Solve Complex Pronoun Agreement Issues

When you use pronouns, you must make sure their antecedents are clear.

To avoid making common pronoun errors, follow these guidelines:

  1. When there is more than one possible antecedent for a pronoun, repeat the noun instead of using a pronoun.

Rosa and Janet have been working as a team since Rosa first started working here.

  1. When two singular nouns are joined by or, use a singular pronoun.

Either Rosa or Janet is a good choice for shift manager if she wants the job.

  1. A collective noun describes a group. When the collective noun shows a group acting as one, like team, it is treated as singular and uses a singular pronoun.

The jury will offer its verdict later today.

  1. When we speak, we often refer to an unspecified “they.” In writing, however, we should be more specific.

They say hiring the right employee takes time.
The Department of Human Resources says hiring the right employee takes time.