I have been having some problem with this sentence.

In Blood Creator, his greedy nature and obsessiveness are used as the most significant traits in the characterization of James.

As you can see here, the possessive adjective "his" appears before the antecedent James, and I don't know if that is grammatical. Is the sentence grammatical as is?

  • It's fine. His hat made Joe look ridiculous. Sep 27, 2018 at 6:14

1 Answer 1


It's grammatical, but it makes parsing the sentence a little difficult. When a pronoun without a previous reference comes at the start of a sentence, before the noun that it's referring to, then you need to "suspend" your understanding until after the referent becomes clear. Everything being equal, this makes parsing the sentence more difficult than it needs to be.

The pronoun without an established reference is not the only thing about this sentence that makes it awkward.

A possible rephrasing that would flow better is something like the following:

In Blood Creator, James's most significant character traits are his greedy nature and obsessiveness.

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