Pronoun Shifts

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Topic: Pronoun Reference/shifts

Pronouns need to be consistent with the subject of the sentence, whether it be singular, plural, or person. When there are unmotivated changes from singular to plural, this is called a pronoun shift, as in the following sentence:

“Classes were cancelled, but it will resume tomorrow.”

Within this sentence, the subject “classes” is plural, but the pronoun “it” is singular, and thus there is confusion. It is important to understand which pronouns work for which context. 

Singular: I, you, he, she, it, they, me, him, her, all -body, -thing, and -one pronouns (anybody, anyone, everybody, everyone, someone, something, etc.)  my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its

Plural: these, those, who, whom, whose, what, which, both, few, fewer, many, others, several, we, you, they, us, you, them,who, whoever, whom, whomever, which, whichever, whose, that, ourselves, yourselves, themselves, our, your, their, yours, yours, theirs

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