Use and Types of Pronouns-English Grammar Notes

Saif Ullah Zahid


Pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. Pronouns are used instead of nouns, e.g. ‘he’, ‘they’, ‘who’, ‘someone’ etc.

Kinds of Pronouns

Pronouns can be classified into the following categories.

1. Personal pronouns

These are:
First person pronouns (I, me, mine, us, ours)
Second person pronouns (you, yours)
Third person pronouns (he, she, they, them, theirs, it, its, him, his, hers, her)
Examples: You and I have come on time.
It is nine o’clock.
She is shorter than me.
Note: the forms ‘my’, ‘our’, ‘your’, ‘her’, ‘their’ are called possessive adjectives as they are used with nouns and do the work of adjective.
Examples: This is my cellphone. (possessive adjective)
The cellphone is mine. (possessive pronoun)

2. Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are used for pointing out something, e.g. ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’, ‘those’.
Example: This is my pen, that is yours.
Interrogative Pronouns
Interrogative pronouns are used for asking questions, e.g. ‘what’, ‘which’, ‘how’, ‘who’, ‘whose’, ‘whome’.
Examples: What do you like the most?
Whose is the calculator?

3. Distributive Pronouns

Distributive pronouns denote persons or things taken as single or in groups, e.g. ‘each’, ‘either’, ‘neither’.
Examples: Each one of them is interested in this project.
                     Either of you can try it.

4. Reflexive Pronouns

Reflective pronouns refer back to the subject , e.g. ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘themselves’, ‘herself’, ‘ourselves’, ‘himself’.
Example: Ayesha hurt herself while cutting the vegetables.

5. Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns refer to the noun or pronoun mentioned before. They also join two sentences together, e.g. ‘who’, ‘whom’, ‘which’, ‘whose’, and ‘what’.
Examples: I don’t know the man who is knocking at the door.
They are not interested in the idea which you presented in the meeting.

6. Indefinite pronouns

Pronouns like ‘someone’, ‘something’, ‘all’, ‘somebody’, ‘many’, etc which do not tell us exact number of and gender of the subject, are known as indefinite pronouns.
Examples: Someone took my pen without my permission.
                     All are welcome to the party.

7. Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns indicate possession. They are ‘mine’, ‘ours’, ‘yours’, ‘his’ ‘hers’, and ‘theirs’.
Examples: This book is mine. Where is yours? That book is his.

8. Emphatic Pronouns

Emphatic Pronouns are used for putting emphasis on the subject. Their form is the same as reflexive pronouns, e.g. ‘myself’, ‘himself’, etc.
Example: I myself completed this project.

Exercise-1 based on Pronouns

Fill in the blanks with suitable pronouns
1. ______________ wishes to see me.
2. The student ___________finishes first will get the reward.
3. _____________ of you can enter the competition.
4. _____________ must be careful of one’s own reputation.
5. I cannot bring _____________ to hurt his feelings.
6. The dog buried_________________ bone in the back yard.
7. Those children are intelligent. ____________ will win the prize.
8. ________________ is better than what I bought yesterday.
9. _______________ of the children takes it in turns to look after their pet.
10. He gave away___________________ he did not need.

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