Tag Archive - Antecedents

Personal Shifts

Sadly, this is my last post for Say What? I’ve run this section on Live Write Thrive for four years now, and next year will see a new Friday feature. All 208 or so posts are compiled in the second edition of Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage. Be sure to get a copy here!

To celebrate this final post, if you buy the print copy between now and the New Year, you will get the ebook copy for free. I hope my grammar tips have helped you (and continue to help you) become a better writer.

Continue Reading…

Clear and Present Antecedents

Pronouns take the place of nouns. When you use a pronoun, you must be sure that its antecedent (what it refers to) is clear. For instance, who does her refer to in this sentence?

  • Both Heidi and Mary loved her children.

Her is an unclear pronoun because we don’t know if it refers to Heidi’s children or Mary’s children.

So let’s look at one word that can be a little tricky: other. It’s one of those words that serves multiple roles in our language—noun, pronoun, adjective, or adverb. But for our purposes right now, let’s look at its role as a pronoun.

You’ve probably read a sentence like this a hundred times and never given it much thought:

  • Jesse’s artwork has been displayed in the Omaha Public Library, Creighton University, and the governor’s mansion, among others.

Then again, you may have wondered, “among other whats?” Here others does not have a clear antecedent. It’s a pronoun without a noun. What do the proper nouns in this sentence have in common? Continue Reading…