When Tom won the talent contest, his friends cheered for him.

In this sentence, what is the pronoun that matches the antecedent Tom? I suspect it is "him", but can it also be "his" in this case?

  • Him refers to Tom.
    – Drew
    Nov 7, 2014 at 5:19

2 Answers 2


This sentence could be expanded into:

When Tom won the talent contest, Tom's friends cheered for Tom.

Thus both "his" and "him" ultimately refer to "Tom".


The referent of his is the implied Tom's.

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