Pronouns 1

Pronouns 1


What is a Pronoun?

Pronouns replace the noun. A pronoun can be used as the sentences subject or the object. Most of the time a pronoun refers to something already mentioned or understood by the listener or reader.

If we didn't have pronouns, we would have to repeat a lot of nouns. 


・Do you like the president? I don't like the presidentThe president is too pompous.

With pronouns, we can say:

・Do you like the president? I don't like himHe is too pompous.

Types of Pronouns

1.Personal Pronouns

 Example    I, me, you, he, him, she...

2.Possessive Pronouns

 Example    mine, yours, his...

3.Reflexive Pronouns

 Example    myself, yourself, himself...

4.Intensive Pronouns

 Example    myself, yourself, himself...

5.Demonstrative Pronouns

 Example    this, that, these, those

6.Interrogative Pronouns

 Example    who, what, which...

7.Reciprocal Pronouns

 Example    each other, one another

8.Indefinite Pronouns

 Example    another, much, nobody, few, such...

9.Relative Pronouns

 Example    who, whom, which...

Pronoun Case 

 Nouns and pronouns in English are said to display case according to their function in the sentence. They can be subjective or nominative (which means they act as the subject of independent or dependent clauses), possessive (which means they show possession of something else), or objective (which means they function as the recipient of action or are the object of a preposition).

subjective(nominative):    they act as the subject

objective:    they act as the object

possessive:    they show possession of something else


Subject Pronouns:    I you, she, he, they, we, it, who
Object Pronouns:    me, you, him, her, them, us, it, whom
Possessive Pronouns:    mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, ours, its, whose

 Personal Pronouns 

 Personal Pronouns in English are used to replace nouns that refer to people. Personal Pronouns can be used as the sentences subject or objective. English doesn't have singular and plural forms of "you". "You" is used for both male and female and singular and plural.

 Example    RED=Subject Pronoun  BLUE=Object Pronoun

I like coffee.
・John helped me.

・Do you like coffee?
・John loves you.

He runs fast.
・Did Ram beat him?

She is clever.
・Does Mary know her?

It doesn't work.
・Can the engineer repair it?

We went home.
・Anthony drove us.

・Do you need a table for three?
・Did John and Mary beat you at doubles?

They played doubles.
・John and Mary beat them.

 Possessive Pronouns  

 Example   mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs 

 possessive pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as a marker of possession and defines who owns a particular object or person.

Note: Possessive personal pronouns are very similar to possessive adjectives like "my," "your", "her," and "their."


・Look at these pictures. Mine is the big one. (subject = My picture)
・I like your flowers. Do you like mine? (object = my flowers)

・I looked everywhere for your key. I found John's key but I couldn't find yours. (object = your key)
・My flowers are dying. Yours are lovely. (subject = Your flowers)

・All the essays were good but his was the best. (subject = his essay)
・John found his passport but Mary couldn't find hers. (object = her passport)
・John found his clothes but Mary couldn't find hers. (object = her clothes)

・Here is your car. Ours is over there, where we left it. (subject = Our car)
・Your photos are good. Ours are terrible. (subject = Our photos)

・Each couple's books are colour-coded. Yours are red. (subject = Your books)
・I don't like this family's garden but I like yours. (subject = your garden)

・These aren't John and Mary's children. Theirs have black hair. (subject = Their children)
・John and Mary don't like your car. Do you like theirs? (object = their car)

 Reflexive Pronouns 

 Example  myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

 Reflexive pronouns are pronouns that are used to state the subject is performing the action.
The reflexive pronoun can be used to emphasize the object or the subject.

 Example   the red words are the SAME person/thing

I saw myself in the mirror.

・Why do you blame yourself?

John sent himself a copy.

Mary sent herself a copy.

My dog hurt itself.

We blame ourselves.

・Can you help yourselves?

They cannot look after themselves.

 Intensive pronouns 

 Example  myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

reflexive pronouns can also act as intensive pronouns, but the function and usage aredifferent. An intensive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent. 

Intensive pronouns are used when the subject isn't performing the action.
It is common for intensive pronouns are usually next to the subject.
The intensive pronouns are not the subject.


・I made it myselfOR I myself made it.

・Have you yourself seen it? OR Have you seen it yourself?

・The President himself promised to stop the war.

・She spoke to me herselfOR She herself spoke to me.

・The exam itself wasn't difficult, but exam room was horrible.

・Never mind. We'll do it ourselves.

・You yourselves asked us to do it.

・They recommend this book even though they themselves have never read it.
They recommend this book even though they have never read it themselves.

 Demonstrative Pronouns 

demonstrative pronoun represents a thing or things near in distance or time (this,these)
far in distance or time (thatthose)


This must not continue.

Here "this" is used as the subject of the compound verb "must not continue."

This is puny; that is the tree I want.

In this example "this" is used as subject and refers to something close to the speaker. Thedemonstrative pronoun "that" is also a subject but refers to something farther away from the speaker.

・Three customers wanted these.

Here "these" is the direct object of the verb "wanted."


The demonstrative pronouns are identical to demonstrative adjectives, though, obviously, you use them differently. It is also important to note that "that" can also be used as a relative pronoun.

That smells. (demonstrative pronoun)
That book is good. (demonstrative adjective + noun)

Normally we can use demonstrative pronouns for things only. But we can also use them for people when the person is identified.

This is Josef speaking. Is that Mary?
That sounds like John.

 Reciprocal Pronouns 

 Example   each otherone another

We use reciprocal pronouns when each of two or more subjects is acting in the same way towards the other.


A is talking to B, and B is talking to A.
(=A and B are talking to each other.)

When we use these reciprocal pronouns

・there must be two or more people, things or groups involved (so we cannot usereciprocal pronouns with I, you [singular], he/she/it)

・they must be doing the same thing


・John and Mary love each other.

・Peter and David hate each other.

・The ten prisoners were all blaming one another.

・Both teams played hard against each other.

・We gave each other gifts.

・Why don't you believe each other?

・They can't see each other.

・The gangsters were fighting one another.

・The boats were bumping against each other in the storm.


 "Each other" is used in more examples above than one another. That's because in general we use each other more often than one another, which sounds a little formal.
 Also, some people say that we should use one another only for three or more people or things, but there is no real justification for this.