Exercise in Using Pronouns for Cohesion and Conciseness

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One of the most common ways of making clear connections in our writing and establishing cohesion is through pronouns. In addition, because pronouns serve as substitutes for nouns, they help us avoid needless repetition.

This exercise will give you practice is substituting pronouns for nouns to ensure cohesion and conciseness.


Rewrite the following paragraph, substituting an appropriate personal pronoun for each of the nouns in bold print. When you're done, compare your revised paragraph with the version on page two.

Men, Women, and Conversation

First, it is important to note that men and women regard conversation quite differently. For women conversation is a passion, a sport, an activity even more important to life than eating because conversation doesn’t involve weight gain. The first sign of closeness among women is when women find themselves engaging in endless, secretless rounds of conversation with one another. And as soon as a woman begins to relax and feel comfortable in a relationship with a man, the woman tries to have that type of conversation with the man as well. However, the first sign that a man is feeling close to a woman is when a man admits that the man would rather the woman please quiet down so the man can hear the TV. A man who feels truly intimate with a woman often reserves for the woman and the woman alone the precious gift of one-word answers. Everyone knows that the surest way to spot a successful long-term relationship is to look around a restaurant for the table where no one is talking.

Ah . . . now that's real love.
(adapted from What the Dogs Have Taught Me: And Other Amazing Things I've Learned by Merrill Markoe. Viking, 1992)
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