Subjects >>English >>PRONOUNS

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Definition
27 Jul 2020

       Pronoun is used in place of a noun. The use of nouns again and again in the sentences will make it superfluous. Thus, we use pronouns to simplify our sentences.

For example:

                    Today Sita went to Ram’s place. Sita gave Hindi textbook to Ram to complete Ram’s work. However, Ram had already taken the book of Shyam.

Here, repetitive use of Ram and Sita words makes the sentence cumbersome. That is why we replace the nouns with the pronouns and present our sentences in better way.

For example:

                    Today Sita went To Ram’s place. She gave him Hindi textbook to complete his work. However, he had already taken the book of Shyam.

It is to be noted that first Noun has to be mentioned in the sentence and afterwards we can use the pronouns.

 

Place of a pronoun:

Sentence Structure: Subject + Verb + Object

Subject can be Noun/Pronoun.

Object can be Noun/Pronoun.

For example:

            Ram is going to the market. He will bring fruits and vegetables.

            Who is responsible for the garbage on the roads?

             I am the hero of my life.

Types of Pronouns

Short-cut to learn the types of Pronouns:

(PRIDE-RIDER)

  • P: Personal
  • R: Relative
  • I: Indefinite
  • D: Demonstrative
  • E: Emphatic
  • R: Reciprocal
  • I: Interrogative
  • D: Distributive
  • E: Exclamatory
  • R: Reflexive

 

The four main Pronouns are – Personal, Relative, Distributive and Reflexive.

 

Note:

       First and Second Persons are always Living.

       Third Person can be Living or Non-living.

Personal Pronouns

Person

Subjective

Objective

Possessive

Reflexive/

Emphatic

Adjective

Pronoun

First (singular)

I

Me

My

Mine

Myself

First

(Plural)

we

Us

Our

Ours

Ourselves

Second

(S and P)

You

You

Your

Yours

Yourself

Third

(Singular)

He

She

It

One

Him

Her

It

One

His

Her

Its

One’s

His

Hers

-

-

Himself

Herself

Itself

Oneself

Third

(Plural)

They

Them

Their

Theirs

Themselves

             

The subjective pronouns are used to refer to the subject of the sentence whereas the objective pronouns are used to refer to the object of the sentence and also used after the prepositions.

For example:

            Can I borrow your IPAD?

            I don’t like his rude attitude.

            Get this book to your brother.

In both the examples, I is the subjective pronoun whereas, your and his are the objective pronouns.

Note:

  • After Possessive Adjective we put a noun; but not after Possessive Pronoun.
  • Its = Adjective
  • It’s = It is

 

Sequence to be followed while writing Possessive Pronouns:

2nd Person, 3rd Person, 1st Person (i.e. 2, 3, 1)

For example:

                   You, They and I are working on this project.

                   You and they have joined the club lately.

                   They and I study in the same school.

 

Exception (i.e. when does the above sequence changes?)

1st Person, 2nd Person, 3rd Person (i.e. 1, 2, 3)

  1. If word of confession is mentioned.
  • I, you and they are gamblers.
  1. For actions of wrong doings
  • I, you and they have robbed a bank.
  1. If 1st person is in plural (i.e. ‘we’).
  • We, you and they are working on this project.

 

Rules:

  1. We always use Subjective Case after the ‘be’ Verb (be verb – is, am, are, was, were).
  • It is me (x)
    • Correction: It is I
  • If you were him, you would help the needy (x)
    • Correction: If you were he, you would help the needy.

 

  1. We always use Objective Case after Verb, Let, Preposition.
  • He told I (x)
    • Correction: He told me
  • Let you and me play together (Right)
  • Between you and me father divided the property.

 

Pronoun in apposition

Note: there should be no repetition of verb.

  • You, one of the players are playing well.
  • Ram, one of the players is playing well.
  • I, the politician and doctor who is living in a metro city am working for an NGO.

Relative Pronoun

The list of relative pronouns is:

Who, Whom, Which, That, As, But, Whose, Of Which

  • Who – Subjective case for Living beings
  • Whom – Objective case for Living beings
  • Whose – Possessive case for living beings
  • Which – Subjective/Objective case for non-living beings
  • That – Subjective/Objective for living and non-living both
  • Of which – Possessive case for non-living
  • As, But – Special cases

Note: there should be no gap between Antecedent and Relative pronoun.

Relative pronouns work as a conjunction in a sentence. i.e. they join two sentences with a common subject.

They give us additional information about a person, thing or situation.

For example:

  1. Ram is a student
  2. He is living in Delhi

Ram is a student who is living in Delhi.

 

Who

Subjective case for living beings

Note: Verb after relative pronoun always agree to the number of antecedent.

Examples:

  • It is I who am the best student of this class.
  • It is you who are late today.

 

Whom

Objective case for living beings

Example:

             Mahatma Gandhi is the only leader whom everybody wants to follow

 

Who or Whom?

Number of Subjects should equal the Number of Verbs. Mismatch in this will tell us about who or whom.

For example:

Mahatma Gandhi is the only leader who everybody wants to follow. (x)

In the above sentence there are 3 Subjects (Nouns) – Mahatma Gandhi, Who and Everybody. Which means there should be 3 Verbs, but the sentence has only 2 verbs – is and wants. Therefore, who should be replaced by who.

i.e. Mahatma Gandhi is the only leader whom everybody wants to follow.

 

 Conjunction or Preposition?

Generally, the sentence structure is: Subject + Verb + Object

Conjunction joins two sentences therefore, after a conjunction comes Subject and Verb.

Preposition on the other hand joins two nouns therefore generally preposition is followed by a Noun.   

 

Which

Subjective and Objective case for non-living beings.

  • Subjective case if followed by a Verb
  • Objective case if followed by a Noun

I have dog which I brought from market. (Since Which is followed by a noun (I) in this case therefore it is in objective case)

I saw sheep which were grazing in the fields. (since Which is followed by verb (were) in this case therefore it is in subjective case)

 

Note: Which is used in place of Who, when we refer to a choice between two or more things. For example:

  • Among the VIBGYOR colours which is your favourite colour.
  • Which is your brother in the crowd.

 

That

Can be used for living and non-living both.

  • Subjective case if followed by a verb
  • Objective case if followed by a noun.

Rules:

  • If we use antecedent as the name of a person, we always use ‘Who’ (not That)

For example:

I know Jon who is a character in the Game of Thrones. (not That)

 

  • If we use superlative degree before antecedent we always use ‘That’

For example:

Burj Khalifa is the tallest building that is situated in the UAE. (not Which)

You are the smartest person that joined our club.

 

  • If two different antecedents are connected by ‘and’ we always use ‘That’
    • Different antecedent means one living and another non-living

For example:

I saw a sweet girl and puppy that were playing in the park.

 

  • We always use ‘That’ with the following words:
    • Something, everything, nothing, anything, little, a little, few, a few, the few, all and the only.

Example:

             All that glitters is not gold.

             I have a little money that you gave me.

 

As

Structure

  • Same/Such + Antecedent + As
  • The Same/Such + Antecedent + That

Examples:

As

        Sita has same dress as Gita has.

        You should not visit such places as are haunted.

That

This is the same place that I used to visit with my dad.

Note: We always use ‘as’ if the sentence is not complete. E.g.

        I have the same car as yours.

        Or if it is complete: I have the same car that you have.

 

Of which

Possessive case for non-living.

For example:

                  I brought a new car whose colour is metallic red. (is wrong)

                  I brought a new car of which colour is metallic red.

Distributive Pronoun


Look at the Distributive Pronouns given below:

Either, neither, each, anyone, none, everyone, etc

  • Either, Neither – only for 2 separate entities.
  • Each – for 2 or more entities.
  • Anyone, none, everyone – 3 or more entities.

You will see that they point towards either the individual members of a group of the collective members of a group.

 

Structure/Construction

 

Distributive Pronoun + Of + Noun/Pronoun (Plural) + Verb (Singular) + Possessive Adjective (Singular)

                                                          Distributive Pronoun

                                                                         +

                                                                        Of

                                                                         +

                                                 Noun/Pronoun (in Plural form)

                                                                         +

                                                               Verb (Singular)

                                                                         +

                                                 Possessive Adjective (Singular)

 

For example:

                   None of the students has done his homework. (Never use ‘their’).

Reflexive Pronoun


The list of reflexive pronouns is:

 

Singular:

myself

yourself

himself

herself

itself

Plural:

ourselves

yourselves

themselves

 

 

 

 

Difference between Reflexive and Emphatic:

Emphatic is used before the verb

  • I myself did it.

Reflexive is used after the verb

  • I did it myself.

 

Note: We never use reflexive pronoun as a subject of a sentence.

 

We always use reflexive pronoun after the following verbs if they do not have an object:

Amuse, enjoy, reconcile, avail of, absent, revenge, introduce, poison, hurt, disguise, adapt.

 

For example:

  • We enjoyed a lot at the water park last weekend. (x)

The above sentence is wrong as it does not have an Object. Therefore, to correct it put ‘ourselves’ after the verb e.g. –

  • We enjoyed ourselves al lot at the water park last weekend.

Sentence with an object:

  • We enjoyed a horror movie last night.

Reciprocal Pronouns


Look at the reciprocal pronouns:

  • Each other (for 2)
  • One another (more than 2)

They are used when two or more people do the same thing.

For example:

                   The students in a class were fighting one another.

                   Because of cold his knees were striking each other.

Indefinite Pronouns


When we can’t say who or what we are referring to, we use the Indefinite Pronoun. They are:

  • One – Everyone, someone, no-one, anyone
  • Body – Everybody, somebody, nobody, anybody
  • Thing – Everything, something, nothing, anything

They take singular verb and singular possessive adjective (his in case of one/body and its in case of thing)

For example:

                   Everyone/everybody has changed his mind after seeing the exit poll results.

                   Everything is losing its value day by day.

Interrogative Pronouns

Who is a pure interrogative Pronoun.

  • It does not require a helping verb.
  • Who taught you English? (Here Who is a pronoun)

Which and other ‘Wh’ family words requires helping words to be Interrogative pronouns.

Which

           Which book is yours? (here Which is an Adjective).

           Which is your book? (in this case Which is pronoun).

 

Demonstrative Pronouns


This, That, These, Those are the demonstrative pronouns that are used to demonstrate the objects or things.

  • This, These – For nearby objects
  • That, Those – for far away object

 

Structure:

                 This/That + Singular Verb

                 These/Those + Plural Verb

For example:

                     This is my book;

                     That was my idea.

                     These are my books.

 

Types of errors:

  1. Both of the sisters did not sing well.
  2. All of the students did not work hard.

Both of the above sentences are wrong. Because we already have pre-defined words (pronouns) for 2 or more persons.

Correct forms:

  1. Neither of the sisters sang well.
  2. None of the players worked hard.