Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Pronoun Inconsistencies

Pronoun Inconsistencies in Print

          Another common printed mistake is that of pronoun inconsistency. This error can be best explained as starting out a phrase or sentence with a certain pronoun type, but referring back to that pronoun incorrectly, by using a different pronoun type. For example, the phrase “Each person in that car accident should be thankful they had an air bag”. Here, the pronoun begins as “person” and yet is inconsistently referred to as “they”. One person can not be “they”, and therefore, this phrase is in error.

The following examples help to illustrate this common mistake in print:

(drag the mouse over the picture to reveal the errors)