What are Postcedents?

Postcedents are the opposites of antecedents.  Knowing and understanding what antecedents are, help us understand more clearly what postcedents stand for.
‘Ante’ means before or in front of, whereas ‘post’ means behind or after. Antecedent is a word that appears before the pronoun or noun, that it refers back to. Most commonly nouns take the form of antecedents and another noun or pronoun is used as a referring word. 
Example: Dilip said that he hates to swim.

In the above example, the pronoun “he” refers back to the antecedent “Dilip” and helps us to understand evidently to whom it is referring back.
While antecedents precede the noun or pronoun that they refer back to, postcedents appear behind or after the nouns or pronouns which are used to refer to them. In other words, they succeed the referring word. 

Example:  While it is hot, I wish to drink my cup of tea

In the above example, the noun “tea” appears in the later part of the sentence; whereas, the pronoun “it” which is used to refer to it, appears before the noun it is referring. 

Definition of Postcedents

In simple words, when a noun that a pronoun refers to comes after the said pronoun, it is that pronoun’s postcedent. 
Let’s have a look at a few more examples to understand the topic. 

  1. After she heard the songs, Leela gave the CD to Prabhat. 
  2. Thinking he understood the novel, Rohit started writing its summary. 
  3. Working on their project, children learned how to create model.
  • In the first and third examples, the nouns “Leela” and “children” work as pronoun’s postcedents. The pronouns used to refer to them are “she” and “their.” 
  • However, the second example carries both postcedent and antecedent. “Rohit” is the postcedent of the pronoun “he,” and “novel” is the antecedent of the pronoun “its.” Therefore, we can use antecedents and postcedents in the same sentence to add sentence variety. 
It must be remembered that though antecedents are very commonly used, we don’t use postcedents that commonly, in order to avoid confusion. However, it may be used occasionally, to add sentence variety or bring novelty to the writing style of the writers. 

How to Find Postcedents in a Sentence

The keyword to remember, while finding a postcedent is that it always appears in the second half of the sentence. To identify a postcedent in a sentence, we must first try to find the pronoun used in the first part of the sentence and then the noun and pronoun to which it is referring. 

Locate postcedents in the following sentences:

  1. Dreaming in her sleep, Jyothi woke up to an alarming sound. 
  2. When it is ready, I will get my copy of book. 
  3. Lying on her sofa, Ritu watches the television daily. 
  4. After he read the magazine, Simbu kept it in a safe place. 
  5. Listening to his speech, Shoaib identified the major issues.