clients undergo hurt, confusion, and temptation, it is important that they understand that the Bible will lead them to salvation through faith in Christ.
  1.   Every one of us suffers from something during our lives. 
  • Every one of us suffers from something during his or her life.
  • All of us suffer from something during our lives.
  1.   Every counselor is going to have a different view on how to help people with their problems, and sometimes their personal views can get in the way of actually helping the client.
  • Every counselor is going to have a different view on how to help people with their problems, and sometimes his or her personal views can get int he way of actually helping the client.
  • All counselors are going to have different views on how to help people with their problems, and sometimes their personal views can get in the way of actually helping the client
  1.  When the client enters the room, the first thing I will do is have the client sit down and discuss why they have sought out Christian counseling in the first place.
  • When the client enters the room, the first thing I will do is to have the client sit down and discuss why he or she has sought Christian counseling in the first place.
  • When clients enter the room, the first thing I will do is to have them sit down and discuss whey they sought counseling in the first place.
  1.  I believe that it is essential to have the client determine what they would hope to get out of the counseling process if they could imagine the best case scenario; due to the fact, that in my mind it would be easier to evaluate where the person’s mindset is currently and where they hope to be in the future.
  • I believe that it is essential to have the client determine what he or she would hope to get out of the counseling process if he or she could imagine the best scenario; I believe this because, in my mind, it would be easier to evaluate where the person's mindset is currently and where he or she hopes to be in the future
  • I believe that it is essential to have clients determine what they would hope to get out of the counseling process if they could imagine the best case scenario; I believe this because, in my mind, it would be easier to evaluate where people's mindsets are currently, and where they hope to be in the future.
  1. A person who suffers may feel like they will never again be a whole person. 
  • A person who suffers may feel like he or she will never again be a whole person.
  • People who suffer may feel like they will never again be a whole person.
  1. There is no one on this earth who can say they have not suffered. 
  • There is no one on this earth who can say he or she has not suffered.
  • All people on this earth have suffered at one point or another.
  1. He goes on to explain that once the client is willing to discuss their brokenness, the more comfortable they become with themselves and are able to admit their faults.
  • He goes on to explain that once the client is willing to discuss his/her borkenness, the more comfortable he/she becomes with himself or herself, and is able to admit his/her faults.
  • He goes on to explain that once clients are willing to discuss their brokenness, they become more comfortable with themselves, and are more willing to admit their faults
  1. Self-disclosure may help the client feel they are in a more secure environment, as well as provide them with hope.
  • Self-disclosure may help the client feel he or she is in a more secure environment, as well as provide him or her with hope.
  • Self-disclosure may help clients feel they are in a more secure environment, as well as provide them with hope.