This is called pronoun antecedent agreement. It is an English grammar based word which has some context that we need to understand in order to use it in the right way. The antecedent is the word that the pronoun is about. “The box” precedes the pronoun “it.”. “Apples” is a plural noun and is the antecedent for the plural pronoun “them”. Pronoun antecedent agreement definition: Without exception, antecedents and pronouns must agree. Pleonastic proforms also lack a linguistic antecedent, e.g. Thus when a proform precedes its antecedent, the antecedent is technically not an antecedent, but rather it is a postcedent, post- meaning 'after, behind'. However, their antecedents are present in the discourse context as the speaker and the listener. In this way, pronouns and antecedents are invariably linked. that gives its meaning to a proform (pronoun, pro-verb, pro-adverb, etc.). The man who drove the bus was wearing black boots. The proforms are in bold, and their antecedents are underlined. In grammar vocabulary, the antecedent is the word, phrase, or clause that a pronoun can replace. Often, relative pronouns are used in clauses. Feminine - Susan took her dog for a walk. Together they went to the fair. Erik arrived at Julia’s house at noon. Antecedent is one such term. The antecedent will always be placed in the independent clause, regardless of the placement of a dependent clause. This example clarifies “hair” as the antecedent to the demonstrative pronoun “that”. Expression that gives its meaning to a pro-form in grammar, Definitions of "antecedent" along these lines can be found, for instance, in Crystal (1999:20) and Radford (2004:322), For an example of a linguist who rejects the term antecedent because of the confusion it generates (due to the failure to distinguish between antecedents and postcedents), see, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Antecedent_(grammar)&oldid=983984601, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 13:19. Antecedents must agree in number and case with their pronouns. In such cases, the antecedent is implied in the given discourse environment or from general knowledge of the world. “The man” is the antecedent to clarify the relative pronoun “who.”. If a pronoun is used in a dependent clause, the antecedent will always be in the independent clause. “It” cannot replace “apples”. that gives its meaning to a proform(pronoun, pro-verb, pro-adverb, etc.). The linguistic term that is closely related to antecedent and proform is anaphora. It is raining, where the pronoun it is semantically empty and cannot be viewed as referring to anything specific in the discourse world. Many relative clauses contain a relative pronoun, and these relative pronouns have an antecedent. In grammar, an antecedent is an expression (word, phrase, clause, sentence, etc.) Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. If the first sentence did not exist, it would be unclear what “it” is. This practice is a source of confusion and some have therefore denounced the term antecedent outright because of this confusion.. In it were three beautiful gifts. The pronoun him refers to and takes its meaning from John, so John is the antecedent of him. Define antecedent: An antecedent is a word to which another word, usually a pronoun, refers. This means that if a sentence uses a singular antecedent, it must also use a singular pronoun. A pronoun must always agree with its antecedent: Masculine - James cleaned his car. For example, consider the sentence, "There was a doll inside the box, which was made of clay" where the word "which" could refer to either the box or the doll. Michael is the antecedent and he is the pronoun. Despite the implications of the term (Latin ante- means "before"), "an antecedent can follow rather than precede [the pronoun]: 'For his first Pacific voyage, Cook had no chronometer'" (Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language, 2005).See Examples and Observations below. As with all other pronouns, an antecedent must be identified before a demonstrative pronoun is used. “An apple” is a singular noun and is the antecedent for the singular pronoun “it”. In English grammar, an antecedent is the noun or noun phrase that a pronoun refers to. “My local farmer’s market” is the antecedent to clarify the relative pronoun “where.”. A pronoun cannot be used without an antecedent. Proforms usually follow their antecedents, but sometimes they precede them, in which case one is, technically, dealing with postcedents instead of antecedents. Many people think that “them” would be the correct pronoun instead of “it”. Once the antecedent has been used initially, it is completely acceptable to use a pronoun thereafter. There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind with antecedents in grammar. However, it is only called an antecedent once a pronoun is used. In grammar vocabulary, the antecedent is the word, phrase, or clause that a pronoun can replace. Antecedent definition: An antecedent is a noun that must precede the use of a pronoun. I had my doubts about the seafood but I was wrong. There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind with antecedents in grammar. Define antecedent: An antecedent is a word to which another word, usually a pronoun, refers. As with all other pronouns, an antecedent must be identified before a personal pronoun is used. There is a plural antecedent so a plural pronoun needs to be used. For instance, the first person pronouns I, me, we, and us and second person pronoun you are proforms that usually lack a linguistic antecedent. An example will help clarify this concept. In some cases, the wording could have an uncertain antecedent, where the antecedent of a pronoun is not clear because two or more prior nouns or phrases could match the count, gender or logic as a prior reference. A proform takes its meaning from its antecedent; e.g., "John arrived late because traffic held him up."