1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Repeating proper nouns

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Steerpike, Sep 30, 2016.

    Sentence:

    Sofi's mother lived there alone the last twelve years, ever since Sofi’s father died.

    I don't like both occurrences of the Sofi's name. Possible alternatives:

    Her mother lived there alone the last twelve years, ever since her father died.

    Sofi's mother lived there alone the last twelve years, ever since her father died.

    In those two alternatives, does "her father" seem to any of you to refer back to Sofi's mother, and not Sofi? That's my potential problem with them.
     
  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I think whether or not it's clear that "her father" refers to Sofi's father would depend largely on the broader context of the paragraph. From this sample, it could go either way. I can certainly see where there would be a clarity issue and I also see that it could be taken properly. I think if you molded the prior and following sentence to add clarity, it could work just fine.

    ETA: Sometimes when I run into sentences like these, I find a way to split it into two just to eliminate any possible confusion.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's Sofi's father who passed, right? I would just flip the last one:

    Her mother lived there alone the last twelve years, ever since Sofi's father died.
     
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  4. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Sofi's father died twelve years prior and her mother occupied the house from thereon ?
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, guys. I like your suggestion @Wreybies. @SethLoki, yours works as well, but while I like that sentence the style would be out of place with the rest of the piece. @Spencer1990 I was considering splitting it into two, but I wanted to preserve the flow I had going if possible. I think Wrey's suggestion does that.
     
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  6. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Ever since Sofi's father died 12 years ago her mother had lived there alone (solves the issue since her can only apply to sofi not her father)
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I like @Wreybies. The second two in the OP definitely made me think it was the mother's father who died.
     
  8. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    D'you know something? It's these little exchanges that make this forum so great.
     

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