1. Singular-Plural Inconsistency : WAKE Editing Articles and Advice
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1. Singular-Plural Inconsistency

by Weston Kincade on 10/26/13

Singular-plural inconsistency is the first of 6 common pronoun-antecedent agreement errors writers often make. When writing, it is always important to ensure your reader can easily read and understand your sentences and story. Thankfully, pronoun-antecedent agreement problems are something you can fix in current papers and manuscripts. Plus, learning the proper writing techniques will help ensure you don’t make the same mistakes in the future, or at least not nearly as often.

 

Singular-Plural Inconsistency Example

Incorrect – Cameron stomped up the steps until it ended. 

This basic sentence only has one pronoun, “it.” Unfortunately, it’s the wrong pronoun. The antecedent “it” is referring to is “steps,” plural. “It” is singular.

One thing you should always try and do is supply a plural pronoun for plural antecedents and singular pronoun for singular antecedents.

 

Singular-Plural Inconsistency Solution

There are two solutions to this inconsistency:

1. Replace the singular pronoun with a plural pronoun.

Correct – Cameron stomped up the steps until they ended. 

or

2. Replace the plural antecedent with a singular antecedent.

Correct – Cameron stomped up the stairway until it ended. 

As you can see, whichever option you prefer will work. 

For more explanations of common pronoun-antecedent agreement errors, try the following articles.

 

Common Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Errors

1. Singular-Plural Inconsistency

2. Singular Indefinite Pronoun Inconsistency

3. Gender Inconsistency

4. Missing Antecedents

5. Ambiguous Antecedents

6. Pronoun-Antecedent Order

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