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English Pronouns

Pronouns are words that are used instead of nouns. In this article, you will learn more about what pronouns are, their definition, types of pronouns and how they are used in sentences.

What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is used in the place of a noun. It substitutes the noun in a paragraph or piece of writing to avoid repetition of the noun. Pronouns can be used in singular and plural forms. The verb used in the sentence should be used in accordance with the particular form of the pronoun used. A pronoun is a word that you use to refer to someone or something when you do not need to use a noun, often because the person or thing has been mentioned earlier. Examples are ‘it’, ‘she’, ‘something’, and ‘myself’.

Personal pronouns

Because adjectives are used to describe nouns, they usually come before nouns. Here are some examples:

A personal pronoun is a short word we use as a simple substitute for the proper name of a person. Each of the English personal pronouns shows us the grammatical person, gender, number, and case of the noun it replaces. I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them are all personal pronouns.

Subject pronouns:

A subject pronoun is a word that is used in the place of a noun. It plays the role of a subject in the sentence. Subject pronouns are usually placed in the first part of a sentence, just before the verb, to indicate the doer of the action.

Here are some examples of subject pronouns.
I go to school every day. (The pronoun ‘I’ is doing the action of going to school every day and is the subject in the sentence)
We are traveling to Paris next week. (The pronoun ‘we’ refers to the subject who is currently doing the action of traveling to Paris)
He will be meeting Nina tomorrow. (The pronoun ‘he’ is the subject who will be performing the action of meeting Nina the next day)
She is writing a letter to her cousin. (The pronoun ‘she’ is the subject in the sentence that is currently performing the action of writing a letter to her cousin)
Did you get the book you were looking for? (The pronoun ‘you’ is the subject pronoun in the sentence)
They will be playing the final match in Australia. (The pronoun ‘they’ is the subject who will be playing the final match in Australia)

Object pronouns

The receiver of the action is called the object. Object pronouns can act as indirect and direct objects. When used as a direct object, it answers the question ‘who’; and it answers the question ‘whom’ when used as an indirect object in a sentence. Me, him, her, us, them, you and it are object pronouns.

Here are some examples of subject pronouns.
1. Miller and Davis are going along with her.

2. Where did you get it?

3. When will you be meeting them?

4. I bought him his favorite burger.

5. The teacher asked the students to pass it.

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns are pronouns that are used to show your possession or ownership of someone or something. They indicate that they belong to that particular person and no one else. The English possessive pronouns are mine, ours, yours, his, hers, theirs, and whose.

Here are some examples of possessive pronouns:
Bobby is a brother of mine.

Is this book yours?

It was not your fault but theirs.

That one is hers.

Demonstrative pronouns

A demonstrative pronoun is used to represent or identify a person, place, animal or thing. Demonstrative pronouns are used in the singular and plural forms. The English demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these, and those.

Here are some examples of possessive pronouns:

This is my friend.
I prefer cold drinks to these.
These smell good.
Be careful. That is cold.
Did you find those in there?

Interrogative pronouns

An interrogative pronoun, like the name suggests, is used to ask questions. It refers to something or someone. What, which, who, whom and whose are the five interrogative pronouns in the English language.

Here are some examples of possessive pronouns:
Who is the guy standing next to Winston?
What would you like to have?
Whose is this black bag?
Which is your favorite story?

Relative pronouns

A relative pronoun is a word that is used to connect an independent clause to a relative clause. A relative pronoun is a word such as who, whom, whose, which and that which is used to introduce a relative clause.

Here are some examples of relative pronouns:
Shauna, who is a teacher, works in my school.
The car that crashed to a tree last month was found in a junkyard.
Kayle is the girl whom I was talking about.
The boy, whose sister is a cancer patient, was so upset.
The girl, who saved the little kid, was declared as a hero by the locals.

Indefinite pronouns

An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun that is used to substitute nouns that are not specific. Indefinite pronouns can be used in the singular and plural forms. Indefinite pronouns are: all, another, any, anybody/anyone, anything, each, everybody/everyone, everything, few, many, nobody, none, one, several, some, somebody/someone.

Here are some examples of indefinite pronouns:
Is it possible for you to give me anything?

Everyone liked the film.

Nobody will be coming home for breakfast this morning.

The teacher asked everybody to settle down according to their slot numbers.

I think someone took my history book.

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronoun is a pronoun referring to the subject of the sentence, clause, or verbal phrase in which it stands. A reflexive pronoun is used to denote that an action is done and received by the same subject. It reflects the action on itself and does not involve another object. Reflexive pronouns are words like myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.

Here are some examples of reflexive pronouns:
They looked at themselves.

Why can’t you do it yourself?

I learnt to drive a car by myself.

Tina and Max have been preparing themselves for the exam.

Intensive pronouns

Intensive Pronouns are the same as reflexive pronouns, with the only difference being that you can remove the intensive pronoun from the sentence, and the sentence would still make sense.

For example: We ourselves found a place to stay for the holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions About English Pronouns

What is an intensive pronoun?

An intensive pronoun is a pronoun that is used to provide emphasis on the action the subject does in a sentence.

What is a relative pronoun?

A relative pronoun is a word that is used to connect an independent clause to a relative clause. Relative pronouns are meant to provide more information about the subject it relates to. Relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, that and which.

What is an interrogative pronoun?

An interrogative pronoun, like the name suggests, is used to ask questions. It refers to something or someone. What, which, who, whom and whose are the five interrogative pronouns

What are object pronouns?

Object pronouns are those words that are used to substitute a noun that receives the action in a sentence. Object pronouns are me, you, him, her, it and them.

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