Someone must have left their pet aardvark behind because a sad, lonely and strangely elegant pet is squatting in the corner of the classroom. Oops, someone will have to clean up after their pet!
Do You Get a Grammar Star?
If you identified the problem with those sentences as the incorrect pronoun (their) then you deserve a grammar star!
Here’s the problem…
Unfortunately, English does not have a singular, gender neutral pronoun.
So when you need to use a single pronoun, and the antecedent is gender neutral (someone, the reader, the audience member, etc.) you must use:
He or she or his or hers
Why all the quotation marks?
Frankenstein’s “monster” had many truly “human” characteristics and in many ways was more “noble” than his creator.
Okay, Just Stop It…
Use quotation marks when you are quoting directly from the text.
Do NOT use quotation marks when you want to give special emphasis to a word or to show that you’re using it ironically. Rewrite your sentence so that your meaning is clear.
For example: While Frankenstein’s creature may have looked like a monster, his noble character often made him seem more human than his creator.
Wow!!! That Was A Lot!
Your summer essays are merely a starting point. Don’t be discouraged if you did not do as well as you had hoped. Try to learn from this essay, and as the semester goes on, you will be amazed at the growth of your analytical and writing abilities.