1

Does the pronoun they fit the following sentence? I want to refer those 20 students by using they. There's an intervening text between the first and third sentence so does using they sound right and natural? Should I use the workers instead of they?

  • There are 20 workers in my factory. This is a 20% increase from last year. They are very creative and honest.
1

You can separate a noun and its pronoun by any length of text, as long as its unambiguous. As odd as it might be or sound if there was a 20 page gap, it wouldn't be or sound much less, if any, odd if you referred to "the workers" with a 20 page gap. But a sentence or a paragraph? No problem.

The contrapositive is also true. You can't use a pronoun in close proximity to its noun if it would be ambiguous.

"John told Pete that he would be in Texas next week." No!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.