Laura gave her car to Richard.


Laura gave her car to Richard.

Written when substituting pronouns, the sentence reads:

She (subjective pronoun) gave the car/it (antecedent) to him (objective pronoun).

Writers commonly make errors when using pronouns; these must be avoided for clarity. The most frequent errors involve incorrect pluralization when combining pronouns and antecedents. Remember that these words indicate one person, and need to use singular pronouns: everybody, anybody, anyone, each, neither, nobody, and someone. Here are some examples of incorrect phrasing, followed by the corrected phrase.

INCORRECT: Every known individual must have their fingerprints taken. CORRECT: Every known individual must have his or her fingerprints taken. ***This is correct because “individual” is singular, while “their” is plural. Therefore “his or her,” which also is singular, matches “individual.” INCORRECT: Each suspect must submit their alibi. CORRECT: Each suspect must submit her alibi. ***Again, the second sentence is correct because “suspect” is singular, while “their” is plural. Therefore “her,” which also is singular, matches up with “suspect.”

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INCORRECT: Bob and me saw the crime occur. CORRECT: Bob and I saw the crime occur. ***It is grammatically incorrect to say “Me saw the crime occur;” the same rule applies when there is another subject.

When in doubt, say the sentence out loud to see if it sounds right before you write it in your report.

Like any other skill, using pronouns and first person narrative correctly requires practice; as you become more comfortable with these concepts, your report writing will become more refined.


You have been dispatched to the scene of a domestic violence call. At the scene, which is a residence, you find a man, woman and child; each is upset, and each has sustained some sort of injury. The residence is in disarray. The man is verbally threatening the woman and child, who are visibly frightened. Using first person narrative and proper pronouns to indicate the people present and the objects in the surroundings, write a report detailing the scene and your actions. You have the freedom to describe the state of the residence, the type of injuries and the actions taken upon your arrival.

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