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Friday, May 22, 2009

Who is “HE”? What is “IT”?

Just a Few of the Common Pronouns
anybody; anyone; each; everybody; everything; he; him; his; she; her; hers; it; mine; one; somebody; something; they; them; theirs; we; you; yours

Pronouns are the words that represent a noun. Note that when you use a pronoun, the noun it represents should already be known. Other wise, you will confuse your reader (and quite possibly, even yourself!) Look at this example:

He was the nicest man I’d ever met.
Who is he?
Well, let’s go on: Jack had soft blue eyes and the warmest smile. He was the nicest man I’d ever met.

OK, so “he” is “Jack”. Now we know that so the first sentence is acceptable. But if you only refer to Jack as “he” or “him” or “his” throughout the entire piece of writing, you will certainly loose your reader. On the other hand, if you never use the pronouns and only use Jack’s name, your writing will be so redundant that again, you will loose your reader.

Keep this general in mind: use the actual noun for clarity and use the pronoun for diversity. Or put it another way: use the actual noun for clarity and use the pronoun for simplicity.

Look at these examples:
No Pronouns: Janice took Janice’s dog for the dog’s walk.
Use of Pronouns: Janice took her dog for its walk.

No Pronouns: Maggie planted Maggie’s flowers along the edge of Maggie’s garden.
Use of Pronouns: Maggie planted her flowers along the edge of her garden.

I hope this helps!

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