Agreement: Antecedents

ANTECEDENT = a noun to which a pronoun refers

The car that I want is on sale.

  • (car = antecedent    that = relative pronoun)

The man on the boat thinks he is safe without a life jacket.

  • (man = antecedent    he= personal pronoun)

Does anyone have his or her book.

  • (anyone = antecedent    his/her= possessive pronoun)

WHO and WHOM: Refer to people and members of a group who take
on “human qualities”

Please give the book to the student who has her hand raised.

The police officers who stopped my car were polite.

WHOSE: Refers to persons, animals and sometimes to things.

The student whose books were lost is mad.

WHICH: refers to things, animals and persons considered as a

The UO basketball team, which played tonight, is undefeated.

THAT: May refer to inanimate objects, places, things, ideas and animals.

The theory that the earth is round is accepted as fact.

TWO or more antecedent are joined by a conjunction take a plural

Jody and Jerry coached their (her and his) basketball players.

Singular antecedents joined by OR / NOR take a singular pronoun.

Neither Tom nor Jerry will present his case to Judge Ito.

With one singular and one plural antecedent joined by OR / NOR
the pronoun agrees with the nearest antecedent.

Either you or your pals must leave their car keys.

Either your pals or you must leave your car keys.

Singular indefinite pronouns take a singular pronoun.

Could someone please give me her book?

(to a group of all women))

Could someone please give me his book?

(to a group of all men))

Could someone please give me his or her book?

Anyone with a family history of heart disease should have his or her cholesterol checked.

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