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What Is an Antecedent? (with Examples)

An antecedent is the word (or words) that a pronoun refers to.

The word antecedent means to go before in Latin. It gets its name from the idea that a pronoun refers to something previously mentioned in the sentence. Look at this example: Typically, the antecedent of a pronoun is a noun or a noun phrase. Despite the name, an antecedent does not always come before its pronoun. Look at this example:

More Examples of Antecedents

Here are some more examples of antecedents of pronouns:

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What are pronouns? What are nouns? What are noun phrases? What are personal pronouns? What are relative pronouns? What are possessive pronouns? Glossary of grammatical terms