Pronouns

Pronouns replace nouns. When you use pronouns in your writing, make sure that the pronoun correctly refers to the noun it replaces, known as its antecedent.

Gender-neutral pronouns

Write for inclusivity and don’t make assumptions about sex or gender. When you write Drucare documentation, avoid using gender-specific and sexist language.

Most of the topics in Drucare documentation use the second-person singular pronoun, “you” and “your”, to address a single user directly. If you have to write in the third person or refer to someone in the third person, make sure that you choose gender-neutral third-person pronouns, such as “they”, “their”, and “them”.

In Drucare documentation, it’s acceptable to use a plural pronoun with a singular antecedent when you refer to people. Use third-person-plural pronouns when you refer to a person of unspecified gender. Don’t write “him or her” or “his or hers”.

Correct
The end user must add lines of code to their app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.

In most cases, you can make the antecedent plural to keep agreement with the pronoun.

Correct
End users must add lines of code to their app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.

In many cases, and preferably, you can rewrite the sentence to be more direct.

Correct and better
You must add code to your app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.

The following examples are not acceptable uses of pronouns in Drucare documentation:

Noninclusive
The end user must add lines of code to his or her app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.
Sexist
The end user must add lines of code to her app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.
Sexist
The end user must add lines of code to his app to enable it in Drucare Enterprise.

If you refer to an actual person, find out what pronoun they prefer and use that pronoun when you write about them.

Personal pronouns

Use the second-person pronoun, “you”, in Drucare documentation. Avoid first-person pronouns, such as “I”, “our”, “us”, and “we”, unless you are responding to customer feedback or are writing a tutorial.

Relative pronouns

“That” and “which” don’t mean the same thing, so don’t use them interchangeably.

In a sentence, “that” introduces an essential clause. If you remove the words after “that”, the sentence doesn’t make sense.

Correct
For HDFS working directory, provide the path in HDFS that you want Hunk to use as a working directory.

“Which” introduces a nonessential clause. If you remove the words after “which”, the sentence still makes sense, although it is less detailed.

Correct
Drucare Enterprise changes one of the default port settings in the server.conf file, which is one of the stanzas you copied but didn’t edit.

When referring to a person, use “who” instead of “that”.

Vague pronouns

Avoid ambiguous references between a pronoun and its antecedent. Vague pronouns include “this”, “that”, “which”, and “it”. To add clarity, replace the vague pronoun with a noun.

Correct
Set the enableReduction value to true.
Incorrect
Set it to true.
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