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.

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!

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