Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics
Applying Knowledge of the Standard Use of Nouns and Pronouns
Using pronouns correctly is dependent upon the establishment of a clear relationship with its antecedent. The sentence shown below needs improvement because the relationship is not clear.
When a student attends class regularly, you will pass the course.
Notice that the second-person pronoun "you" has a vague relationship with the third-person noun "student." The sentence can be corrected by either of the following.
When you attend class regularly, you will pass the course.
When a student attends class regularly, he will pass the course.
The sentence below contains an inappropriate pronoun shift.
After the player finished the race, they celebrated.
Notice that the noun "player" is singular and the pronoun "they" is plural. This makes the meaning of the sentence unclear. Perhaps the intended meaning was one of the following:
After the player finished the race, he celebrated.
After the player finished the race, his team celebrated.