Definition of Antecedent
Antecedent is an earlier clause, phrase, or word to which a pronoun, noun, or another word refers. Broadly speaking, antecedent is a literary device in which a word or pronoun in a line or sentence refers to an earlier word. For instance, “While giving treats to children or friends offer them whatever they like.” In this line, children and friends are antecedents, while they is a pronoun that refers to friends and children. It is a typical linguistic term and originates from grammar.
Often antecedents and their respective pronouns agree in number, which means if an antecedent is singular, the pronoun that replaces it will also be singular. However, sometimes writers might not follow this rule, and we see singular antecedents are replaced with plural pronouns. Likewise, antecedents and their following pronouns have the same gender. See More . . .