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Pronoun Agreement 

Grade 6
Aug 29, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. A lady is watching a show with her friend. 
  1. Two men seem to be enjoying their evening watching the show. 
  1. The stand-up comic is performing his act.  

The sentences framed make good use of the pronouns. In sentence 1, the pronoun used is her because the antecedent a lady, that has to be replaced with the pronoun is a female.  

Similarly, sentence 2 uses the pronoun their, as the antecedent is plural. 

Likewise, the remaining sentence also uses the respective pronoun accordingly. 

But we cannot frame a sentence like “my brother likes her sneakers.” 

The reason is, just like the subject of a sentence has to agree with its verb, the pronoun must also agree with its antecedent to form a grammatically correct and sensible sentence.  


This session looks in detail at some of the rules that will help us have a better understanding of this part.  

The general point up on which the entire pronoun agreement rules are based is: 

“A pronoun must match, or agree, with its antecedent in number, person, and gender.” 

Now, let us have a look at the rules: 

Rule 1: 

This rule, known as the number agreement, states that a singular noun should be replaced by a singular pronoun and a plural noun should be replaced by a plural pronoun in sentences to avoid repetition of the nouns, like: 

  • Becky won’t be able to make it because she has an appointment with the doctor. 
  • The boys are over the moon as they have qualified for the finals. 
  • Finn felt that he was not ready to take up the challenge yet. 

Points to keep in mind: 

  • If the conjunction and is used to join two nouns, we should use a plural pronoun, like: 
  • Ross and Joseph sold their apartment. 
  • Simona and I have got our tickets booked. 
  • If the conjunctions or / nor are used to join two nouns, we should use a singular pronoun like: 
  • Neither Michael nor he kept his promise. 
  • Either Charlotte or Angel has to change her plans. 

Rule 2: 

This rule, known as the person agreement, states that:  

  1. While talking about ourselves, we should use the I, me, we, or us, like: 
  • My name is Luke, and I live in Texas. 
  • My team won the trophy and we are extremely happy about it. 
  • I don’t like anybody telling me what to do. 
  • We didn’t let them overtake us
  1. While directly addressing someone, we should use the pronoun you and if the antecedent is someone else, we should use the pronouns he, she, it, they, him, her, or their, like; 
  • Gary, you should stop making fun of others. 
  • My mother thinks that she is being too strict with me. 
  • He shouldn’t let his temper get better of him everytime. 

Rule 3: 

This rule, known as the gender agreement, states that if the antecedent is a male, we should use the pronouns he, him, and his and if the antecedent is a female, we should use the pronouns she and her, like; 

  • That man out there thinks that he knows about everything in the world. 
  • Rachel said that she will be applying for a transfer soon. 
  • Leo misses his puppy. 
  • Emily loves her new watch. 

If the gender of the antecedent is not given, use he or she, his or her, or him/his, like: 

  • The writer should structure his or her story coherently. 

If the antecedent is plural, use they and their, like: 

  • The workers said that they won’t work if their salary is increased. 


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