In the sentence "Joe arrived late to his job because of a traffic jam on the highway," the word "Joe" is an antecedent. Another example of an antecedent in the sentence "People enjoy sporting events because they enjoy competition" is the word "people."
An antecedent is a noun or pronoun that is referred to by another noun or pronoun in the sentence. For example, in the sentence "The cat was angry because it had not eaten all day," the pronoun "it" refers to the antecedent "cat." Generally speaking, the antecedent comes before the pronoun in a sentence. "Ante" means "before."