fbpx

Speak good English

BY: Hannah A Amoah

We are continuing our discussion of the incorrect uses of pronouns that lead to the writing of ambiguous sentences, pronouns that don't have antecedents, pronouns that don't agree with their antecedents in number, person and gender, etc.


Last week we had five examples of sentences in which the pronouns had one or more of the problems listed above.
We examined three of those sentences and discussed the problems brought about by the incorrect use of pronouns in each sentence.
For instance,  in sentence 1:
I can't afford the prices being quoted by the supplier because it is too high
we said the pronoun it is incorrect because it has no antecedent.
If the pronoun it refers to the noun prices, that pronoun is still incorrect because prices is plural, while the pronoun it is singular, for which reason the two --- the pronoun and its antecedent noun --- don't agree in terms of number.
The correct pronoun to use in the sentence is they, which is plural and, therefore, agrees with the noun prices.
The correct sentence, therefore, is:
I can't afford the prices being quoted by the supplier because they are too high.
Other examples of sentences in which the pronouns don't agree with their antecedent nouns are:
1. I have to give Yaw money for some items but I don't have them here.
(The pronoun them, which is plural, doesn't agree with the antecedent noun money, which is singular. The sentence should be:
I have to give Yaw money for  some items but I don't have it here.)
2. All manner of rumours are being bandied around concerning the man's death, but it is not true.
(The pronoun it, which is singular, does not agree with its antecedent noun rumours, which is plural.
The correct sentence should be:
All manner of rumours are being bandied around concerning the man's death, but they are not true.)
 Now back to the incorrect sentences we used as examples last week.
Sentence 4 is:
The prices of items have gone up, but the fact that we can get it to buy is quite ok.
Here, the issue is that the pronoun it, which is singular, does not agree with the antecedent noun items, which is plural.
The correct sentence should be:
The prices of items have gone up, but the fact that we can get them to buy is quite ok.
(To be continued.)