Can you help with replacing personal pronouns in a sentence? I'm writing an essay for school.

This is my opening sentence: "Have you ever made a dumb decision that you soon regretted afterward?" My teacher told me to get rid of personal pronouns and I don't know how to do that without ruining my topic sentence.

2 Answers
May 9, 2016

use 'one' in the place of 'you'. That's what my teachers say, but i not sure how well it works with your essay.

Jul 21, 2016


You is fine. 'One' is less personal but correct. 'I' is very personal but also strictly correct.


Your choice depends on the context and purpose of your essay. "One" can sometimes lead you into awkward expressions like "One should take care of oneself when one is alone". Some general rules:
1) Avoid mixing 'you' with 'one' in a passage.
2) 'One' is anonymous and suggests a general statement.
3) Avoid using impersonal expressions that use the passive: e.g. "It is said that that it is unwise to walk alone". This distances you from the statement and assigns no authority to it. It weakens the impact of what you are expressing as a writer.