Saturday, March 19, 2011

Understanding the Pronoun...

A deeper look at the pronoun.
A pronoun is a word that is used to substitute for a noun or a noun-phrase. The pronoun refers to a person or a thing that is understood from the context of the sentence.
There are eight distinct types of pronouns. The Fantasy author will use all of them, but understanding why can help with successful writing.
The eight types are: Personal, Possessive, Reflexive, Reciprocal, Relative, Demonstrative, Interrogative and Indefinite.
1st person (speaker): I, we
2nd person (spoken to): you, you
3rd person (spoken of):  he, she, it, one, they
1st person (speaker): my, mine, our, ours
2nd person (spoken to): your, yours
3rd person (spoken of): his, her, hers, its, one’s, their, theirs 
1st person (speaker): me, us
2nd person (spoken to): you
3rd person (spoken of):  him, her, it, one, them
 myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves
 each other, one another
Relative Interrogative:
 who, whose, whom, which, that, what, whatever, (expanded form) whoever, whatever
this, that, these, those
 anything anybody anyone, something, some, somebody, someone, nothing, nobody, none, no one, everyone, everybody, everything

Try to keep pronouns and their subject clear and precise. Confusion can be cause easily by the over use of any pronouns.
The danger of uncertain reference can affect the use of ‘it’ and ‘they’.
Example:  Only a few of the knights owned warhorses. They needed to find mounts.
‘They’ seems to refer to the knights who already had horses, rather than those who did not.
Uncertain reference can also affect ‘he’ and ‘she’
  “He told him he must help him saddle the horse.”
 Here the reader has no idea who is saying what to whom. Avoiding the pronouns can clarify the situation but leads to a stilted style of writing and is probably better to rewrite the sentence.’
  “Connor told Dean that Dean must help Connor saddle the horse.”
“Connor needed to saddle his horse, he told Dean to help him.”
“Connor needed to saddle his horse, he told Dean to help.” 
For the sake of clarity, the Fantasy author should not to let a personal pronoun come before the noun it is subject to.Some indefinite pronouns cause confusion, as to whether they should have a singular or plural verb.
Anyone could see they rode well.
Could as easily be:
Anyone could see he/she rode well.
It is a common problem, and some editors have an aversion to the overuse of ‘it’. It’s not necessary to use ‘it’ when writing. To these editors ‘it’ is an example of laziness on the author’s part. It’s not hard to find words to substitute for ‘it’.
 Some editors dislike the over use of ‘it’. There is no need for excessive use of this pronoun when writing. To these editors the repeated occurrence of this particular word is an example of laziness on the author’s part. For the successful writer, finding words to substitute for the offending pronoun isn’t difficult.
Keep in mind the correct use of pronouns as you write and edit.

As seen on Australian Author Rosalie Skinner Wordpress.

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