Topic: Pronoun Antecedants:
Questions: The Pronoun Antecedants are unclear in the sentences below. Rephrase them so that the pronoun antecedant is clear.
Example: I completed the essay, which pleased my teacher. (The pronoun "which" is unclear because it could be talking about the essay, or since he had finished)
Fixed: My teacher was pleased to read my essay. She said it was good. (I added the pronoun "it" and removed "which". "It" is clear, and is referring to the essay).
Stacey Warren - Expert brainly.com
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I needed some help with two of them:
1: When Hong visited her aunt in July, she did not know that she was ill. (The pronoun "she" is unclear, referring to Hong and/or her aunt).
2: If the dog leaves any food in his bowl, throw it out. (The pronoun "it" is unclear, referring to the bowl and/or the food)
Does anyone know the solution to this?
For number 1, in the original sentence (When Hong visited her aunt in July, she did not know that she was ill), both of those instances of "she" are up for grabs, so you really have four possibilities --
When Hong visited her aunt in July, her aunt did not know that she herself was ill.
When Hong visited her aunt in July, her aunt did not know that Hong was ill.
When Hong visited her aunt in July, Hong did not know that she herself was ill.
When Hong visited her aunt in July, Hong did not know that her aunt was ill.
And two of those are acceptable rewrites as is. Only the two with "she herself" to clarify that the knowing is in this case reflexive (refers back to the subject of the verb) do not sound very good. Those you'd want to rewrite in some other fashion.
Now you might also do this --
When Hong visited her aunt in July, she did not know her aunt was ill.
In this case, that "she" might have referred to either Hong or her aunt -- *if* the object of the verb weren't in this case "her aunt." This clarifies for us that the first "she" must be Hong. (Because "she (her aunt) did not know her aunt was ill" makes no sense.)
Note that this version, however (in which you simply swap "she" and "her aunt"), still has a pronoun reference problem --
When Hong visited her aunt in July, her aunt did not know she was ill.
For number 2, this problem and the potential solutions are a lot more straightforward, I think.
You could do this --
If the dog leaves any food in his bowl, throw the bowl out.
Or this --
If the dog leaves any food in his bowl, throw the food out.
With respect to your original sample sentence, the one with "which" that could be read two ways, if you wanted to keep it to a single sentence, you might do this, for the case where the teacher is pleased with the essay's having been completed --
The fact that I completed my essay pleased my teacher.
My completion of the essay pleased my teacher.
Or this, for the case where it is the essay itself which pleases the teacher --
My completed essay pleased my teacher.
I completed the essay, and my teacher was very pleased with it.
Learning to write with precision is so very useful, and to write precisely one does have to pay attention to pronouns.