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Editing Exercise: Correcting Errors in Pronoun Reference


This exercise will give you practice in correcting errors in pronoun reference.

Each of the following sentences contains an error in pronoun reference. Rewrite these 15 sentences, making sure that all pronouns refer clearly to their antecedents. In some cases you may need to replace a pronoun with a noun or add an antecedent that the pronoun logically refers to.

When you have completed the exercise, compare your revised sentences with those on page two.

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  1. Last year Vince played on the college lacrosse team, but this year he is too busy to do it.

  2. On the menu they say that the pasta sauce is homemade.

  3. When the boy gently picked up his puppy, his ears stood up and his tail started wagging.

  4. My mother is a mail carrier, but they wouldn't hire me.

  5. After Governor Baldridge watched the lion perform, he was taken to Main Street and fed 25 pounds of raw meat in front of the Fox Theater.

  6. After drying your dog with a towel, be sure to drop it into the washing machine.

  7. I applied for a student loan, but they turned me down.

  8. Because guilt and bitterness can be emotionally destructive to you and your children, you must get rid of them.

  9. After removing the roast from the broiling pan, allow it to soak in soapy water.

  10. Beer in one hand and bowling ball in the other, Merdine raised it to her lips and swallowed it in one mighty gulp.

  11. In the college catalog it says that students caught cheating will be suspended.

  12. A few moments after the countess had broken the traditional bottle of champagne on the bows of the noble ship, she slid slowly and gracefully down the slipway, entering the water with scarcely a splash.

  13. When Frank set the vase on the rickety end table, it broke.

  14. A broken board had penetrated the driver's cabin and just missed his head; this had to be removed before the man could be rescued.

  15. When a student is placed on probation, you may file an appeal with the dean.
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