Which Revision Clarifies the Confusing Pronoun in This Sentence?

Author Bertie Hart

Posted Nov 27, 2022

Reads 62

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Writing can be challenging - the misuse of pronouns being one of the common pitfalls. Pronouns, such as he, she and it, are often used in sentence formation but their incorrect usage can lead to confusion for readers. Making sure to clearly identify which pronoun is referring to which noun or person is key in making sure that your writing doesn’t leave your readers confused.

The best way to clarify a confusing pronoun is by revising the sentence itself and using a specific reference rather than using a pronoun when uncertain. For example, take this sentence: “He had no idea what he was getting into” - this could be confusing as it does not provide enough information to know who 'he' is referring too. To make it more specific, revise it like so: "John had no idea what he was getting into", making sure that 'John' or whatever specific reference fits well with the context of the sentence, is included before 'he'.

Using a specific reference rather than relying on pronouns makes understanding easier for the reader and reduces any potential confusion from arising. This revision helps illuminate exactly who ‘he’ is referencing throughout your text – preventing confusion about which characters you are talking about within larger texts and stories!

What amendment can be made to this sentence to eliminate the unclear pronoun reference?

The attorney had it in their briefcase.

A clear amendment to the sentence could be “The attorney had the item in their briefcase.” By adding ‘the item’, it eliminates any questions about what was being referred to with the pronouns. Adding more specific detail to a sentence can help clarify its meaning for readers, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. A few other examples of sentences using clearer language than pronouns may include:

• The lawyer had his papers organized within the briefcase.

• The lawyer had her documents secured in her attaché case.

• They placed their materials carefully inside the portfolio bag.

How can this sentence be rewritten to specify which pronoun is intended?

"He forgot to turn in his assignment."

With all of the diverse individuals at most schools, it is important to be specific when using pronouns in order to prevent any confusion. To specify which pronoun is intended when rewriting the sentence above, an easy way would be to use a possessive pronoun such as “his” or “her.” For example:

"He forgot to turn in his own assignment." or "She forgot to turn in her assignment."

How can this sentence be edited to make the pronoun usage unambiguous?

The confused student asked the teacher for help.

The perplexed student inquired of their teacher for assistance.

When it comes to clear and effective writing, pronoun usage is key to ensure that readers can interpret the intended meaning in a phrase. But when pronouns such as "they," "their," and "theirs" are used without any subject nearby, they can be ambiguous and lead readers down the wrong path. To make sure your work is unambiguous, consider editing sentences with confusing pronouns to clearly define who or what is being referred to.

To demonstrate this in practice, we'll look at an example sentence: “The confused student asked the teacher for help." In this sentence, we know who’s asking for help but not which student it is due to its vague pronoun usage. To make it unambiguous, we could edit it to say: “The perplexed student inquired of their teacher for assistance.” As you can see from this slight change of words, now there's no confusion as to which person needs help; the reader knows exactly who they are referring to while also understanding what they want from their instructor.

Ultimately, editing sentences like these with more precise pronouns makes your writing easier to comprehend by avoiding unnecessary ambiguity and keeping your message on point!

How should this sentence be revised to make the pronoun reference clear?

She handed her colleagues their assignments."

When it comes to pronouns, it's essential that they are used correctly in order to avoid confusion and ambiguity. In the sentence "She handed her colleagues their assignments," a pronoun can easily create miscommunication if its reference is not apparent. To make the pronoun reference clear, this sentence can be revised as follows: "She handed her colleagues their respective assignments." This updated phrasing helps to ensure that each colleague receives his or her assignment individually. By adding the word "respective" before "assignments," the subject of the sentence is more clearly indicated –– as each colleague has been assigned his or her own assignment separately from any other assigned tasks.

What change can be made to this sentence to make the pronoun usage unambiguous?

The doctor gave him a prescription.

If the gender of the recipient of the prescription is unknown, one change that can be made to this sentence to make the pronoun usage unambiguous is to replace "him" with "them". The revised sentence would read: The doctor gave them a prescription.

What could be done to this sentence to make the pronoun use clearer?

When applying for a job, it is important to be as prepared as possible.

To make the pronoun use of this sentence clearer, one could rewrite the sentence to read: “When applying for a job, applicants should prepare themselves as much as possible.” By explicitly including the word “applicants” in the sentence, readers can more readily recognize that this advice is intended specifically for individuals who are seeking employment. Alternatively, you could phrase it differently using different pronouns: “Those looking to land a job should do everything they can to be fully prepared.” This depersonalizes the advice without removing clarity from the pronoun use.

Bertie Hart

Bertie Hart

Writer at Hebronrc

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Bertie Hart is a seasoned writer with an avid interest in lifestyle, travel and wellness. She has been sharing her thoughts on these topics for over a decade, and her unique perspective resonates with readers around the world. Bertie's writing style is engaging, informative and thought-provoking, making her blog posts a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration or guidance in life.

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