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Use "these" Properly!

Most writers use pronouns frequently throughout their documents because they replace nouns. However, some pronouns can be used in more than one way. One example is “these,” which can be used as a pronoun or an adjective.


When used as a pronoun, “these” should replace a noun. Yet, when used as an adjective, “these” should describe a noun. As the sentences below illustrate, writers must verify that they are using words (like "these") that can function in different capacities properly.


Original Sentence: THESE are important findings for determining the direction of future research.


In this sentence, “these” is written as a pronoun though it functions as an adjective. To determine if it is a pronoun, the question “What noun does it replace?” must be asked. The answer: it does not replace a noun; rather, it describes the type of findings that are important. Since the word functions as an adjective, the sentence needs to be rearranged to place the noun right after the adjective that describes it (as is done below).


Edited Sentence: THESE FINDINGS are important for determining the direction of future research.


Writers should use the proper form of “these” in their sentences to ensure the reader has everything needed to comprehend the ideas expressed; doing so also prevents the reader from working to figure out the relationship and/or connection between words in a sentence.


Cultivating writers...one tip at a time!



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