Re: pronoun/antecedent agreement

From: Philip L. Graber (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 18:23:46 EDT

On Tue, 4 Jun 1996 wrote:

> Marion here with another question: If the antecedent of the pronoun
> (attached to the verb) can be in any case what is the meaning of a noun in
> the nominative case? You assert that the subject can be in any case.


You have apparently misunderstood one or more answers along the way. The
term "subject" has nothing to do with pronoun-antecedent agreement. The
explicit subject of a finite verb will be in the nominative case, whether
that subject is a pronoun, noun, or substantive adjective, etc. If the
subject is a pronoun, there is no requirement that its antecedent should
also be nominative; the case of the antecedent will be determined by its
role in its own clause. Likewise, an antecedent of a pronoun that DOES
happen to be subject of a finite verb, and therefore in the nominative
case, does NOT require that the pronoun should be nominative; again the
case of the pronoun is determined by its role in its own clause. If it
is the object of a verb or preposition, it will NOT be nominative, but
whatever case is required by its particular role in relation to the verb
or by the particular preposition. When a pronoun has an antecedent in
the text, agreement is in gender and number, not in case. Pronouns and
their antecedents can be in any case whatsoever and still "agree" with
one another. They will normally only agree in case if they both have
the same role in their respective clauses (e.g., if they are both
subjects of finite verbs). I hope this helps.


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