Pronoun (“Pro” + “Noun”) – A pronoun is a word used instead of a common noun or a proper noun. E.g. I, we, he, she, they, it, you, who, etc..
- Radhika is my daughter. She is five years old. (She is a pronoun used in place of noun Radhika)
- Harish and Lakhan are goof friends. They are also business partners. (They is a pronoun used in place of Harish and Lakhan, the two nouns.)
Types of pronouns – There are eight types of pronouns : Personal Pronouns, Reflexive Pronouns, Emphatic Pronouns, Demonstrative Pronouns, Indefinite Pronouns, Distributive Pronouns, Relative pronouns, Interrogative Pronouns.
1. Personal Pronouns – Pronouns which stand for the names of persons. They take the place of nouns and are used as the subject of the verb in a sentence. Personal pronouns have three persons such as : First person; Second Person; Third Person.
First Person (Masculine or Feminine)
Singular : I , My , Mine , Me.
Plural : We , Our , Ours , Us.
- I got a free pass.
- My aim is high.
- We love our country.
Second Person (Masculine or Feminine)
Singular : You , Your.
Plural : You , Yours.
thou, thy, thine, thee, are also Second Person. These are archaic and used in poetry or when referring to God, the angels, etc.
- You are a good boy.
- I called you many times.
- Your team is excellent.
Third Person (Masculine or Feminine)
Singular : He , His , Him , She , Her , It , Its.
Plural : They , Their , Theirs , Them.
- She is very beautiful.
- Her name is Rosy.
- This field is theirs.
2. Reflexive Pronouns – Pronouns which are objects and which refer to the same persons as the subjects of the verbs are known as reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are pronouns that end in self and selves. That means A class of pronouns beginning with the form of personal pronouns and ending with -self / -selves.
- Myself (for “I” and “Me”)
- Yourself (for “You”)
- Himself (for “He” and “Him”)
- Herself (for “She” and “Her”)
- Itself (for “It”)
- Ourselves (for “We” and “Us”)
- Yourselves (for “You”)
- Themselves (for “They” and “Them”)
Re?exive pronouns typically occur later than the subject and verb in a clause or sentence and are identical in reference to the subject.
Example : I washed myself, She herself cooked the dinner.
Note : Never say or write hisself, themself, or theirselves. These words are not part of standard English usage and are therefore unacceptable.
3. Emphatic Pronoun – pronoun which emphasizes the noun is known as emphatic pronoun.
Example : I myself completed the homework.
It means that the subject itself completed the homework without anyone’s help.
More Examples :
- I will do it by myself.
- You yourself can best explain.
- They themselves admitted their guilt.
It will be seen that here Compound Personal Pronouns are used for the sake of emphasis, and are therefore called Emphatic Pronouns.
4. Demonstrative Pronouns – Pronouns which point out things, such as “this, these, that and those” are known as demonstrative pronouns. They can be either a subject or an object in a sentence. We know which one to use by looking at the number of and distance of the thing(s) we are referring to. Use this and these when you are talking about things near you. Use that and those when you are talking about things farther away.
Nearby (singular) – this, (plural) – these.
Far away (singular) – that, (plural) – those.
- This is my answer.
- That was too much for me.
- These are good mangoes.
5. Indefinite Pronouns – Those pronouns that refer to nouns in a general way rather than referring anyone in particular are known as Indefinite Pronouns. E.g. anybody, nobody, anyone, everybody, everyone, anything, no one, etc..
- Anybody can do this work.
- Everybody knows him very well.
- Something is better than nothing.
6. Distributive Pronouns – Those pronouns that refer to nouns one at a time are known as distributive pronouns. Ex. each, either or neither represents one noun at a time.
- Each of these girls deserved a reward.
- Either of you can do this work.
- Neither of the allegations is true.
7. Relative Pronouns – Pronouns which relate to some noun going before in the sentence as who, whose, whom, which, what, that are know as relative pronouns. A relative pronoun does the work of a conjunction as well as a pronoun.
- who / whom / whose (normally referring to people)
- which / what / that (referring to things)
- The man who stole the car has been caught.
- I mean what I say.
8. Interrogative Pronouns – The pronouns that are used for asking of the question are known as Interrogative Pronouns.
- Who built that house?
- Which is your house?
- Who is he talking to?
Note : Who can be used as the object of a verb as well as the subject. Whom is used only as the object.
If we put the preposition before the interrogative pronoun, you must use whom.
The Interrogative Pronouns are also used in asking indirect questions.
- I asked who was speaking?
- Ask what he wants?