WHAT ARE PRONOUNS?
1. Pronouns are usually short words. They are used to replace nouns.
Clutching the coin, Maria ran to the shops. She went straight to the counter
and bought the sweets.
("She" is a pronoun. In this example, it replaces the noun "Maria". Pronouns
are used for brevity. Imagine how wearisome a longprose would be if the writer
used the full noun (in this case "Maria") every time.)
The 8-mile walk passes through pasture, parkland and woodland. It takes you
alongside many points of interest including a disused airfield.
("It" is a pronoun. In this example, it replaces "the 8-mile walk".)
Tell Peter that he can use the Ferrari tomorrow.
("He" is apronoun. It replaces "Peter".)
2. "I", "you", "he", "she", "it", "we", "they" and "who" are all pronouns. As these pronouns often replace nouns representing people, they are called the "personal pronouns".
PERSONAL PRONOUNS CHANGE!
Personal pronouns change depending on the role they place in the sentence. In general, this does not cause difficulties for native English speakers. Thechanges are:
I > me
he > him
she > her
we > us
they > them
who > whom
"You" and "it" never change. The versions shown first above (like "he") are said to be in the subjective case; whereas, the second versions (like "him") are said to be in the objective case. This is covered more in the lessons "Nouns" and "Who & Whom".
WHO & WHOM
"Who" is the personal pronounwhich causes the most confusion. In short, use "who" when it is the subject of a verb, else use "whom".
Who saw whom first?
(The first "who" is the subject of the verb "to see". The second
"whom" is not the subject of a verb.)
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRONOUNS:
1. The term "pronoun" covers many words, some of which do not fall easily under the description given inSection 1. There are many different kinds of pronouns. In general, these do not cause difficulties for native English speakers. The list below is mainly for reference purposes.
These pronouns are used to demonstrate (or indicate). "This", "that", "these" and "those" are all demonstrative pronouns.
This is the one I left in the car.
(In this example, thespeaker could be indicating to a mobile phone; in which
case, the pronoun "this" replaces the words "mobile phone".)
Shall I take those?
Unlike demonstrative pronouns, which point out specific items, indefinite pronouns are used for non-specific things. This is the largest group of pronouns. "All", "some", "any", "several", "anyone", "nobody", "each", "both","few", "either", "none", "one" and "no one" are the most common.
Somebody must have seen the driver leave.
(somebody - not a specific person)
NO ONE NOT NO-ONE
There is no hyphen in the word "no one".
No one is qualified to take the position.
No-one lifted a finger.
NONE IS SINGULAR
The word "none" is singular.
None of them was present.
("was" - correct;"were" would be wrong)
None are developed abroad.
(should be "is" - not "are")
These pronouns are used in questions. Although they are classified as pronouns, it is not easy to see how they replace nouns. "Who", "which", "what", "where" and "how" are all interrogative pronouns.
Who told you to do that?
Possessive pronouns areused to show possession. As they are used as adjectives, they are also known as "possessive adjectives". "My", "your", "his", "her", "its", "our" and "their" are all possessive pronouns.
Have you seen her book?
(In this example, the pronoun "her" replaces a word like "Sarah's".)
its not it's
The word "its" (note, no apostrophe) is a possessive pronoun, just like "his", "her" and...
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