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1answer
31 views

Pronoun-antecedent agreement question

I was reading this article about jokes on 30 Rock. A sentence seemed strange to me, and I had to reread a few times. They are talking about a writer, Robert Carlock, writing jokes for a character, Dr. ...
1
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2answers
73 views

Personal pronoun before noun? [duplicate]

Before Sarah can board the bus, she needs to get some coins for the fare. Before she can board the bus, Sarah needs to get some coins for the fare. My questions are: Between the above ...
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1answer
53 views

Writing a sentence being less ambiguous [closed]

I have following paragraph with two corrections. A- In the 1980s the largest single provider of day care for children was the federal government, which offered B- The federal government was the ...
7
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5answers
583 views

SAT question, pronoun “their” [closed]

I've been practising for the coming SAT, and I got confused by this question from the writing section. It read something like this: John was one of the astronomers who devoted all their time to ...
0
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1answer
56 views

‘It’ – ambiguous antecedent?

Take the following sentence: And even if the program inputted one token and then invoked newLine(), wouldn't it input a blank? I've been told that this sentence has a clear pronoun reference. ...
2
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2answers
82 views

Antecedent of “velocity u” in “particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u”

In the following sentence, whose velocity is u—the particles or the medium? For particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u: The normalized Maxwell’s distribution function (Eq. ...
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1answer
157 views

What does “which” refer to in “in respect to which”? [closed]

From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:  . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//] with respect to ...
-1
votes
2answers
75 views

Clause applying to first part of sentence when 'and' is used?

The requirement referred to in the first subparagraph shall not apply to fund of funds structures and master-feeder structures where the underlying funds have a depositary which provides ownership ...
3
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2answers
263 views

<Grammar/Style> Ambiguous “it”

I recently stumbled upon this joke employing some grammar: Q: How can you drop an egg on a concrete floor without cracking it? A: Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack. ...
0
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1answer
97 views

Given “a player” as antecedent, when should the pronoun be “he” or “she”? [duplicate]

I am learning game theory. I always see that professors write (in text books): a player chooses her strategy If she chooses a strategy Also some professors use he instead of she. There other ...
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votes
1answer
202 views

Antecedent of “naked” in “I would like to paint a picture of you naked”

You’re such a pretty person, I would like to paint a picture of you naked. Does this mean "you’ll undress while I get my brushes", or does it mean "strike a pose while I take my clothes off"?
2
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4answers
153 views

Antecedent of “it” in “it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship” in context

When on that shivering winter's night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and ...
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votes
1answer
34 views

Antecedent of “clear” in “lower ball onto wood blocks with the plates clear”

This sentence is taken from valve instructions: Lower ball onto wood blocks with the plates clear, and remove the plates from the ball. What does the word clear refer to? Plates? Can someone ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

On the target of “not”

I would like to know the target of the word "not" in the following sentence. The problem is that Britons were never given a chance to vote on whether they wanted the CCTV cameras set up or not. ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Inexplicable 'it'

I have myself used and been OK with it in sentences like: What is it that you're doing? What is it that it means? But now I can't quite understand why it is necessary here. Also a ...
-1
votes
2answers
358 views

Ambiguity in use of relative pronouns

The animal ate the father of Jay, who was an engineer. So who is the engineer here? Father or Jay? How can I use which, that, who to refer to the whole object or only to parts of the object?
1
vote
1answer
525 views

Can the antecedent ever be in a prepositional phrase?

It seems like a basic concept, but I want to make sure. Can the antecedent ever be in a prepositional phrase? For example: Jill likes running with Julie. She is a good person. Does she refer to ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

On what grounds does one determine the grammatical acceptability of a sentence fragment group?

I have seen some debate on EL&U about whether or not sentence fragments are acceptable to use, and under what circumstances. I am not of the persuasion that they should be used, but if I must ...
0
votes
3answers
350 views

Tricky pronoun and antecedent agreement

I'm currently taking a grammar class and the professor gave us this phrase to ponder upon. She said that there was a problem with it. I can't seem to find the problem nor the solution. Manolette ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Meaning of “it” in “it [. . .] settled into its unbreakable parts”

Please help me understand the meaning of “settled into its unbreakable parts” as used in this excerpt below from Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away: He was sitting forward on the seat, ...
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2answers
135 views

Antecedent of “its” in “the dog attacked the cat and its friends” [duplicate]

The dog attacked the cat and its friends. Does the sentence imply that the dog attacked the cat and the cat's friends, or that it attacked the cat and the dog's friends? How would one properly ...
6
votes
2answers
289 views

Antecedent of “which” in “A man coming out of the backdoor of his house which is facing east”

In a recent quiz there was a question: A man coming out of the backdoor of his house which is facing east... In this scenario, should I understand the meaning to be 'the house is facing east,' ...
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2answers
402 views

Antecedents of indefinite pronouns

Consider the sentence, "Most of the apples are fresh." Is it incorrect to say that apples is the antecedent of the indefinite pronoun most?
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2answers
111 views

Who does “who” apply to in this example?

His governors, some of them incompetent and tactless, quarrelled bitterly with the people, who were constantly demanding greater political control. In this sentence, who are demanding greater ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Which pronoun to to replace single antecedent?

This is my all-time question. This time, I was writing specifications of my application and came up with this question. Which one of the following is more commonly used than the others? Note that I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
259 views

What is it called when an antecedent noun follows the pronoun?

Here is the example that raised the question in my mind: He was splashing, enjoying the jungle's great joys, when Horton the elephant heard a small noise. Here, He refers to Horton; but one ...
5
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5answers
565 views

Can 'one' replace an antecedent?

Over at Judaism.SE someone asked a question with the title (1) What is the source for not walking with one's hands behind his back and someone else edited it to read (2) What is the source ...
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4answers
1k views

How are pronouns resolved?

Are pronouns in English resolved syntactically or semantically? Do they always refer to the closest matching noun? A wikipedia article has these examples: We gave the bananas to the monkeys ...