What is wrong concerning the pronoun and antecedent agreement

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This is the sentence: The manager just assumed it was them because of their numerous earlier calls. Another question is what is  "it was them". Does the phrase make it a run on sentence.

asked Oct 14 '13 at 22:13 Gerrie New member

1 answer


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There are a couple of problems here. The pronoun/antecedent problem comes from using a singular pronoun, 'it', as the antecedent for a plural pronoun, 'them'.  This usage of the third person plural to refer to a singular is becoming more common because it avoids the use of the gender specific 'he' or 'she'.  Another problem with this (it was them) is that with the linking verb 'is' the proper pronoun would be 'they', not 'them', but this doesn't address the number agreement. This isn't a run on sentence. 'It was...' is a subordinate clause stating what the manager assumed.

The best fix for this sentence is to rewrite it to eliminate all the problems.

 

The manager just assumed [that] it was the same person who had made numerous earlier calls.

link comment answered Oct 15 '13 at 12:09 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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