Author Topic: Can a Possessive Pronoun "His" Serve as the Subject?  (Read 9179 times)

Justine A.

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Can a Possessive Pronoun "His" Serve as the Subject?
« on: July 14, 2023, 09:09:34 PM »
Sir Joe, could you clarify if a possessive pronoun can serve as the subject of a sentence in the following statement from a former senator: "I pray for Sec. Remulla's early recovery from his heart bypass surgery. Truly, his is a most stressful, perilous, and thankless job." Is it possible that the subject of the second sentence is implied based on the previous sentence?"

Joe Carillo

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Re: Can a Possessive Pronoun "His" Serve as the Subject?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2023, 10:41:38 PM »
Yes, "his" as the subject of the second sentence isn't only implied but a logical, grammatical, and stylistically smooth use of a personal pronoun based on its clear antecedent noun in the previous sentence, which in this case is "Sec. Remulla." Writers with lesser confidence in their correlative grammar would have written that second sentence either as "Truly, Secretary Remulla's job is a most stressful, perilous, and thankless one" or "Truly, his job is a most stressful, perilous, and thankless one," perhaps even as "Truly, his job is most stressful, perilous, and thankless." However, none of these constructions exhibits the subtle, effortless, yet powerful semantic glue that binds the second sentence to the first sentence in the original construction. I must say that such writing is the mark of a good professional writer.