What is a Pronoun?

Pronouns are a grammatical unit used in place of nouns to reduce unnecessary repetition of nouns in a sentence.

Pronouns are considered as a subpart of nouns. They make the language very easy.

Why we need Pronouns?

Pronouns make our language ‘listener friendly’ and comfortable in many situations. Let us look at some of their uses.

Imagine if we had no pronouns. Then each time you wanted to talk about a noun, you must take its name. This would be very absurd. After introducing the noun, using a pronoun in its place makes it more sensible and simpler.

  • I love mangoes. Mangoes are summer fruits and there are many varieties of mangoes.
  • I love mangoes. They are summer fruits and there are many varieties of them.

Taking the listener’s name again and again while talking.

  • I want to tell Liam that Liam should stop eating junk.
  • I want to tell you that you should stop eating junk.

Sometimes the noun is unknown to us and we wish to know it. Now, making a sentence without knowing the noun seems to be a difficult job unless ,we use a pronoun.

  • Who took my car?

There are times when the doer and receiver of the action are the same. Or we can say the same noun is the subject and object of the sentence. In this case, without the help of a pronoun, the sentence will sound absurd.

  • Kim cut Kim with a knife.
  • Kim cut herself with a knife.

These are just a few examples. There are many more such situations where forming a sentence without a pronoun would be impossible.

There are nine types of pronouns. This classification is made on the bases of the situation and the use of pronouns.

Personal Pronoun:

The word ‘personal’ means belonging to a particular person. Similarly, the personal pronoun is used in place of a specific noun, a  person, thing, or a group. Personal pronouns help avoid repeating the name of a person or thing that has already been mentioned before.

They vary depending on the gender of the noun, the person of noun, noun number and case of noun. Let us look at the following table to understand this better. Examples of personal pronoun are he, she, it, they, my, me, their, you, etc.

  • Leonardo da Vinci is a very famous painter. He painted the famous portrait, Mona Lisa.
  • Our neighbour The Wilsons have invited us to dinner. They are very sweet.

Demonstrative Pronoun:

This, That, These and Those are demonstrative pronouns. These are used to point towards a noun in the space domain to show its position. This and These are used for nearby nouns and That and Those are used for far away nouns.

Also, This and That are used for a singular noun. These and Those are used for plural nouns.

  • I lost my Levi’s jeans. Those were my favourite.
  • Can you pass me that book?

Reflexive Pronoun:

Reflexive pronouns are used as objects in a sentence when we have the same noun as subject and object. They can be either direct or indirect objects. Reflexive pronouns are formed by adding -self (singular) or -selves (plural) at the end of specific personal pronouns.

Myself, Himself, Herself, Itself, Yourself, Yourselves, Themselves and Ourselves are reflexive pronouns.

  • You should learn to behave yourself.
  • She should blame herself for this loss.

Emphatic Pronoun:

Myself, Himself, Herself, Itself, Yourself, Yourselves, Themselves and Ourselves are also emphatic pronouns.

Emphatic pronouns are used to emphasise the subject. They intensify the subject to show that the subject does an action. Thus, they are also known as Intensive Pronouns.

  • He himself planned and organised this grand party for his parents.
  • Kim learned to drive a car herself.

Relative Pronoun:

Relative pronouns relate a noun or pronoun preceding them with the rest of the sentence. They provide some extra information about this noun or pronoun.

Who, whom, which, that, whose, when, where, whoever, whatever, whenever, wherever,  and whichever are relative pronouns.

  • The dog who cried all night is Mr Lords pet.
  • The car that is parked in front of your house is very expensive.
  • This is the movie which caused a lot of sensation.

Interrogative Pronoun:

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions about some unknown noun. These are used when we know that an action is being performed, but either the doer or receiver of the action is unknown and we wish to know about it.

In English there are five interrogative pronouns: Who, Whom, Which, What and Whose.

  • Whom should I call if I need anything?
  • What are you looking for?
  • Whose bag are you carrying?

Indefinite Pronoun:

Indefinite pronouns point to some uncertain noun or nouns. They never talk of a noun in particular but still give a quite clear image of the noun being talked about. They are used to refer to a number of nouns but not as a group, rather individually.

Each, Every, Everybody, Everyone, Somebody, Someone, Something, Anybody and Anyone are some of the indefinite pronouns.

  • The principal has called everyone in his office,
  • Somebody called in the evening to ask about you.

Distributive Pronoun:

These pronouns distribute the effect of a verb on more than one person or thing took one at a time. These pronouns talk about particular members of a group. Each, Either and Neither are the distributive pronouns.

  • I could not meet her either of the days.
  • Each of the committee members has supported my idea.

Reciprocal Pronoun:

Word reciprocal means did in return. It also means equal and opposite. Reciprocal pronouns are used to refer to nouns that mutually perform and experience a verb. Each other and One another are the two reciprocal pronouns.

  • You should teach your children to share their food with one another.
  • We will help each other to defeat our opponents.
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