Pronoun Case and Agreement

As a copy editor, it is essential to understand and apply proper pronoun case and agreement rules in your writing. Pronouns are used to replace nouns, making the text clearer and more concise. However, if not used correctly, they can lead to confusion and affect the overall quality of the content. In this article, we will discuss the rules for pronoun case and agreement and offer some tips to help you master them.

Pronoun Case

Pronoun case refers to the form that a pronoun takes to fit its function in a sentence. There are three cases in English: subjective, objective and possessive.

Subjective Case

The subjective case is used when the pronoun is the subject of a verb. For example, “I am going to the store,” “she is reading a book,” or “we are running a marathon.”

Objective Case

The objective case is used when the pronoun is the object of a verb or preposition. For example, “The teacher gave me an A,” or “They were talking about him.”

Possessive Case

The possessive case is used to show ownership or possession. For example, “That is my book,” or “The cat drank its milk.”

Pronoun Agreement

Pronoun agreement refers to the matching of pronouns with their antecedents in gender, number, and person.

Gender Agreement

Gender agreement means that the pronoun must agree with its antecedent in terms of gender. For example, “He went to the store,” or “She is a doctor.”

Number Agreement

Number agreement means that the pronoun must agree with its antecedent in terms of singular or plural. For example, “The dog wagged its tail,” or “The dogs wagged their tails.”

Person Agreement

Person agreement means that the pronoun must agree with its antecedent in terms of first, second, or third person. For example, “I am going to the store,” or “You are invited to the party.”

Tips for Mastering Pronoun Case and Agreement

1. Identify the antecedent – Before using a pronoun, identify its antecedent to ensure that the pronoun matches its antecedent in terms of gender, number, and person.

2. Use a consistent style – Consistency is key when it comes to pronoun case and agreement. Choose a style and stick to it throughout your writing.

3. Check for errors – After writing, take some time to review your work and check for errors in pronoun case and agreement. It can be helpful to read the text out loud to ensure that it flows smoothly and is grammatically correct.

In conclusion, understanding and applying proper pronoun case and agreement rules is crucial for any copy editor. By following the rules and tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.