Use pronouns carefully#
Pronouns are useful, but you must ensure that their antecedents (the words that they are used in place of) are clear, and that they (the pronouns) don’t cause vagueness and ambiguity.
The following pronouns often cause problems, so use them carefully: it, this, there, and that.
Ensure that the antecedent of it is clear. If multiple singular nouns precede it, any of them could be the antecedent.
Avoid using it is (or it's) to begin a sentence. Such a construction hides the real subject of the sentence.
|You can store the value and use it again later.||The product stores the value in the configuration file. You can use it again later. (The antecedent of it could be the product, the value, or the file.)|
|You must close all open windows before you run the script.||It is important that you close all open windows before you run the script.|
Avoid beginning a sentence with the pronoun this, unless you follow this with a noun to clarify its meaning.
|This option causes an error when you run the program.||This causes an error when you run the program.|
|The Cloud Sites FTP service supports resumable uploading. If a connection fails during an upload, you don't need to restart the upload from the beginning.||The Cloud Sites FTP service supports resumable uploading. This means that if there is a connection failure during an upload, it doesn't have to be started from the beginning.|
Avoid using there is and there are as the subject of a sentence or clause. Using there shifts the focus away from the real subject and often uses unnecessary words.
This option has no parameter.
No parameter exists for this option.
|There is no parameter for this option.|
|When errors occur in the script, the product writes information to the message log.||When there are errors in the script, the product writes information to the message log.|
Although you should use that as a relative pronoun (see Use that, which, and such as correctly), avoid using it as a demonstrative pronoun (which stands in for or points to a noun). Instead, use it as an adjective and follow it with a noun.
|Use that method.||That is the method to use.|
|You can also edit or delete your CNAME by managing your DNS in your existing tool.||If you want to edit or delete your CNAME, you can also do that by managing your DNS in your existing tool.|