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Chapter 15. Correctness > 3.3.1 Pronoun Reference Agreement Problems

3.3.1 Pronoun Reference Agreement Problems

Pronouns must always agree with their antecedents. Pronouns such as anyone, each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, none, no one, one, and somebody are all singular. Therefore, by writing “each engineer” you limit yourself to referring to “he or she” later in your document. Since this kind of reference is the cause of many sexist constructions—engineers, for instance, always referred to as “he”—it is better simply to pluralize the noun in the first place. By this method, #1 in the above Exercise would be written as follows: “Engineers must submit the designated log at the end of the day. They should also submit a copy of the test conductor worksheet.”


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