Is the usage of a reflective pronoun in this sentence correct?

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"Additionally, as a writer/teacher, one of my heart’s desire is that through this journey our love and ability to study God’s Word for ourselves would increase."

Is the usage of a reflective pronoun in this sentence correct based on what the writer is trying to communicate in this sentence, i.e. the writer's desire includes herself and her reader

See example:

Additionally, as a writer/teacher, one of my heart's desire is that through this journey our love and ability to study God's Word for ourselves would increase.
asked Jan 19 '13 at 18:48 Monica Warren New member

2 answers


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Yes. You have a clear antecedent which makes the use permissable. I would change 'writer/teacher' to 'writer and teacher' simply because I dislike the slash construction. You might consider 'will' rather than 'would'. It makes a more positive, less conditional statement.

 

Additionally, as a writer and teacher, one of my heart's desire is that through this journey our love and ability to study God's Word for ourselves will increase.

link comment answered Jan 19 '13 at 19:32 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow
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It should be one of my heart's desires.  'One of' is always followed by a plural noun.

 

I don't think for ourselves adds anything to this sentence that isn't already there, and would actually be confusing.  "For ourselves" means "for our own benefit", the implication being "for no one else's benefit" and I am not sure that's what you want to imply in this spiritual context.

 

Also our love and ability to study God's Word is a bit awkward, followed by will increase (with or without for ourselves).   It reads confusingly because perhaps you mean the noun "love" (1) in general, or perhaps you mean (2) the love for God's Word. If #1, our love and our ability to... would remove that confusion.  If #2, our love for and ability to... would.

 

But more importantly, if you mean #1, what does it mean to hope that our love will increase?  I am not much of a spiritual person, so I will leave that for you to reflect on.  Also, if our ability to study something increases, does that mean we learn more, or merely study more?

 

Here is a suggested rewrite, based on #1 above:

 

Additionally, as a writer and teacher, one of my heart's desires is that this journey will deepen our love for one another [or for mankind or Mankind] and our knowledge of God's Word.

link comment edited Jan 20 '13 at 09:42 Shawn Mooney Expert

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