Pronoun-Antecedent Reference and Agreement.
Avoid meaningless pronouns
(also known as expletives)
Pronouns without antecedents are also called
expletives. The most common expletives
are probably it and there, although
other pronouns can also be expletives. For example,
we often use they as a meaningless pronoun,
as in "they say the grass is always greener
on the other side."
Examples (the italicized pronouns don't refer
to an antecedent at all):
He said that it is very important
to listen carefully.
They claimed that there was
nothing wrong with the book.
It is essential to our project
to have you on the committee.
Notice the difference in the following examples,
which have been rewritten without expletives.
He said that listening carefully is
The critics claimed that nothing was
wrong with the book.
Having you on the committee is essential
to our project.