What is a Pronoun? (Types & Examples) – ultimate guide

Pronoun is used for a noun to elude repetition. The complete information about noun, its types and examples have been discussed.

What is a Pronoun?

Pronoun is used for a noun to elude repetition. Instead of using the word man in a composition we often write he, him, himself. In place of the word woman, we write she, her, or herself. For both the nouns men and women we use they, them, themselves.

Some of the most common pronouns are:

Singular: I, he, she, it, me, him, her
Plural: We, they, our us, them.

Example:

John is a good boy. He respects everyone. His parents
love him.

Types of Pronoun:

There are nine types of pronoun:

  1. Personal Pronoun
  2. Possessive Pronoun
  3. Interrogative Pronoun
  4. Relative Pronoun
  5. Indefinite Pronoun
  6. Reciprocal Pronoun
  7. Reflexive Pronoun
  8. Distributive Pronoun
  9. Demonstrative Pronoun

i) Personal pronoun: It is a so-called pronoun that takes the place of words for people, places, things, and animals. They have different forms according to the person who is supposed to be speaking. For example You, he, we, she, it, and they.

‘Personal pronoun’ has three types:

a. Subjective or nominative
b. Objective
c. Possessive

a. Subjective or Nominative:In this case, the pronoun is used as a subject. For example,He plays cricket or I took tea. In these sentences, ‘I’ and ‘He’ have been used as pronouns.

b. Objective: In this case, the pronoun is used as an object.
Example: Joe punished me.

c. Possessive: Possessive pronouns show the ownership or possession of something or someplace. For example: ‘your book’, ‘my pen’, ‘his house’.

When the pronoun is separated from its noun by the verb:
This book is mine.

When the noun is understood:
My horse and yours are tired.

When the pronoun is preceded by of:
That horse of yours is tired.

First PersonSecond PersonThird Person
 SingularPluralSingularPluralSingularPlural
SubjectIWeYouYouHe/she/itThey
ObjectMeUsYouYouHim/her/itThem
Possessive Ajd.MyOurYourYourHis/her/itsTheir
Possessive PronounMineOursYoursYoursHis/hersTheirs
Reflective PronounMyselfOurselvesYourselfYourselvesHimself/themselves

General Rules for the use of personal pronouns.

  1. Subject pronouns are used as subjects of sentences and object pronouns are used as objects.
    For example, Gabriela is my best friend. She plays in the evening.

Here ‘Gabriela’ is a noun in the first sentence and the second sentence we used the ‘she’ pronoun for Gabriela.

  1. Possessive adjectives cannot stand alone, they are followed immediately by a noun.

For example:

  • His brother has come.
  • Your sister is absent.

In the above sentences, it was necessary to use noun after ‘his’ or ‘her’ and in place of a noun, we use ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ which have been used in place of a noun.

ii) Possessive pronoun: A pronoun that shows ownership. It stands alone and is not followed immediately by a noun. For example my, mine, our, ours, your, yours, himself, herself, themselves, myself, etc.

Example in sentences:

  • This book is mine.
  • He sees himself in the mirror
  • She talks to herself.
  • He cleans himself.
  • They go there themselves.
  • She herself told me this truth.
  • I myself will go there.
  • Your yourself will attend the meeting.
  • This shop is ours.
  • The umbrella is hers.

iii) Interrogative Pronoun: It is used to ask a question. For example, who, whose, whom, which, that.

Example in sentences:

  • Which is your car?
  • Who is there?
  • Whom did you speak?
  • What happened?
  • Whose is this?
  • Which is yours?
  • Whom do you want?
  • Which boy here is your friend?

iv) Relative Pronoun: ‘Relative Pronoun’ connects two statements. They are called relative because they relate to some word in the main clause. The word to which the relative pronoun relates is called the Antecedent. For example: who, which, whom, whose, that

Example in sentences:

  • This is the door which opens my house.
  • The man who sits in front is the observer.

Use of who, whom &whose in Relative Pronoun:

‘Who’, ‘Whom’ & ‘Whose’ is used for persons.

Example:

  • The man who came.
  • This is the girl who won the prize.
  • This is the man whose car was stolen.
  • Whom does this key belong?

Use of ‘Which’ in Relative Pronoun:

‘Which’ is used for the lower animals and things without life.

Example:

The dog which barks, the book which was lost.

Use of ‘That’ in Relative Pronoun:

‘That’ is applied both to persons and things. That is used instead of who or which in the following cases:

a. After the superlative degree of adjectives:

Example:

This is the best picture that I ever saw.

b. After two antecedents, one requiring who and the other which:

Example:

The boy and the dog that you saw.

c. As the restrictive relative:

Example:

The book that I bought is lost.

Three Important Rules while using Relative Pronoun:

Rule-1:

The relative pronoun must be placed as near as possible to its antecedent. Let’s see some examples:

Example:

John had a faithful dog who was a good boy (incorrect)
John, who was a good boy, had a faithful dog (correct)

Rule-2:

A relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number and person.

Example:

  • The lion who had spared the mouse was taken in the hunter’s nest (incorrect).
  • The lion which had spared the mouse was taken in the hunter’s nest (correct)

Rule-3:

The clauses introduced by non-defining relatives should be enclosed between commas but no commas are used for clauses introduced by defining relatives:

Example:

  • My brother Petrick, who lives in New York, gave me this pen.
  • The man who lives in London gave me this book.

In the first sentence, the relative does not define the subject. The main clause “My brother Petrick gave me this pen” is quite clear without the relative clause “Who lives in New York”. It only adds to information.

In the second sentence, the main clause “the man gave me this book” is not clear: the defining relative clause “who lives in London” is, therefore, necessary to complete its meaning.

v) Indefinite Pronoun: It refers to unspecified persons or things. ‘Indefinite pronouns’ are used for the people or things without saying exactly what they are. For example One, None, Some, All, Any, Many, Much, Enough, anybody, everybody, no one, someone, anything, everything, nothing, something.

Examples:

• I have enough money in my bag.

(the amount is unspecified in the sentence).

• You can invite anybody to the party.
(we do not know exactly who these people are)

• Everyone knows it.
(The indefinite pronoun ‘everyone’ as the subject, takes a singular verb, even though it refers to more than one person).

• Anyone knows that he is in trouble.
(Anyone is used as the subject)

• I have not given anyone their presents yet.
(anyone is used as the object).

vi) Reciprocal Pronoun: It shows mutual action or relationship between the persons or things. For example, each other, one another.

Examples:

• These two brothers have a dispute with each other.
• The two brothers hated each other.
• These two friends have a strong relationship with each other.

Each other is used in speaking of two persons or things.
• People should love one another.

Here ‘one another is speaking about more than two things.

vii) Reflexive Pronoun: It refers to the person, thing, or animal that is the subject of the verb. This pronoun denotes the turning of the action upon the doer. They are commonly used to refer to an action, where the subject and object are the same. They are formed by adding ‘self’ to my, your, him, her, etc. For example, ourselves, yourself, herself, myself, themselves, etc.

Examples:

  • Do your work yourself.
  • I myself went there.
  • She herself asked me not to smoke.

The following verbs immediately take the reflexive pronouns after them.

i. Avail iii. Absent
ii. Acquit iv. Help

Use in Sentences:

  • I did not avail myself of the chance.
  • Please help yourself to sandwiches.
  • He absent himself in the competition.
  • Acquit yourself in that situation.

No Reflexive Pronoun:

A reflexive pronoun is not used with the following verbs.

Relax
Feel
Keep
Enlist
Qualify
Hide
Wash
Dress
Specialize

viii) Distributive Pronoun: These pronouns are used to refer to each individual of a class, not the class collectively. They are each, any, every, either, neither, other, etc.

Each, Either, Neither, None, One, refers to persons, or things one at a time and should be followed by a singular verb and a singular object (pronoun).

Each: It can be used to talk about two or more people or things.

Every: It is normally used to talk about three or more.

Examples:

  • Each flower smells sweet.
  • Everyone knows that the earth is round.
  • Any of the three boys have done this.
  • Either of the two boys has written a story.

ix) Demonstrative Pronoun: It points out a noun. For example, this, these, those, that, those, such, etc.

Examples:

• This is a bat.
(This points to the noun ‘a book’)
• This book is mine.
(This is used as the adjective of the noun book)
• Who is this? This is my friend.
(This introduces the noun ‘my friend’)
• That’s a good idea.
(That refers to the idea already mentioned).
• This is what I want to say.
(This refers to something you are going to mention).

More to Read:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *