Grammatical Range and Accuracy is a criteria in the IELTS Writing and Speaking Modules. When examiners check for grammatical accuracy, they find out the number of errors in the IELTS candidate's language.
Occasionally, we encounter some errors with regard to pronouns and their antecedents. For a review, an antecedent is a noun that the pronoun refers to. For instance:
"I am Alma."
"I" is a pronoun. Who or what does it stand for? It stands for "Alma". Thus, the antecedent of "I" is "Alma".
There would be times however, when students would get confused. They would use pronouns then commit mistakes when the said pronouns are linked to antecedents.
Consider these examples:
a. "I like Ricky Martin. Her music is very good." (from Mikey Bustos whose video we featured a couple of weeks ago. :) )
b. "If candidates study and practice often, then you could increase the chances of achieving a high score in the IELTS exam."
c. "If candidates aim to get high scores in the IELTS test, then he must study and practice often."
You'll notice that the underlined words are pronouns that do not correctly agree with their antecedents. Mistakes such as these prevent you from obtaining a high score in the IELTS.
How do you determine the proper agreement between pronouns and antecedents? Here's a checklist:
1. Make sure that the pronoun agrees with its antecedent in gender (male or female).
Using the the first example above, the sentence should thus be:
"I like Ricky Martin. His music is very good."
2. Make sure that the pronoun agrees with its antecedent in person (first person, second person, third person).
The second example should accordingly be:
"If candidates study and practice often, then they could increase their chances of achieving a high score in the IELTS exam." ("candidates" and "they" are in the third person)
3. Finally, make sure that the pronoun agrees with its antecedent in number (singular or plural).
The third example should consequently be:
"If candidates aim to get high scores in the IELTS test, then they must study and practice often." ("candidates" and "they" are plural)