Grammar Bugbears: Nouns, Pronouns, Antecedents
Style and usage books abound, but a good, user-friendly grammar—one that does more than define the terms—is hard to find. As editors, not only do we have to fix errors, but we have to explain our corrections to authors in language that does not include words such as “antecedent” or “predicate nominative.”
If you’ve always been uncertain about the trickier aspects of grammar, or if you’re pretty sure of your ground but would like some tips on communicating with authors, now is your chance to build your confidence. Join Wendalyn Nichols, previous editor of Copyediting, for a three-part series of audio conferences developed especially for editors who have great instincts but can’t always explain why they know something is right.
Here's What You'll Learn
Part three of the series could also be referred to as “Everything you wanted to know about whom but were afraid to ask.” Your grammar teacher kept talking about “agreement.” What did that mean, exactly?
- Learn what subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement is, and how to spot the antecedent when it’s hard to tell what the verb or pronoun is supposed to agree with.
- We’ll consider tricky situations with singular and plural subjects, talking about the rule of proximity, false attraction, collective nouns, and compound subjects.
- Learn which pronouns can act as determiners (there’s that functional variation again), and what to do when linking verbs or possessives throw a wrench into things.