Is the subject I necessary in the following paragraph?. I feel I am using this subject too many times, but I do not know how to avoid it without confusing the reader.

I see in Gustav the same desire to improve India that I had when I traveled to Belgium to attend my master and PhD degree, which was the opportunity that allowed me to contribute to the development of the social sciences in my country. It is because of this and all the mentioned above that I am completely convinced he is the right candidate to be backed with your valuable loan.

  • attend a degree is wrong. One earns a degree or one studies for a degree.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


In principle (if one was determined to avoid repeating the first person singular pronoun), one could rephrase OP's first sentence as...

I see in Gustav the same desire to improve India that I had when I traveled traveling to Belgium to attend my master and PhD degree...

...but although my revised version could1 carry the same sense as OP's original, in practice it would normally be understood as a "generic" statement - about a "desire to improve India" that might be experienced by anybody who traveled to Belgium (feasibly the writer himself has never been, and is just referring to something he's heard about from others).

Note that there's no good reason to avoid / minimise use of I (or any other pronouns) in such contexts, and there's no doubt my revised version is far less idiomatic. But it does illustrate two different techniques to avoid explicitly stating / repeating the "Subject pronoun" - remove the first instance of that [Subject] completely, and change when [Subject] [Past Participle] to when [Present Continuous Participle].

1 I admit I'm stretching a point, saying it could carry "the same" meaning. Per @Lambie's comment, when traveling very strongly implies the desire was experienced during the journey. But the original when I traveled [to Belgium] would be much more naturally understood as referring to the time-period when I was away [from home], [in Belgium].

  • True, that's another difference. Will edit it in. Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 15:46

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