Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

Featured Product

Write for Work

Our newest book Write for Work, a practical guide to writing and communicating in the workplace. This 8½ x 11 inch work-text is designed specifically to teach writing, grammar, and communication as it applies to the workplace.

Subscribe to the Blog

Add to Google Add to My Yahoo!

Subscribe to eTips

eTips includes the best information for effective business writing, along with helpful advice and updates on evolving communication practices.

Stay Connected

Categories

Tag Cloud

Recent Posts

Archives

    Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement: Singular Pronouns

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    Use a singular pronoun to refer to antecedents such as either, neither, each one, anyone, everyone, everybody, somebody, nobody, another, none, and a person.

    One of the reports is missing its [not their] cover.

    Note: When a person or everyone is used to refer to both sexes or either sex, you will have to choose whether to offer optional pronouns or to rewrite the sentence.

    Everyone will turn in his or her time card.
    (optional pronouns)
    All employees will turn in their time cards.
    (rewritten in plural form)

    (From Write for Business, 2nd ed., page 325, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 75)

    Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement: Overview

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number, person, and gender. (The antecedent is the word or words to which the pronoun refers.)

    Susan paid cash for her lunch.

    Note: The antecedent in this sentence is Susan; it is to Susan that the pronoun her refers. Both the pronoun and its antecedent are singular, third person, and feminine; therefore, the pronoun is said to agree with its antecedent.

    (From Write for Business, 2nd ed., page 325, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 75)

    Avoiding Sentence Errors: Subject-Verb Agreement: "Be" Verbs

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    If a form of the be verb is used and there is a noun both before and after that verb, the verb must agree with the subject. This holds true even if the predicate noun (the noun coming after the verb) is different in number.

    The cause of his health problem was his bad eating habits.
    His bad eating habits were the cause of his health problem.

    (From Write for Business, page 324, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 74)

    Avoiding Sentence Errors: Subject-Verb Agreement: Relative Pronouns

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    When a relative pronoun (which, who, that) is used to introduce a dependent clause, the number of the verb must agree with the pronoun's antecedent.

    This is one of the reports that are required for this project. (The relative pronoun that takes the plural verb [are] because its antecedent [reports] is plural. To test this type of sentence, read the of phrase first: Of the reports that are…)

    (From Write for Business, page 324, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 74)

    Avoiding Sentence Errors: Subject-Verb Agreement: Nouns That Are Plural in Form

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Some nouns that are plural in form but singular in meaning require a singular verb: economics, news, mathematics, summons, mumps, and so on.

    Economics is a social science, not a pure science.

    Exceptions: assets, earnings, premises, proceeds, quarters (These plural-form nouns, though singular in meaning, use a plural verb.)

    Last year's earnings were up from 2001!
    Our greatest assets are our employees.

    (From Write for Business, page 324, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 74)