Best Online IELTS Review Tips: Avoiding Ambiguous Pronouns

Pronouns are one of the most commonly used words in academic writing. They are used to replace a noun to avoid repetition and simplify sentences. However, used incorrectly, pronouns can introduce ambiguity.

 

As a test taker enrolled in the best online IELTS review program, it is practical that you seek different study tips and strategies that can help you avoid ambiguous pronouns when constructing essays and letters. For instance, below are practical writing tips that can help you.

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Ambiguous Pronouns

 

A pronoun must always refer to its antecedent or the noun that the pronoun refers to. If the antecedent of the pronoun is vague, then the sentence will be unclear as well. An ambiguous pronouns are a result of:

 

          ·         absence of an antecedent in the sentence; or

          ·         more than one possible antecedent in a sentence.

 

To boost your IELTS General Training review even more, read and follow these three simple yet effective tips:

 

          1.    Pronouns must refer to a specific noun

When a sentence contains two possible antecedents, read the sentence and identify the correct noun that the pronoun replaces in the sentence. Check this example:

When Joy joined Lucy in the dance group, she did not know that she would be a pain in the head.

 

In this sentence, the first pronoun she seems to refer to the noun Joy, but it is uncertain whether the second she refers to Joy or Lucy. To fix this sentence, replace the second she with the noun Lucy.

When Joy joined Lucy in the dance group, she did not know that Lucy would be a pain in the head.

 

           2.    Plural nouns need plural pronouns

Keep in mind that plural pronouns only refer to plural nouns. For instance, definite pronouns they and we as well as indefinite pronouns many and both are examples of plural pronouns.

 

Ann and Tom ate a big slice of chocolate cake, but she and he are still hungry.

 

In this sentence, the pronouns she and he are not appropriate to the nouns Ann and Tom. Replace these pronouns with the plural pronoun they.

 

Ann and Tom ate a big slice of chocolate cake, but they are still hungry.

 

           3.    Check for the missing noun

When using pronouns, make sure that the noun is present in the previous sentence. Here is an example:

 

Walks in the park with her friends.

 

In this sentence, the pronoun her does not refer to any noun in the sentence. Fix this by adding a noun at the beginning of the sentence.

 

            Joy walks in the park with her friends.

 

One final reminder: During your IELTS General Training review sessions, look for texts and underline all the pronouns with their corresponding antecedents. Doing this activity enables you to understand the importance of pronouns and how to avoid ambiguous pronouns.

 

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