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If boys drive a certain car, or use certain aftershave, they will be attracted attractive to girls.

In this sentence, what does they refer to? Does it mean boys or does it refer to certain car and aftershave?

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    "They" refers to boys who will be more attractive if they use aftershave and drive a sports car. - that's a stereotyped image of what girls like about boys. – user5267 Oct 24 '16 at 10:21
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    They refers to Boys who drive a certain car or use certain aftershave – user178049 Oct 24 '16 at 11:48
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The word they refers to boys.

Boys is the antecedent of they in the sentence you cited. Some examples from Wikipedia:

b. My eccentric uncle likes chocolate. He tells everyone to buy him chocolate. - Noun phrase as antecedent

c. Larry was helpful, and so was Kim. - Adjective as antecedent

d. He arrived in the afternoon, when nobody was home. - Prepositional phrase as antecedent

f. Our helpers did it very carefully, and we did it like that as well. - Adverb phrase as antecedent

g. Fred works hard, but Tom does not do the same. - Verb phrase as antecedent

h. Susan lies all the time, which everybody knows about. - Entire clause as antecedent

i. Our politicians have been pandering again. This demotivates the voters. - Entire sentence as antecedent

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"They" refers to "boys." Who is driving the car? Who is wearing aftershave? The attractive boys.

If boys drive a certain car, or use certain aftershave, they will be attractive to girls.

If boys (have or use attractive things), they will be attractive to girls.

So, if boys drive cool, red, sports cars, then they will be seen as attractive. Or, if boys smell nice, then they will be seen as attractive.

This sentence is basically an "if-then" statement - except it is missing "then" right after that last comma. If that sentence had a "then," then it would look like this:

If boys drive a certain car, or use certain aftershave, then they will be attractive to girls.

So, you can break the sentence into those two main parts. The first half is the cause, and the second half is the effect.

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