The shirt has been cleaned and it is in your drawer, Paul.

Mom, it is spotted.

To explain that the pronoun it stands for (is this verb even correct?) "my shirt", which verb would you use?

  1. The pronoun It is referred/referring/refers to the expression "my shirt"

  2. The pronoun it is pointing to/points to the expression "my shirt"

  3. The pronoun it makes for the expression "my shirt"

  • 1
    As an aside, "spotted" is probably not the verb we would use in this case! I think we would probably say stained, or maybe it has a spot, but "spotted" implies a regular pattern of spots. – stangdon Aug 31 '18 at 17:52
  • 2
    refers to, points to, "make for" won't do here, imo – Michael Login Aug 31 '18 at 18:05
  • 2
    'refers to' is the best option in this case – Adrian Aug 31 '18 at 18:10

Well, let's just throw out makes for completely. That's not anywhere near a situation you could use that word in. Sorry.

Both refers/is referring and points/is pointing will be generally understood and acceptable, but to point sounds like you're talking to people with poor English and you aren't sure if they'll understand to refer. Unless you're talking to small children or early foreign-language learners and don't want to teach them the verb to refer, I would use to refer.

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