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13.9 Pronouns: Fun With Grammar

The Mail's In!

It finally arrived in the mail. He grabbed it while they looked on eagerly. She was over in the corner, unable to watch, but they kept leaning over his shoulder, nagging him to get it out. She hadn't wanted it to come this way, not with all her hopes resting on it. Her hands shook as she watched him turn it over and examine the handwriting. She had been afraid of what they might do when they learned about them. And now they had sent this. "Can we wait and open it later," she groaned. He looked sharply at her, and then they fell silent while he slowly opened it. "All right, all right! If you must do it now, at least hurry up! This is driving me crazy!"
The paragraph above is mysterious because the italicized pronouns have no antecedents.

1. Click on the "paragraph" button below and the same text will appear in the box. Replace some of the pronouns with nouns to clarify the mystery (double-click the pronoun and then rewrite it), and then add a few sentences to complete the story.

2. If you're in a class, print out your completed paragraph, but make it anonymous. Shuffle it in with other students' papers and spread them all out on a table.

3. As you and your classmates read each paper on the table, guess who wrote it and write that person's name at the bottom.

4. When you've all finished, find your own paper and see how many people guessed you wrote it, and what other names they guessed.


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