Pronouns and Antecedents

Start Quiz

pronoun is used in place of a noun. The noun in question is called an antecedent. In most cases, the antecedent will come before the pronoun, either in that sentence or in a previous sentence. For instance, in the sentence Dave took his dog for a walk, the pronoun is his and the antecedent is Dave.

A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number, gender, and person. In other words, a singular antecedent requires a singular noun, a masculine antecedent requires a masculine pronoun, a first-person antecedent requires a first-person pronoun, and so on.

Agreement between pronouns and antecedents is more difficult when the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun like somebody or several. We have provided a list below of the common indefinite pronouns, grouped by number:

  • Singular: anybodyanyoneanythingeacheithereverybodyeveryoneeverythingmuchneithernobodyno onenothingonesomebodysomeonesomething
  • Plural: bothfewmanyseveral
Some indefinite pronouns are singular when they refer to a single amount, but plural when they refer to multiple items. These include allmoremostnonesome.