Chapter 4-1-2: A pronoun should not refer to an implied idea

Grammar > Using Pronouns > Pronoun Reference > Not for Implied Ideas

Make sure that the pronoun refers to a specific rather than to an implicit antecedent: When you leave the antecedent implied instead of stating it explicitly, the reader has to try to guess your sentence's meaning:

[WRONG] John put a bullet in his gun and shot it.

The pronoun "it" can refer either to the noun "gun" or to the implied object of the verb "shot."

[WRONG] If I told you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?

The pronoun "it" can refer to the noun "body" or to the entire statement.

[WRONG] The craftspersons' union reached an agreement on Ruth's penalty, but it took time.

The pronoun "it" can refer to the noun "union" or to the implied process of decision making.

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