Pronouns in English are useful words that make writing and speech simple and effective. We use them to replace nouns and avoid repeating the nouns that they refer to. Whether you know them as pronouns or not, you use them every day in written and spoken English.
You must be aware of the words given below,
I, you, he, she, it, so, which, that, ours, mine, her
Don’t you use them every day?
These words are pronouns.
This blog post will teach you where to use pronouns and how to use them. So that you do not make grammatical errors while writing or speaking. Also, you will gain an understanding of pronoun types and rules.
There is a lot to know and learn about pronouns in English grammar. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- What is a Pronoun?
- Types Of Pronouns
- Different Types Of Pronouns With Examples
- Pronoun Chart
- Pronoun FAQs
What is a Pronoun?
Pronouns in English grammar are one of the eight parts of speech; we use them to replace a noun.
Pronoun definition is that a word that replaces or takes the place of a noun in a sentence is known as a pronoun. Pronoun examples are; I, you, we, they, he, she, it, mine, myself, etc.
Pronouns in the English language are essential because English conversations would be complicated and less interesting without pronouns. So, to make the conversation better, exciting, and less complicated, we have pronouns in English grammar.
To understand this, read this paragraph (story),
Mr. Brown lives in a small town. Mr. Brown is 50 years old. Mr. Brown owns a bookstore. Mr. Brown is a kind and loving person. Everyone likes to spend time with Mr. Brown.
This sounds repetitive and dull, doesn’t it?
But, we can make the story meaningful and better by using pronouns.
Mr. Brown lives in a small town. He is 50 years old. He owns a bookstore. He is a kind and loving person. Everyone likes to spend time with him.
Now, it seems better, right?
Pronouns help us avoid the repetition of a noun in a sentence or paragraph to make the sentence clearer and better.
Types Of Pronouns
There are many different types of pronouns, and all of them have their own rules and usage. It may seem very convenient to use a pronoun. However, you have to be very careful because people often make mistakes while using them.
Having in-depth knowledge of pronouns can improve your English grammar and enhance your writing and speaking.
Below are the types of pronouns you need to know:
- Personal Pronouns
- Subject Pronouns
- Object Pronouns
- Possessive Pronouns
- Reflexive Pronouns
- Relative Pronoun
- Demonstrative Pronouns
- Indefinite Pronouns
- Distributive Pronouns
- Interrogative Pronouns
- Reciprocal Pronoun
Different Types Of Pronouns With Examples
Let’s understand the types of pronouns with their definition and examples.
I, we, you, he, she, it, and they are the pronouns referred to as personal pronouns. You can represent or substitute any noun with these pronouns.
All of these pronouns are categorized into three persons. We know that in grammar there are three persons, First person, Second person, and Third person.
When you talk to someone, you talk about something, right?
So, you are the “first person” as you are the person speaking. The person you are talking to is the “second person,” and the thing you are talking about is the “third person.”
For example; I am telling you they are coming.
- I – First person (the person speaking)
- You – Second person (the person spoken to)
- They – Third person (the person spoken of)
Additionally, there are sub-categories. For instance, we have pronouns singular and plural to refer to singular and plural nouns (things, places, and people). Also, we have gender-specific pronouns for masculine, feminine, and neuter.
See the table with personal pronoun examples below to understand this.
Personal Pronouns Used in Sentences – Personal Pronoun Examples
- People become what they think. (Here, ‘they’ is the personal pronoun referring to the noun ‘people’)
- My sister came here yesterday. She will stay with me for a week.
- Amy bought a new dress, but it didn’t look good on her.
We know that the structure of a sentence is: Subject + Verb + Object
A subject pronoun is used in place of a subject (noun) in a sentence. That means we use subject pronouns to replace the subject in the sentence. The subject pronoun examples are I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.
Example: Amy bought a new dress. Here, ‘Amy’ is the subject in this sentence.
If we say she bought a new dress. We have replaced the subject ‘Amy’ with the pronoun ‘she.’ The pronoun ‘she’ is a subject pronoun because it’s in the place of the subject in the sentence.
Subject Pronouns Used in Sentences – Subject Pronoun Examples
- You do not have to do this.
- We are going to Canada next week.
- She doesn’t like outdoor activities.
An object pronoun is used in place of an object (noun) in a sentence. That means we use object pronouns to replace the Object in the sentence. Me, you, him, her, it, us, and them are the object pronouns.
Example: Susan has ten new dresses. She bought them last month.
Here, ‘them’ is an object pronoun as it replaces the object ‘dresses’ in the sentence.
Object Pronouns Used in Sentences – Object Pronoun Examples
- Please give my regards to him.
- My mother wants to talk to you.
- Did you talk to her yesterday?
- You don’t need to come with us.
Possessive pronouns are used to express a sense of authority or relation. The possessive pronoun examples are mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs.
The possessive pronoun represents something that is owned and tells us who owns it.
This beautiful house is theirs.
That red shirt is his.
Those cats were hers.
All of these pictures are ours.
Some possessive pronouns act as adjectives to modify a noun in a sentence. They do not replace the noun; they just modify it. They are called possessive adjectives. Possessive adjectives are my, his, her, your, its, our, and their.
When you say, “This is my house,” here, “house” is a noun, but the pronoun ‘my’ is not replacing the noun. Instead, it modifies the noun ‘house’ to give more information. So, the pronoun ‘my’ is an adjective here.
Examples of Possessive Pronouns with Sentences:
- I went shopping with my best friend yesterday.
- His sister got married recently.
- Her husband is not a doctor.
- She is not my friend.
- Susan got a tattoo on her left arm.
When the subject and the object of a sentence are the same, we use reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are words (pronouns) ending in –self or –selves.
In English grammar, reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.
Examples of Reflexive Pronouns with Sentences:
- I do my work myself.
- We do our work ourselves.
- You cook dinner yourself.
- Harry does his homework himself.
- They made it themselves.
- Mona looks at herself in the mirror every morning.
The next type of pronoun is the relative pronoun. It refers to or relates to a noun that comes before it. Besides doing its job as a relative pronoun, it also serves the purpose of conjunction.
Why does it work as a conjunction? Because it connects two statements.
For example – “This is the dress which I bought yesterday.”
In this example, “which” is a relative pronoun, and “dress” is the noun. So, the relative pronoun “which” refers to or relates to the noun “dress.” It establishes a relation with the noun.
In other words, it tells that we are talking about that particular thing (the dress).
Now, if you pay close attention to the sentence, you will notice that it was formed by combining two statements.
Statement 1. This is the dress.
Statement 2. I bought it yesterday.
Because “which” combines these two statements, it also acts as a conjunction.
So, now you know why relative pronouns also serve the purpose of conjunction.
Example of Relative Pronoun
Uses of Relative pronoun
“who” is a relative pronoun only used with the living human being.
Example of Relative Pronoun “who” in a Sentence,
- This is the man who stole my wallet last night.
- The girl who was sitting here was my sister.
It is used with non-living things.
- The phone which you broke was mine.
- The book which you are reading is not very interesting.
Pronouns used to refer to specific people or objects are called demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative pronoun examples are this, that, these, and those.
The demonstrative pronouns this and these are used to point to nearby objects or items. We use this for singular and these for multiple items or things.
These are lovely flowers. I want to get my wife some flowers like these.
This is a beautiful park with lots of greenery.
Both that and those used to point to items far away. We use that for single and those for multiple items or objects.
That is Alex, my finance adviser.
Those chairs are more robust than these.
A pronoun that refers to a noun in a general way but not to a particular person or thing is an indefinite pronoun.
You must have heard the famous saying, “All that glitters is not gold.”
The word “all” refers to a noun in a general sense. It is not definite and does not specify what it refers to. So “all” is an indefinite pronoun.
Indefinite Pronoun Examples:
Indefinite pronoun examples include all, some, more, many, most, any, somebody, nobody, anyone, etc.
There was someone at the door.
Despite the poor man’s need, nobody was willing to help him.
Some of the T-shirts I bought didn’t fit me well, so I had to return them.
Most of the students have submitted their projects already.
He does not want anyone to help him.
Distributive pronouns refer to members of a group (people or things) separately, one at a time. That means they represent group members (people or things) individually.
Distributive pronoun examples are each, either, neither.
Distributive Pronouns Examples
Refers to every individual (person or thing) within a group.
- Each of them is a student at my school.
- We each donated 50 dollars to the charity.
- Today, each of the books is on sale.
Refers to one or the other of two persons or things.
- There is only one seat available, so either of you can get on the bus.
- I have applied for two jobs. I hope to get a call from either of them.
It means neither one nor the other when referring to two persons or things.
- Neither of you can watch TV after 9 pm.
- Neither dress looks good on you.
The interrogative pronoun is one of those words that are used in place of a noun to ask a question in the context of that noun.
Interrogative pronoun examples are what, which, when, whose, who, etc.
Interrogative Pronouns Examples
- Who was that girl?
- Which of you came late to today’s meeting?
- Whose report is incomplete?
- What do you do on the weekends?
When there are two or more people or things, and each acts towards the other in the same manner, we use reciprocal pronouns to indicate that.
For instance, Joseph always helps me, and I always help him.
To express this in a simpler way, we can use the reciprocal pronoun and say
Joseph and I always help each other.
We have only two reciprocal pronouns: each other and one another. Usually, we use each other when talking about two people or things. And we use one another when we talk about more than two people or things.
Reciprocal Pronoun Examples
- These two kids always fight each other.
- Alex and Tom hate each other.
- It appears that they are all cheating on one another.
- In the workplace, employees should respect one another.
When reviewing pronouns, it is always a good idea to refer to the pronoun chart as a reference tool. In the pronoun chart, you will find examples of all the different types of pronouns to help you remember them.
If you ever need to review pronouns, you can refer to the pronoun chart below.
What is the definition of a pronoun?
The definition of a pronoun is “a word that replaces a noun in a sentence is known as a pronoun”. (Replace means takes the place of nouns.)
What are examples of pronouns?
Examples of pronouns are I, you, we, they, he, she, it, mine, myself, mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs, me, him, her, it, us, and them.
How many types of pronouns are there in English?
There are eleven main types of pronouns in English.
· Personal Pronouns
· Subject Pronouns
· Object Pronouns
· Possessive Pronouns
· Reflexive Pronouns
· Relative Pronoun
· Demonstrative Pronouns
· Indefinite Pronouns
· Distributive Pronouns
· Interrogative Pronouns
· Reciprocal Pronoun