UNCLEAR PRONOUN REFERENCE WORKSHEET

 

copyright 1997 Cynthia Joyce Clay

Please respect the copyright of the author by only making reproductions for non-commercial purposes. (Remove the 'abrakadabra' to make the email address work.)


THE GRAMMAR TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
THE NUMERICAL WAY TO PROPER PRONOUN REFERENCE

ANSWER KEY FOR UNCLEAR PRONOUN REFERENCE WORKSHEET


In the following sentences:

    a) find and label for number and gender all of the nouns;

    b) find and label for number and gender all of the third person, personal pronouns; and

    c) determine whether the pronouns match properly with the nouns by traveling to the left for each pronoun to make  sure only one noun matches with each pronoun.

Remember, if any pronoun matches with more than one noun or with no nouns, then the pronoun is unclear, and the sentence is bad.

Here is a sentence to get you started. The sorcerers (2 or more, M/F) had their  (2 or more, M/F) apprentices (2 or more, M/F) do all their (2 or more) work for the week of holidays.  This sentence is bad because which plural noun does the pronoun "their" refer to? "Sorcerers"? or "apprentices"?
 

1.  Many of the unmarried ladies returned their magic mirrors to the sorcerers because they did not work.
 

2.  The magic kettle stopped serving soup because it had run out of stones.
 

3.   In the hallway, the princess overheard a wizard tell an apprentice that she needed to practice in the laboratory.
 

4.  The sorceress had trained the little dragon well; indeed, it lit the fire in the fireplace every morning.
 

5.  The dwarves made magic carpets for the monarchs because they liked them.
 

6.  Delilah's mother thinks she is a werewolf.
 

7.  The griffin and the harpy chased the princesses because they wanted to eat them.
 

8.  One of the goblins hid in the pumpkin it had carved.
 

9.  One of the elves turned the knight into his boot.
 

10.  The queen asked the wizard if she could remove the spell from the enchanted frog.
 

11.  The witch asked the sorceress for the magical flower, but she said she had lost them too.
 

12.  The microscope fell on the alien artifact and it broke.
 

13.  The sorceress and the sorcerer consulted with oracles, and they concurred that the time was right for casting the spell.
 

14.  One of the robots fixed the spaceship while it flew past mars.
 

15.   The time machine was broken; no matter how times the child put the doll into it, it would not go to the future.
 


There is an answer key available.  Otherwise you might want to go back to the Grammar Table of Contents.