Antecedent is an earlier clause, phrase, or phrase to which a pronoun, noun, or another phrase refers. Broadly speaking, antecedent is a literary device wherein a phrase or pronoun in a line or sentence refers to an earlier phrase. For instance, “While giving treats to children or friends provide them whatever they like.” In this line, kids and friends are antecedents, while they is a pronoun that refers to friends and youngsters. It is an average linguistic time period and originates from grammar.
Often antecedents and their respective pronouns agree in number, which means that if an antecedent is singular, the pronoun that replaces it's going to also be singular. However, on occasion writers might not observe this rule, and we see singular antecedents are replaced with plural pronouns. Likewise, antecedents and their following pronouns have the same gender.
Difference Between Antecedent and Postcedent
These terms are opposite to one another, as antecedent refers to in front of or before. It is an expression that gives that means to a proform (a noun, pronoun, pro-adverb or pro-verb). Hence, proforms comply with their respective antecedents including “Elizabeth says, she likes coffee.” Sometimes those proforms or pronouns precede them that are referred to as postcedents, meaning behind or after together with, “while it receives ready, I shall truely get my cup of tea.”
Common Examples of Antecedent
David plays football inside the courtyard. All the youngsters have collected there.
My uncle likes candies. He asks everybody to give him candies as gifts.
When youngsters are happy, they clap to specific their pleasure.
The leaves have became yellow; even then they may be at the tree.
The chook ate the fish quickly, and at once it
A exact story must have a fine approximately it; it must have characters, a setting, narration, and dialogues.
Examples of Antecedent in Literature
Example #1: Ode to Autumn (By John Keats)
“And nevertheless more, later flora for the bees,
Until they suppose heat days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.”
In the above lines, bees are used as antecedent, and the pronouns “they” and “their” seek advice from this noun used in advance. See that the antecedent and its pronouns are italicized. If we cast off the pronouns, those strains will have an entirely different and difficult impression, and the which means will change.
Example #2: A Comedy of Errors (By William Shakespeare)
“There’s not a person I meet however doth salute me
As if I had been their well-familiar friend
And every one doth name me with the aid of my name.
Some tender cash to me; some invite me …”
Here, Shakespeare makes use of pronouns of indistinct reference by means of employing a unique antecedent, “a man,” with the plural pronoun “their.” However, the noun everyone is singular, and both agree in their numbers. The speaker tries to explain he did now not meet a single person, but all of us knew his name, and consequently refers to every body as “their.”
Example #3: A Poison Tree (By William Blake)
“… I was indignant with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles …”
This poem affords a excellent example of antecedent, in which the speaker uses the noun “foe” as antecedent, and replaces it with the pronoun “it” inside the very next line. Similarly, he once more makes use of “wrath” as an antecedent, and replaces it with “it.”
Example #4: Othello (By William Shakespeare)
“Me thinks the wind has spoke aloud at land,
A fuller blast ne’er shook our battlements
If it hath ruffianed so upon the sea
What ribs of oak, while mountains soften on them …”
In this excerpt, the antecedent is “wind,” and the pronoun “it” is its denotation, changing it inside the third line. Antecedent makes those traces clear and clean to understand for the readers.
Function of Antecedent
Antecedent is a very essential and beneficial literary device, because it makes the feel of a sentence clean to the readers. By the usage of references such as they, their, them, it, he, and she without any antecedent concern would come to be complicated. Hence, antecedent makes the composition words, grammar, and the expression of the writers clean and precise, as with out it, a sentence stays vague and can't convey exact meaning. It is a complicated concept, although a profitable rule to grasp, because it helps writers improve their writing fashion too.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw