Pronouns and Antecedents
When a pronoun replaces a noun, the noun is called an antecedent.
On Michael’s first day of work, he was a little nervous.
Michael is the antecedent, and he is the pronoun.
The antecedent doesn’t have to go before the pronoun.
On his first day of work, Michael was a little nervous.
It should always be clear as to what the antecedent is (see Pronoun Reference), and the verb which modifies the antecedent must agree with it. Problems tend to arise with words like everyone and someone, and phrases like one of the boys.
One of the cats like to eat the goldfish.
Because we’re talking about only one of the cats, the verb needs to be singular.
One of the cats likes to eat the goldfish.
Everybody should do what he is good at.
Technically, he or she is the only correct pronoun for the antecedent everybody because it’s singular. However, if you need something gender neutral, modern English permits the use of the plural pronoun they.
Everybody should do what they are good at.