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Hi,
this is probably a strange question, but... Do pronouns always refer to something that was mentioned before them? Can't they refer to something that comes after, provided it's clear what they refer to?

1 - If you see Janet, tell her I miss her, ok?
2 - If you see her, tell Janet I miss her, ok?

Can't I say #2 intead of #1? The meaning is clear in common contexts. Would no native speakers say #2 instead of #1? I am asking this because in my first language pronouns refer to something that is "understood", they are used in place of other nouns. It doesn't matter where those other nouns are placed, although they usally come before the pronoun.

Thanks. Emotion: smile
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It's done all the time!

(You wanna see strange?)

Should we change antecedent to postcedent?
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Can't I say #2 intead of #1?
Yes.

It's the same in English. The typical pattern is with the noun first, but you can do it with the pronoun first as well.

I gave the man who wanted it the book that he asked for.
The fact that he isn't bothered by the possibility that he will lose surprises Tom.
Which of the men that she saw did Mary criticize?


CJ
Thanks a lot.
I decided to ask that because I thought I had read something strange in a thread here, which confused me a little... And I think I'm lucky, because I just tried to search for that thread, and I found it at once! Here it is... I just read it again, and I think that, reading that thread, every learner would understand that putting a pronoun before the noun it refers to is wrong, odd, and confusing.

http://www.englishforums.com/English/WhenISeeHimTom/zwqkl/Post.htm

Is there something wrong with that thread then?
KooyeenThanks a lot.
I decided to ask that because I thought I had read something strange in a thread here, which confused me a little... And I think I'm lucky, because I just tried to search for that thread, and I found it at once! Here it is... I just read it again, and I think that, reading that thread, every learner would understand that putting a pronoun before the noun it refers to is wrong, odd, and confusing.

http://www.englishforums.com/English/WhenISeeHimTom/zwqkl/Post.htm

Is there something wrong with that thread then?

Hi Kooyeen,

I was the one introducing the 'absolute' idea in 'the strangeness' that you saw. The moderators involved in that thread simply said 'generally' but not 'absolutely' with comments that if a pronoun goes first it could cause potential misunderstanding.

In other words, there are acceptable scenarios that a pronoun can come first. But I would reword them my way if I can. (it's just meEmotion: smile)
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