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English Pronouns














What is a Pronoun?

A Pronoun is a word used in place of a noun.
Usually pronouns refer to something that was already mentioned in previous sentence or understood by the listener or reader. They are very useful words because when you use them, you do not need to repeat nouns all the time.

Without pronouns
Alexander is my neighbor. Alexander says that Alexander likes to sleep.
With pronouns
Alexander is my neighbor. He says that he likes to sleep.

When a pronoun replaces a word (or a group of words), the word being replaced is called an antecedent.
I wrote a letter to the president, who responded quickly.
In that sentence, president is antecedent of the pronoun who.

A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in person, number, and gender.
Pronouns List and Quizzes

English Pronouns List Alphabetical list of English pronouns with definitions and translations.

Pronouns spelling quiz Check-Practice your spelling of English pronouns. Quiz lets you choose only those pronouns that you have trouble with.
Personal Pronouns Quiz on Pronoun Usage. Personal, possessive, reflexive/intensive pronouns, and possessive adjectives.
The Types of Pronouns Identify the type of a pronoun in each sentence. Personal, Demonstrative, Relative, Reflexive, Indefinite, etc.
Pronoun or Adjective Identify the function of the word in the sentence. Demonstrative, Interrogative, and Indefinite pronouns acting as adjectives.
Pronouns Practice Identify each pronoun in a sentence by clicking on it. Random sentences are given each time.
Pronoun: Who whom Whose Learn how to use subjective, objective, and possessive forms of the pronoun Who

The different kinds of pronouns are:
Demonstrative Personal Indefinite Intensive Interrogative Reciprocal Reflexive Relative

Personal pronouns

In order to use personal pronouns, it is important to know about case (subject, object, and possessive), number (singular and plural), person (first, second, and third), and gender (male, female and neutral).

Subject Pronouns: I, you, she, he, it, we, they are used as a subject or predicate noun.
She is a teacher. It was he who said that.

Object Pronouns: me, you, him, her, them, us, it are used as an indirect object, direct object, or object of a preposition.
She baked him a pie. I can hardly see it. They are going with us.

Possessive Pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, ours, its take the place of possessive nouns.
If this isn’t ours, it must be theirs. Yours is much better then mine.

Tables below show the breakdown of the English personal pronouns
along the four dimensions of case, person, number, and gender.

SingularSubjective/NominativeObjectivePossessive
MaleFemaleNeutralMaleFemaleNeutralMaleFemaleNeutral
First PersonImemine
Second Personyouyouyours
Third Personhesheithimherithishersits

PluralSubjective/NominativeObjectivePossessive
MaleFemaleNeutralMaleFemaleNeutralMaleFemaleNeutral
First Personweusours
Second Personyouyouyours
Third Persontheythemtheirs

Case and personal pronouns
Always use nominative case pronoun if pronoun is a part of the subject.
In the following example the pronoun is a part of the subject so subject pronoun should be used.
My sister and me went to the movie.       (Incorrect)
My sister and I went to the movie.       (Correct)

Always use objective case pronoun if pronoun is part of the object.
In the following example the pronoun is a direct object so object pronoun should be used.
My sister took a picture of him and I.       (Incorrect)
My sister took a picture of him and me.       (Correct)

Person and personal pronouns :)
Personal pronouns are called personal because they indicate a person speaking, spoken to, or spoken about. Personal pronoun refers to a specific individual(singular) or a group(plural).

I saw you when she talked to them.

The pronoun I refers to the person speaking.
The pronoun you refers to the person spoken to.
The pronoun she and them refer to persons spoken about.

Number and personal pronouns
The number shows whether the pronoun refers to a single person or thing or more than one person or things. It tells what verb to use – singular or plural.
He is late.      using singular form of the verb to be - is
We are late.      using plural form of the verb to be - are

Remember that pronoun you, whether it is plural or singular, always takes a plural form of the verb to be.
CorrectIncorrect
You are late.You is late.
You were tired.You was tired.
Gender and Personal pronouns
Some of the personal pronouns have gender, which means that they are masculine (male), feminine (female) or neuter (neither male or female). Knowing the gender of antecedent, we can choose a pronoun with matching gender.
Alex is my brother. I like him.
This is Nancy. She is ten.
This is my watch. Give it to me.
Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative Pronouns point out a specific persons, animals, places, things or ideas.
List of Demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those

That is his book. This is an excellent question.
I want to exchange this for that and these for those.

Intensive Pronouns

Intensive pronouns (also called emphatic) end with self or selves and emphasize (intensify) a noun or another pronoun. They make you notice the nouns and pronouns they go with.

Instructor himself ordered this product.
In that sentence, the pronoun is himself and it goes with the noun Instructor.

We did all the work ourselves.
In that sentence, the pronoun is ourselves and it goes with the pronoun We.

List of Intensive pronouns: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, themselves, yourselves.

Table shows English Intensive pronouns classified by gender, person and number.
SingularPlural
MaleFemaleNeutralMaleFemaleNeutral
First Personmyselfourselves
Second Personyourselfyourselves
Third Personhimselfherselfitselfthemselves
Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are the same as intensive pronouns (see above) but they don’t intensify; they point back to the subject of the sentence.

He wanted to kick himself for even making that stupid comment.
I bought myself a new shirt.

Reflexive and intensive pronouns turn the action of the verb back to the subject of the sentence.
Never use a reflexive/intensive pronoun in place of a personal pronoun. They are correctly used only in reflexive or intensive roles.

The following sentences are incorrect.
Mary and myself went to the movie.
My father drove Mary and myself to the movie.

The following sentences are correct.
Mary and I went to the movie.
My father drove Mary and me to the movie.

More about reflexive intensive pronouns usage
Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns do not refer to any particular persons or places or things. They replace nouns without specifying which noun they replace.

List of Indefinite pronouns
Singular: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something
Plural: both, few, many, others, several
Singular or plural: all, any, more, most, none, some

Hint: Indefinite pronouns that end in -one or -body are always singular. //except none//
These words include: anyone, everyone, someone, one, anybody, somebody, nobody.

Examples: Pronouns that are always singular
Everybody can do something, but nobody can do everything.
Either looks like a good option.

Examples: Pronouns that are always plural
Few were late for the meeting.
Many bought tickets to the show.

For indefinite pronouns that can be singular or plural, it depends on what the indefinite pronoun refers to.
There is a lot of furniture in the room; some is damaged.
        some refers to furniture, which is singular.
There are many books there; some are very interesting.
      some refers to books, which is plural.

Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal Pronouns show a mutual relationship. They are each other and one another.
Each other is used when the group consists of just two people, animals or things.
One another is used when the groups consists of more than two people, animals ot things.

Examples
John and Bob respect each other.
We are commanded to love one another.
Relative Pronouns

Relative Pronoun begins a subordinate clause and connects that clause to another noun that precedes it in the sentence. Relative pronouns list: who, whom, whose, whoever, whomever, which, whichever, that, what, whatever.

Examples
It is a book that is difficult to ignore.
The dog, which is a terrier, is four years old.
I will consider renting or buying, whichever works out best.

All relative pronouns do not change the form with gender, person, or number.
Only who changes form with case.

Subjective: who
Objective: whom
Possessive: whose
Examples
The girl who told me the story lives down the street.
The girl whom I chose will get a present.
I am not sure whose that is.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used to begin or introduce interrogative sentences.
They are who, whom, whose, what, and which.
They are similar to the Relative Pronouns; the difference is their use in the sentence.

Examples
Whom did you invite to the party?
Which did you prefer?
Who did what to whom?

Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives (also called determiners or determinative possessive pronouns) always modify/describe a noun. They must be used together with nouns they are describing, and come in front of them.
There are seven of them in modern English: my, your, his, her, its, our, their.

His book is excellent.
Their house is new.
Highlighted words inform us to whom something belongs and their function is similar to those of adjectives.

More about possessive adjectives

Pronouns and Adjectives

Some words that function as pronouns may function as adjectives because they tell something about the noun they modify rather than stand in for it.

Examine the following table to see the different roles of some words and remember that
        Adjective describes a noun and Pronoun replaces a noun.
Possessive Adjectives
My English is good.
I see your money.
His girl is a student.
I like her hair.
It is our place.
Their house is old.
Possessive Pronouns
Mine is better
Yours are gone.
I will take his.
I like hers.
It is ours.
I do not want theirs.
Demonstrative Adjectives
I like that story.
These quizzes are nice.
Who did this work?.
Demonstrative Pronouns
I like that.
These are nice quizzes.
Who did this?.
Interrogative Adjectives
Which classes did you take?
Whose phone did you use?
What kind of pronoun is it?
Interrogative Pronouns
Which did you like?
Whose did you break?
What is a pronoun?
Indefinite Adjectives
Many children like ice cream.
Did you want some bananas?
Is there any tea?
I need a few minutes.
Indefinite Pronouns
Many bought tickets to the show.
Some are not fresh.
No, there is not any?
I have a few.