Below are some common pronoun errors and how to check for them. For more on what pronouns are, see the Review page in the pull-down menu on the Pronoun tab.
Pronoun Error #1:
Since pronouns stand in place of a noun, it must be clear which antecedent you are referring to. For example:
James told Mike his bike had been stolen. (Whose bike was stolen?)
She put her lunch and purse on the table and began to eat it. (What did she eat: lunch, purse, or table?)
When the plane landed, they told me the next flight was late. (who is they?)
Pronoun Problem #2:
When several pronouns are used, it's easy to get confused about who is speaking. Be consistent in using the correct pronoun. For example:
Every time I go to the mall, the parking lot is so crowded you circle round and round for parking. (I is speaking; who is you?)
My boyfriend and I like camping, but you have to be prepared for mosquitoes. (We like camping; who is you?)
Other common errors:
1) Pronouns used with a preposition are always objective.
Wrong – These plans must stay between you and I.
Right – The plans for the surprise party must be kept a secret from him and me because I cannot keep secrets.
2) Never use myself in place of I or me.
Wrong – I thought the prize should have gone to myself.
Right – I thought the prize should have gone to me.
3) Don’t use a pronoun when you’ve already stated the noun.
Wrong – For example Nacogdoches, it has many trails.
Right – Nacogdoches has many trails.