How and When to Use Pronouns

How and When to Use Pronouns

Business writing could be and should be as interesting as other types of writing. In fact, since it generally has to do with making money, spending money, enhancing business, or other related matters, it should be of interest to whomever is reading it. Of course, if the email, evaluation, or other business-related document is dull and redundant, then reading it becomes a chore.

One way of making a piece of writing more interesting to read and, sometimes, easier to understand, is to use pronouns.

“Pronouns…yes,” you may be thinking. “I know what pronouns are. They are those small words that take the place of nouns in a piece of writing and in conversation.” The following words are pronouns: I, he, she, it, you, they, we, who, my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs, whose, me, him, her, us, them.

Here’s how the correct use of pronouns can make writing more interesting (or less tedious) and more readable. Look at the following example: “According to Brown’s resume, Brown has a great deal of experience in terms of the position in question. Brown speaks well and Brown’s ability to listen is a good trait.” Of course, it is obvious that the repetition of Brown and Brown’s makes this excerpt dull and barely readable. Replacing Brown and Brown’s with he and his or she and her would make it more enjoyable to read.

Two important rules must be observed when using pronouns:

1) Do not use a pronoun in a document until you have used the actual noun first. That allows the reader to recognize which noun the pronoun is replacing.
2) Do not use a pronoun more than two sentences after the use of a noun. After that point, the reader may not be sure which noun the pronoun is replacing.

This is, of course, only one good writing tip. There are many others. If you would like your business documents to be proofread and edited by a team of professional editors, you may want to visit