About SharingwithWriters Blog

Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Search This Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2016

So, I know. I've been remiss. I've neglected visitors and subscribers to my blog. Forgive me, but I've been writing the third in my HowToDoItFrugally series of books. How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically will be released late summer or early fall.

So, aren't I lucky to have writing friends to help me out! Valerie Allen is spot on with her article on Pesky Pronouns. I am especially grateful to have her as a guest blogger on this topic, though, because I tutor immigrants in English as a Second Language and American Culture (primarily Asians and Armenians) so I'm aware--at least as far as these language speaking groups--that pronouns are a big bugaboo for them.

Pesky Pronouns
Valerie Allen

A pronoun is used in place of a noun. An antecedent is a noun that a pronoun replaces. All pronouns must agree with their antecedent in number, person, and gender.

Various types of pronouns and examples include: personal (I), relative (who), demonstrative (that), interrogative (which), intensive (himself), reflexive (themselves) and indefinite (anybody).
Personal pronouns are used the most. They tell us whether the pronoun is speaking, being spoken to, or being spoken about. Pronouns can be singular, plural or stand-alone.

Here are examples of personal pronouns:
  • Subject singular: I, you, he, she, it
  • Subject plural: we, you, they
  • Object singular: me, you, him, her, it
  • Object plural: us, you, them
  • Possessive before a noun: my, your, his, her, its, our, their
  • Stand alone: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs
To avoid ambiguity in pronoun use, be aware of antecedent agreement and pronoun shift.

Examples of correct pronoun usage:

Marshall didn’t have a good time at his party.
The boys feared the steep hill, but their courage prevailed.
Valerie is afraid of flying, which she told Holly last Tuesday.
Last Tuesday, Valerie and Holly talked about their fear of flying.
Examples of correct and incorrect pronoun usage:
When one goes to the zoo, they should not feed the animals. (Incorrect)
When one goes to the zoo, one should not feed the animals. (Correct)
Elizabeth visited her mother when she had a cold. (Incorrect)
When she visited her mother, Elizabeth had a cold. (Correct)
Her mother had a cold when Elizabeth visited her. (Correct)
The Wicks and the Wacks both assumed they would prevail in the card game, and they won. (Incorrect)
The Wicks and the Wacks both assumed they would prevail in the card game, but the Wacks won. (Correct)

Pronouns can be tricky if not clearly used to replace a specific noun, they shift in a sentence, or are placed too far away from the antecedent.

~ ~ ~
Valerie Allen, author, playwright, and speaker, writes fiction, non-fiction, short stories, plays, and children's books. She is a popular speaker at writer's conferences, libraries, and community events using her book: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged 2nd Edition.

She is a co-founder of Authors for Authors, which supports new and experienced authors with book fairs, book launches, book displays, and writing seminars. Authors from across the US have had their books displayed at two Florida book fairs held in March and November each year sponsored by AuthorsforAuthors.com.

Valerie Allen can be contacted via FB, Twitter, Google+ and at VAllenWriter@gmail.com or ValerieAllenWriter.com

~  Valerie Allen  ~
ValerieAllenWriter.com                                                    VAllenWriter@cs.com

The Prodigal Son
Amazing Grace
Sins of the Father
Suffer The Little Children
'Tis Herself: Short Story Volume One
Summer School for Smarties
Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends
Write, Publish, Sell! 2 ed
Beyond the Inkblots: Confusion to Harmony

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .


  1. I love Valerie' writings but who was the addressee of this piece? Writers? We shoul know these basics. Learners of English as a second language/ immigramts? I wonder if they know the meaning of antecedent? Or the other grammatical lingo.

  2. Often a pronoun is misused because it modifies the wrong thing.

    Looking forward to your next book, Carolyn. I could sure use it right now.


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com. You might also find www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com full of resources you can use and
www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.