Archive for the ‘pronoun/antecedent agreement’ Category

Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement also a Problem

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I didn't expect to use this tornado graphic again so soon, but as my readers must know from the national news, Alabama was devastated last Wednesday, first by high winds in the morning, and then by unimaginably destructive tornadoes in the afternoon. Many, many people here are hurting and grieving. The only good news is the many, many people who have helped in humble ways and huge ways in the past few days. Humanity and love of community are alive and well here, but it will be a long recovery.

Anyone interested in knowing what kind of help is needed can go to and click on "Ways to Help."

Today's Grammar Glitch comes from an article about a man in Pratt City, Alabama, who lives near the worst tornado destruction in that area. He has turned his house and yard into a relief center where those in need can stop by and pick up items like diapers, bottled water, hygiene products, and even dog food donated by various groups.  Here is the Glitch sentence:

The Christian Service Mission offered to send items to Miller's home if he would distribute it.

The problem in this sentence is that ITEMS (the antecedent noun) is plural. Therefore, the pronoun that refers back to ITEMS later in the sentence should be THEM (plural) instead of IT (singular). The sentence should read this way:

The Christian Service Mission offered to send items to Miller's home if he would distribute them.

 I  wish the people of Pratt City healing and recovery in the coming weeks.


You’re budget?? Still another apostrophe Glitch

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

By far, the two most common Grammar Glitches I've encountered so far this year are APOSTROPHES and AGREEMENT.  An example of each appeared on page 2 in this morning's The Birmingham News



Christine Dedman writes the popular Birmingham Bargain Mom column, and today she offers some great suggestions for clever ways to celebrate Valentine's Day on a budget.  If you'd like to see her suggestions, go to

I will only comment here on a sentence that appears in her suggestion about cooking and dining by candlelight with your loved one:

If you're budget doesn't call for dining out, dining in can be just as fun.

 WHOOPS! YOU'RE is a contraction of YOU and ARE.  It is not a pronoun adjective that can describe BUDGET.  That would be YOUR (like OUR or THEIR).  The sentence should read this way:

  If your budget doesn't call for dining out, dining in can be just as fun. 




Also on page 2 this morning, Jeremy Burgess has an interesting review of the Dr. Dog performance at WorkPlay on Monday evening.  I loved his quote from guitarist/singer Scott McMicken about the performance of the Black Eyed Peas during halftime at Sunday's Super Bowl: "I think that says a lot about music these days.  I'm not trying to be scathing.  I'm just seriously wondering what that was."  (Me, too!)

In the review, Burgess noted that three of the band members were wearing sunglasses, and four of them were wearing toboggans.  Then he wrote this sentence:

Two of those hats had the band's name on it.

WHOOPS!  There are TWO HATS in this sentence, and both of them sport the band's name.  Therefore, the appropriate pronoun is THEM, not IT.  The sentence should read this way:

 Two of those hats had the band's name on them.