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Pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar

A pronoun is a word that is used in the place of a noun or a whole noun phrase.Pronouns are commonly used:
  • in place of a noun or a noun phrase that has already been mentioned, when the repetition of the noun or noun phrase would be very strange.
  • Sam has to go to the airport. Can you give him a lift?
  • The young prince and his wife came out on to the balcony. They waved to the crowd.
  • The mechanic tested the starter motor. It would not work. He tried it again.
  • when we know perfectly well who or what is referred to. When, for example, I use the pronoun I it is because it would be unusual to refer to myself by name.
  • I’m sorry I’m late.
  • We’d better ring and say we’re not coming.
  • when the name of someone or something is not known.
  • He’s the man who came to the house yesterday!
  • Who’s she?

Types of pronoun

There are seven different types of pronoun, classified according to their meaning and use.The personal pronouns can be used as subject or object in a clause.
  • He gave her a box of chocolates.
  • We saw them both on Friday.
  • I can see you!
The reflexive pronouns are used in object position when the action of a verb is performed on the subject by the subject. They are obligatory with certain verbs.
  • The puppy entangled itself in the lead.
  • I’ve just cut myself on a piece of glass.
Reflexive pronouns are also used for emphasis.
  • Never mind. I’ll do it myself.
  • The professor himself did not know the answer.
The possessive pronouns indicate ownership.
  • Give it back, it’s mine.
  • Perhaps it really is theirs after all.
The demonstrative pronouns indicate items that are near to or far from us.
  • This is Betty’s and that is Peter’s.
  • These are nice. Where did you find them?
The relative pronouns are used to link a modifying clause to a noun phrase or to a clause.
  • I don’t know what you mean.
  • That’s the girl who always comes top.
The interrogative pronouns are used to ask a question about the noun phrase they stand in for.
  • What would you like for lunch?
  • Which is the fresh milk?
  • Who was responsible?
The indefinite pronouns are used for a broad range of reference when it is not necessary or not possible to use a personal pronoun.
  • Everyone had a compass and a whistle.
  • Neither wanted to give in and apologize.
  • Much needs to be done.

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