Pronoun Consistency





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Pronoun Consistency :


Remember that if you're referring to you, or we, or I, or one, try to remain consistently within the same case. One You should observe this carefully whenever you write.

The cases of nouns and pronouns are reviewed in a table.


Confusion :

In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye,
we find the narrator to be one of the few successful characters in terms of moral development. However, even the narrator, you soon realize, is seriously flawed. [We've shifted from the first-person plural "we" (quite common when writing about literature) to the second-person, singular "you."]

Repair Work :

In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye,
we find the narrator to be one of the few successful characters in terms of moral development. However, even the narrator, we soon realize, is seriously flawed.




Confusion :

People enjoy themselves immensely at UConn women's basketball games. You don't have to be an expert in basketball to get caught up in the crowd's enthusiasm. [In these sentences, we've gone from a third-person, plural reference, "People," to second-person "you."]

Repair Work :

[We could write, instead:] People enjoy themselves immensely at UConn women's basketball games. One doesn't have to be an expert in basketball to get caught up in the crowd's enthusiasm. [However, the "one," after a while, is going to feel overly formal, stuffy.]

Repair Work :

[Most writers would probably prefer this:] People enjoy themselves immensely at UConn women's basketball games. It isn't necessary to be an expert in basketball to get caught up in the crowd's enthusiasm.



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