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First Undergraduate (reading out). Will this do, Gus?

"Mr.

Smith presents his compliments to Mr. Jones, and finds he has a cap which isn't mine. So, if you have a cap which is n't his, no doubt they are the ones."

Second Undergraduate. Oh, yes; first-rate!

- Punch.

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It should be unnecessary to warn any one who knows the a b c of composition against beginning to write in the third person, and continuing in the first or the second. This fault is, however, not uncommon in advertisements and in private letters.

I.

He told me about a man whose name was Hayden, and whose place of business was Syracuse.

Those were most eligible whose toes were lightest and whose outside trappings were brightest.

In these scenes, Dickens seems like a bird whose flight is near the earth, but which at intervals rises on its strong pinions and almost reaches heaven.

II.

He told me about a man whose name was Hayden, and his place of business Syracuse.

Those were most eligible whose toes were lightest and their outside trappings brightest.

In these scenes Dickens seems like a bird whose flight is near the earth but at intervals it rises

on its strong pinions and almost reaches heaven.

The coupling of a personal with a relative pronoun, as in these examples, though sometimes found in the writings of good authors, is not to be recommended.

I.

The high office which you fill and the eminent distinction which you bear are objects of respect.

II.

The high office which you fill and the eminent distinction that you bear are objects of respect.

On grounds of clearness as well as of euphony, a writer should not, in one sentence, begin one relative clause with which and another with that.

Never change from one pronoun to another, without a clear and sufficient reason.

Singular or Plural.

The number of a pronoun is deter

mined by the number of the noun which it represents.

I.

Then came the Jesuit troubles

in Quebec; and these last bid fair to be no slight matter.

II.

Then arose the Jesuit troubles in Quebec; and this last bids fair to be no slight matter.

The sentence as originally written is an extreme instance of a fault into which even a practised writer may fall when a noun is so far from its pronoun that he forgets whether it is singular or plural.

I.

Man after man passed out before the pulpit, and laid his hardearned dollars (or, dollar) on the table.

II.

Man after man passed out before the pulpit and laid their hard-earned dollars on the table.

In this example, "man after man," though plural in

meaning, is singular in form.

fore be singular.

Other examples are

I.

It was the eve of the departure of one of the boys to make his fortune in the world.

He does not know a single belle; even if he did know one, she would not care to dance with so stupid a fellow.

Every one was absorbed in his or her own pleasure, or was bitterly resenting the absence of the pleasure he or she expected.

All were absorbed in their own pleasure, or were bitterly resenting the absence of the pleasure they expected.

The pronoun should there

II.

It was the eve of the departure of one of the boys to make their fortune in the world.

He does not know a single belle; even if he did, they would not care to dance with such a stupid fellow.

Every one was absorbed in his or her own pleasure, or bitterly resenting the absence of the pleasure they expected.

In this example the substitution of "he or she" for they secures grammatical correctness, but it makes the sentence even more clumsy than it was in its original form. A better plan is to put all the pronouns in the plural number.

I.

If any one cares to help me with gifts of either money or land, he will be welcome to do so. Everybody felt it necessary to testify his sympathy.

Anybody can catch trout if he can find the trout.

They were all afraid to divulge the separate course which each planned to take for himself.

I like to think that each of them married well-in his own eyes at least.

Neither of them would have allowed his parliamentary energies to interfere at such a crisis with his domestic affairs.

II.

If any one cares to help me with gifts of either money or land, they will be welcome to do so. Everybody felt it necessary to testify their sympathy.

Anybody can catch trout if they can find the trout.

They were all afraid to divulge the separate course which each planned to take for themselves.

I like to think that each of them married well - in their own eyes at least.

Neither of them would have allowed their parliamentary energies to have interfered at such a crisis with his domestic affairs.

There is no pronoun in English which exactly corresponds to "anybody," "everybody," "every one," "each," "neither." They certainly does not; for the word for which the pronoun stands is singular. He or she is clumsy. The only pronoun that will serve is "he," which may stand for mankind in general and include women as well as men. "His " is so used by Mrs. Oliphant in a sentence in which, as the context shows, she has herself in mind. "A writer," says she, "is thus prevented from determining which of his productions are to be given in a permanent form."

A pronoun which stands for a singular noun or pronoun should be singular; one which stands for a plural noun or pronoun should be plural.

Omitted Pronouns. - Pronouns necessary to the sense, or to the construction, or to both, are sometimes omitted.

I.

Had I a picture of myself, I would send it to you.

In answer to your question regarding electric lights, I would say that I find them invaluable.

II.

Had I a picture of myself, would send it you.

In answer to your question regarding electric lights, would say that I find them invaluable.

These sentences as originally written present a fault common in business letters.

Other examples of omitted pronouns are

I.

He determined to see what he Icould do with the long twelvepounder which Blake had made for him on his own design, and which was so constructed that it could be slewed over the stern.

These desertions came from the universal confidence in his measures which Jefferson had the art to inspire.

Five or six companions whom Jack had picked up, or who had picked up Jack, and who lived on him, advised him to put it off.

There was a consultation between those who favored and those who opposed the project. He availed himself of the opportunity.

He made me wait in his hall and conducted himself like a man incapacitated for hospitality.

Don't trouble yourself about it.

II.

He determined to see what he could do with the long twelvepounder which Blake had made for him on his own design, and was so constructed that it could be slewed over the stern.

These desertions came from the universal confidence in his measures Jefferson had the art to inspire.

Five or six companions whom either Jack had picked up or had picked up Jack, and who lived upon him, advised him to put it off.

There was a consultation between those who favored and opposed the project.

He availed of the opportunity.

He made me wait in his hall and conducted like a man inca. pacitated for hospitality.

Don't trouble about it.

"Avail of," "conduct," and "trouble" require a reflexive pronoun after them. "Avail of" and "conduct" without the pronoun are more common in America than in Great Britain. "Trouble" without the pronoun is more common in Great Britain than in America.

Beware of omitting necessary pronouns.

Redundant Pronouns. Sometimes pronouns repeat an idea already expressed in the sentence.

I.

Celia wishes to accompany Rosalind, and they set out together.

Louis and the tutor got as far as Berlin, with what mutual satisfaction need not be specially imagined.

II.

Celia wishes to accompany Rosalind, and they both set out together.

Louis and the tutor got as far as Berlin, with what mutual satisfaction to each other need not be specially imagined.

Beware of REDUNDANT PRONOUNS.

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