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There’s a lot of repetitiveness in these sentences. Would it sound better if I replaced ‘the child’ with ‘them’?

Are there any mistakes?

1) The tree asked Witch on behalf of the child who used to play on it; so Witch gave the child a box of sweets. The tree then asked Witch to give the child more; so Witch gave the child a box of silver. Then the child was asked to come forward, and they were given a gold apple for every step they took.

2) The tree asked Witch on behalf of the child who used to play on it; so Witch gave them a box of sweets. The tree then asked Witch to give them more; so Witch gave them a box of silver. Then they were asked to come forward, and they were given a gold apple for every step they took.

Thank you.

I have used semicolons in my sentences. Is this wrong? Would commas be better? I read that a semicolon should not be used before conjuctions (so).

Also, could I replace the full stops with semicolons in 1.?

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    There is nothing wrong with certain kinds of repetition, especially in a story which is like a fairy tale. However, I do find the repeated genderless plural pronouns somewhat jarring (child...they; child...them). Other speakers might have a different reaction.
    – TimR
    Oct 20, 2016 at 9:01
  • '@TRomano @aliciahsteen I have used semicolons in my sentences. Is this wrong? Would commas be better? I read that a semicolon should not be used before conjuctions (so). Oct 21, 2016 at 8:23

1 Answer 1

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This is how I would change 1):

On behalf of the child who used to play on it, the Tree asked the Witch to (do something). The witch gave the child a box of sweets. The tree then asked the Witch to give the child more, so Witch gave the child a box of silver. The child was then asked to come forward and received a golden apple for every step they took.

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