The Pronoun

A pronoun is a word that can replace a noun or another pronoun.

Example:

Jane looked into the car and found it empty. (The noun car is replaced by the pronoun it)

Pronouns usually refer to a word mentioned earlier. This noun on which the pronoun depends for is meaning is called the antecedent, which simply means “something going before”. In the above example, the noun car is the antecedent of the pronoun it.

 

 

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronoun refers to one of the three possible ways of making statements:

  • The persons speaking can talk about themselves (first person: I, we) or
  • they can talk about the persons spoken to (second person: you) or
  • they can talk about anyone or anything else (third person: he, she, it, they)

 

Personal Pronouns

 

Singular

Plural

First person

(the person speaking)

I, mine, me

We, ours, us

Second person

(the person spoken to)

You, yours

You, yours

Third person

(some other person or thing)

He, his, him, she, hers, it

They, theirs, them

 

 

Subjective Personal Pronouns

A subjective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as the subject of the sentence. The subjective personal pronouns are I, you, she, he, it, we, you, and they.

Objective Personal Pronouns

An objective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as an object of a verb, compound verb, preposition, or infinitive phrase. The objective personal pronouns are: me, you, her, him, it, us, you, and them.

Example:

We will meet at the library tomorrow. (we is a subjective personal pronoun)
Give me the book (me is an objective personal pronoun)

Possessive Peronal Pronouns

The words mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours and theirs are possessive forms of personal pronouns because they show ownership.

Possessive Adjectives

The words my, your, his, her, its, our and their are considered pronouns in some books and adjectives in other books. They are called possessive adjectives and they come before a noun.

Example:

This house is mine. (mine is a possessive pronoun)
This is my house. (my is a possessive adjective)

 

 

Reflexive Pronouns (the –self, -selves forms of the personal pronouns)

A reflexive pronounis is used to refer back to the subject of the clause or sentence.

  • Myself
  • Yourself
  • Himself, herself, itself
  • Ourselves
  • Yourselves
  • Themselves

Example:

He finished the task himself. (himself is a reflexive pronoun)

We can then classify the personal pronouns in the following way:

Types of Personal Pronouns

Subject Pronoun

Object Pronoun

Possessive Adjective

Possessive Pronoun

Reflexive Pronoun

I

me

my

mine

myself

You

you

your

yours

yourself

He

him

his

his

himself

She

her

her

hers

herself

It

it

its

its

itself

We

us

our

ours

ourselves

They

them

their

theirs

themselves

 

 

Other Commonly Used Pronouns

Here are some other kinds of pronouns that you may encounter.

Demonstrative Pronouns (used to point out a specific person or thing)

A demonstrative pronoun points to and identifies a noun or a pronoun.
The demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these, and those.

This and these refer to things that are nearby either in space or in time.
That and those refer to things that are farther away in space or time.

This and that are used to refer to singular nouns or noun phrases.
These and those are used to refer to plural nouns and noun phrases.

Example:

The children wanted these.
That is the bag I want,

Interrogative Pronouns (used in questions)

An interrogative pronoun is used to ask questions.
The interrogative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, and what.

Example:
Who are you?
What is your name?
Which is your brother
Whose is this pen?
Whom did you call?

Relative Pronouns (used to introduce adjective clauses)

The relative pronouns are who, whom, that, and which as well as whoever, whomever, and whichever. They are called relative because they relate the adjective clause to the word that the clause modifies.

Example:

The farmer, who was very sick, called his sons to his bedside. (who relates the adjective clause was very sick with the noun farmer)

Indefinite Pronouns (not referring to a definite person or thing; frequently used without antecedents)

An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun referring to an identifiable but not specified person or thing. An indefinite pronoun conveys the idea of all, any, none, or some.

The most common indefinite pronouns are all, another, any, anybody, anyone, anything, each, everybody, everyone, everything, few, many, nobody, none, one, several, some, somebody, and someone.

 

Videos

The following video shows the difference between subject and object pronouns.

Reflexive pronouns refer the reader or listener back to the subject.
For example: She looked at herself in the mirror, or.... They gave themselves a lot of time to finish the work.

This video shows the differences among pronouns as subject, object, possessive adjective, possessive pronoun, and reflexive pronoun.

The following video explains that pronoun-antecedent agreement is when the both the pronoun and the antecedent are written in the same person. Find examples of correct and incorrect pronoun-antecedent agreement

 

 

 

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