English Guide: Practical Tips for Better English Communication
What is a Pronoun?
A Pronoun is one of the primary parts of speech. It is a word that takes the place of a noun or another pronoun.
• She, herself, he, it etc.
Pronouns are used to keep the flow of words smooth by reducing the repeated use of the subject or object word.
• Mina looked around hopefully while she lifted the heavy suitcase containing her books.
• Mr. Goel pays all his bills himself.
Kinds of Pronouns:
There are seven kinds of Pronouns:
1. Personal Pronoun
2. Demonstrative Pronoun
3. Interrogative Pronoun
4. Relative Pronoun
5. Indefinite Pronoun
6. Reflexive Pronoun
7. Intensive Pronoun
These are pronouns used as substitutes for proper or common nouns. They can be categorized by person.
First person pronoun:
This is one that refers to the speaker or the writer.
• I for singular
• We for plural.
Second person pronoun:
This pronoun refers to the person spoken to as ‘you’.
• You for both singular and plural.
Third person pronoun:
This pronoun refers to the person being spoken about.
• He, she, her and him for singular.
• They and them for plural.
Subjective Personal Pronoun
This indicates that the pronoun is acting as the subject of the sentence. The subjective personal pronouns are I, you, she, he, it, we, you, they.
• He stole some cookies from the larder.
• When she was a young girl she sold bread for a living.
• You are the funniest person I have ever met.
• It is on the table.
Objective Personal Pronoun
• After reading the book for an hour, Jacob threw it on the floor.
• The teacher will speak to you in a minute.
Possessive Personal Pronoun
This indicates that the pronoun is acting as a marker of possession and defines who owns a particular person or object. The Possessive Personal Pronouns are mine, yours, hers his , ours, theirs.
• The largest piece of cake is mine.
• This dress is yours.
• His toys are in the basket.
• Ours is the bright pink one at the end.
This pronoun points to and identifies a pronoun or a noun.
This and these refers to things that are nearby while
That and those refer to things that are farther away.
• This is not acceptable.
• That is the flower she wants.
This pronoun is used to ask questions.
Interrogative pronouns are whom, which, who, what and the compounds formed with the suffix ever for example whomever, whatever, whichever, whoever.
• Which is my jacket?
• Whom should I give it to?
• Who will boil the vegetables?
• What did they do?
A Relative pronoun is used to link one phrase to another phrase.
Relative pronouns are who, whom, that, which.
• The compounds whoever, whomever, whichever are also Relative Pronouns.
• Who or whoever may be used to refer to the subject of a sentence and whom and whomever to the object of the verb.
• You can call whomever you want for dinner.
• The girl who sings well is also a good dancer.
• She will eat whatever food is served.
This pronoun refers to an identifiable but not a specific person or thing. It conveys an idea of all, none, some or any.
• She brought sweets for everyone in school.
• Please give a coin to each.
• Everything should be donated to the orphanage.
These pronouns can be used to reflect back to the subject of the sentence. The Reflexive Pronouns are myself, yourself, herself, himself. Itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
• He always does the housework himself.
• I kept asking myself why I called him twice.
• Although he had promised to take us, we decided to go
An intensive pronoun is used to emphasize its antecedent. They are identical in form to reflexive nouns.
• She herself couldn’t believe it.
• They themselves are responsible for the mess.
• The Mayor himself decided to impose new rules.
What is the difference between Pronouns and Nouns?
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