English Grammar: Pronouns and You

Everything You Need to Know About Pronouns

Pronouns are words that can be used to replace nouns, noun phrases and even other pronouns in a sentence to eliminate unnecessary repetition and make speech more fluid. Some of the most common pronouns we hear are I, you, we, he, she, they, it, etc.

• Mr. Salusberg picked up Mr. Salusberg’s coat and hat. “Mr. Salusberg is leaving now,” Mr. Salusberg said. (Unnecessary Repetition)

• Mr. Salusberg picked up his coat and hat. “I’m leaving now,” he said. (Correct Pronoun Usage)

Pronoun Edumuch

Personal Pronouns

Subjects (do-er of the action) or objects (recipients of the action) of a clause or sentence; it is imperative that the pronoun chosen is always correct according to the gender, quantity and precedent of the word it is replacing.

Subject Pronouns

I, you, we, he, she, they and it are often found at the beginning of the sentence but more importantly they indicate the doer of an action.

• Ms. Coltson is the director. She is in the auditorium now. (“Ms. Colston” is a female individual subject and is replaced by the pronoun “she”)

• The students have gone to the museum. They will be back in the afternoon. (The students are a plural subject and are replaced with the pronoun “they”)

Object Pronouns

Me, you, him, her, them and it are sometimes found after the verb and indicate the receiver of the action. Object pronouns can also be the objects of a preposition (in, by, over, around, etc.)

• The gorilla had escaped his cage, so the zoo keepers shot him with a tranquilizer dart. (the gorilla became the object of the zoo keepers action and was referred to as “him”)

• I turned quickly when I heard a sound coming from behind me. (The pronoun “me” is the object of the preposition “behind”)

 Possessive Pronouns

mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, can often be confused with Possessive Adjectives (my, your, his, her, their). The big difference is that unlike possessive adjectives that describe objects (like any other adjective), possessive pronouns can stand alone without an accompanying noun.

• That is not your cookie, it is my cookie. (The possessive adjectives “your” and “my” indicate the cookies owner)

• That cookie is neither yours nor mine. (The possessive Pronouns “yours” and “mine” are the objects of the verb “is”; they need no supporting nouns or pronouns)

Indefinite Pronouns

Somebody, somewhere, nobody, nowhere etc. are used to indicate at a generally unspecific subject or object.

• Whatever you do; don’t forget to write. (The subject “whatever” indicates a great number of possible activities)

• The cables were nowhere to be found. (The object “nowhere” indicates the absence of places the cables were found.)

Reflexive Pronouns

Myself, himself, yourself, herself, themselves, ourselves and itself are used when the subject carrying out the action and the receiver of the action are the same individual.

• Mr. Clark got himself fired for that comment. (The subject “Mr. Clark” initiated an action that affected the object Mr. Clark or “himself”)

Learn EDUmuch

Interrogative Pronouns

What, whom, who, where, why, when, are used as the subject or object in question.

• Who is that handsome fellow? (The subject is unknown and replaced with “who”)

• I am more interested in what you were carrying than where you were going. (The interest of the subject is on unknown information indicated by “what” or “where”)
Intensive Pronouns myself, yourself, themselves, herself, himself, ourselves and itself are used to bring emphasis to a pronoun especially when an action is done alone or in some way individually.

• Ricky completed his science project himself. (The word himself emphasis the fact that Ricky had no help with completing the project.)

I hope the guide on Pronouns has been helpful! You can check out anything else you may want to know about nouns here!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply