Introduction to Pronoun

What is a Pronoun?

A replacing word that is used in place of nouns that occur multiple times in a sentence or a paragraph is known as a Pronoun. The distinctive feature of pronouns is that other nouns may be substituted for them.


Definition for Pronoun

A pronoun is a term that substitutes something that functions as a noun.


Personal Pronouns

There are a few different pronoun forms, and more than one group belongs to certain pronouns. She and her are known as personal pronouns.

Other examples of personal pronouns - I and me, you, he and him, it, we and us, and they and them.


Antecedents

Pronouns are flexible. The pronoun can refer to anything: a car, a tree, a movie, a feeling. That's why you need that context. Any Noun or a phrase of the noun used at the beginning of a phrase or a story that is to be replaced later with the pronoun is known as an antecedent.

In certain instances, as long as the meaning is completely clear, history does not need to be specifically stated. Typically, it's obvious who the pronouns I, me, and you are referring to are depending on who speaks.

Before you mention the context, it is also possible to use a pronoun, just try to avoid using it in long or complicated sentences because it can make the sentence difficult to understand.


Relative Pronouns

Another class of pronouns consists of relative pronouns. They are used to connect relative clauses to independent clauses. Sometimes, additional detail about something listed in the sentence is added. Relative pronouns are whom, what, who, etc. Traditionally, who refers to entities and what refers to objects or animals.

Who vs. Whom - Subject and Object Pronouns

Now that we've been talking about relative pronouns, let's answer the one that creates the most confusion: who vs. whom. Who, like I, he, she, we, and they, is a subject pronoun. Whom, like me, him, her, us, and them is the object pronoun.

Whom should I say is calling? Should I say she/her is calling?

Use whom if the object pronoun (him or her) sounds right. Use who, if the subject pronoun (he or she) sounds right.


Demonstrative Pronouns

That, this, these, and those are demonstrative pronouns. They take the place of an already described noun or noun phrase.

This is used for nearby objects that are singular. These are used for different things that are close by. The gap can be metaphorical or real.

Here is a letter with no address for return. Who would have sent this? What a brilliant term! It's the best thing that I've learned all day. Try to smell these if you think gardenias smell good.


Indefinite Pronouns

When you need to refer to a person or object that doesn't need to be clearly identified, indefinite pronouns are used. One another, none, any, everyone, all, and no one are some common indefinite pronouns.

Owing to the traffic congestion, everybody was late to work. For others, it matters more than him. No one knows what trouble I have encountered.

They normally take singular verbs while indefinite pronouns act as subjects of a sentence or clause.


Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns

Pronouns ending with -self or -selves are known as reflexive pronouns. For example myself, yourself, himself, themselves, etc.

When both the subject and object of a verb refer to the same person or event, use a reflexive pronoun.

For his bad eyesight, Henry cursed himself. At the resort, they booked themselves a room. I was telling myself that it was nothing.

Intensive pronouns look the same as reflexive pronouns, but there is a different reason for them. Emphasis is added by intensive pronouns.


Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are of two types - weak and absolute. My, your, it's his, her, our, their and whose are used to demonstrate that something belongs to an antecedent.

My, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs are the absolute possessive pronouns. You should substitute the absolute forms for the thing that belongs to the antecedent. 

Some possessive pronouns with similar-looking contractions are easy to mix up. Note, apostrophes don't have possessive personal pronouns.

  • My pen won't work, can I borrow yours?

  • The jewelry that the police accused Mrs. Jones of stealing turned out to be hers all along.

  • After getting distracted by a doorbell, Sam realized he had burned his dinner.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used in questions and are who, which, what, and whose.

  • Which movie do you want to watch? Whose jacket is this?

  • Whoever would want to do such a bad and upsetting thing?

  • Whatever did she aver to him that made him smile?

  • They're all fantastic! Whichever will you choose?

  • What are these bugs called?

  • Of all these celebrity names, which one do you like the best?

  • There are three scooters parked in front of this house. Whose could they be?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What do You Mean by Possessive Pronouns? Explain.

Ans: Possessive pronouns show ownership or possession of a noun. They are:

  • My

  • Our

  • Your

  • His

  • Her

  • Its (note there is no apostrophe)

  • Their

For example:

  • Is that my book?

  • No, that's his book.

  • That's its shelf.

  • I'd like to see their bookshelves.

There are independent possessive pronouns as well. These pronouns refer to a noun that has been named or known previously. They stand alone, and no other noun accompanies them. They are:

  • Mine

  • Ours

  • Yours

  • His

  • Hers

  • Its

  • Theirs

For example:

  • That's mine.

  • Wrong. It's ours.

  • So, I suppose those clothes are yours?

  • No, it's theirs.

Q2. Explain the Types of Pronouns.

Ans: A replacing word that is used in place of nouns that occur multiple times in a sentence or a paragraph is known as a Pronoun. The distinctive feature of pronouns is that other nouns may be substituted for them.


Pronoun Type

Members of the Subclass

Example

Possessive

mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs

The white car is mine.

Reflexive

myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

He injured himself playing football.

Reciprocal

each other, one another

They really hate each other.

Relative

that, which, who, whose, whom, where, when

The novel that you gave me was really boring.

Demonstrative

this, that, these, those

This is a new car.

Interrogative

who, what, why, where, when, whatever

What did he say to you?

Indefinite

anything, anybody, anyone, something, somebody, someone, nothing, nobody, none, no one

There's something in my shoe.