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Are you having problems with pronouns?

By 31 July 2019Test Tips

Mrs Miles presented with her daughter who is concerned she may have dementia.

Can you identify the problem in the above sentence?

There are two women in the sentence: Mrs Miles and ‘her daughter’. Using the female pronoun, ‘she’ is therefore confusing. Is the daughter concerned she has dementia or her mother has dementia?

It’s important to pay close attention to this when using pronouns to make sure they don’t end up causing confusion to the reader. As a grammar device, you can use pronouns to avoid repetition and add clarity. But when used incorrectly, in the example above, they can create the opposite effect.

Do you know how to correct this sentence? In the case above, replacing the pronoun with a noun might make the sentence clearer to the reader.

For more tips like these, make sure you take a look at the OET Preparation Blog. You’ll find heaps of informative articles that will help you get the score you need.

Answer: Mrs Miles presented with her daughter who is concerned her mother may have dementia.