The Pronoun

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The Pronoun 

The Pronoun


Definition:
A pronoun takes the place of one or more nouns or pronouns.
The word or word group that a pronoun stands for is called the antecedent of the pronoun.

Examples:

Jay enjoys hiking and camping; in fact, they are his two favorite pastimes. [The nouns hiking and camping are the antecedents of the pronoun they.] 

One of the film projectors is broken. It is being repaired. [The pronoun One is the antecedent of the pronoun It.]

The students complained to the principal about the dress code. They wished he had consulted them about it. [The noun students is the antecedent of the pronouns They and them; the noun principal is the antecedent of the pronoun he; and the compound noun dress code is the antecedent of the pronoun it.]



Personal Pronouns

Definition:

A personal pronoun refers to the one(s) speaking (first person), the one(s) spoken to (second person), or the one(s) spoken about (third person).

 

Singular

Plural

First Person

I, me, my, mine

we, us, our, ours

Second Person

you, your, yours

you, your, yours

Third Person

he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its

they, them, their, theirs


Examples:

If I give you my address, will you write to me

We told them that they could go with us

Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns 

 

Singular

Plural

First Person

myself

ourselves

Second Person

yourself

yourselves

Third Person

himself, herself, itself

themselves


Definition:

A reflexive pronoun refers to the subject of a verb and functions as a complement or as the object of a preposition.

Examples:

Mary excused herself from the table. [Herself is the direct object of excused.]

He said the mastermind was, in fact, himself. [Himself is a predicate nominative referring to the subject, He.]

They took extra biscuits for themselves. [Themselves is the object of the preposition for.]

Definition:

An intensive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent—a noun or another pronoun.

Examples:

Joseph Vásquez himself wrote the script. [Himself emphasizes the subject, Joseph Vásquez, but has no grammatical function in the sentence.]

The final speech was given by Maya Angelou herself. [Herself emphasizes the object, Maya Angelou, but has no grammatical function in the sentence.]

Tips & Tricks

If you are not sure whether a pronoun is reflexive or intensive, use this test: Read the sentence aloud, omitting the pronoun. If the basic meaning of the sentence stays the same, the pronoun is intensive. If the meaning changes, the pronoun is reflexive.

Examples:

Mark repaired the car himself. [Without himself, the meaning stays the same. The pronoun is intensive.]
 
The children enjoyed themselves all morning. [Without themselves, the sentence doesn’t make sense. The pronoun is reflexive.]


Demonstrative Pronouns 

this

that

these

those


Definition:

A demonstrative pronoun points out a noun or another pronoun. 


Examples:

Is this the one you want? 

That may be the only reasonable solution. 

These or those are the pictures from our vacation.

Interrogative Pronouns 

Definition:

An interrogative pronoun introduces a question. 

who

whom

whose

which

what


Examples:

What is the capital of the Hawaiian Islands? 

Whose is this red sweater? 

To whom should I direct your call?


Relative Pronouns 

Definition:

A relative pronoun introduces a subordinate clause. 


Examples:

The college that I chose is in Texas. 

The woman who chairs the committee is my aunt. 

The birds, which usually have flown south by this time of the year, were still congregating in our backyard.

Indefinite Pronouns 

Definition:

An indefinite pronoun refers to a person, a place, a thing, or an idea that may or may not be specifically named. In other words, the pronoun may not have a specific antecedent.

Examples:

All of the members have voted. [All refers to members.] 

Does everyone favor a weekly meeting? [Everyone has no specific antecedent.] 

The fallen tree provided homes for several of the creatures of the woods. [Several refers to creatures.]

Common Indefinite Pronouns 

all both few nobody several another each many none some any either more no one somebody anybody everybody most nothing someone anyone everyone much one something anything everything neither other such



Pronoun or Adjective? 

Many of the words that can be used as pronouns can also be used as adjectives.

Examples:

This is the best baklava I have ever tasted. [This is a pronoun referring to baklava, the predicate nominative.] 
This baklava is delicious. [This is an adjective modifying baklava.] 

Which of the rooms is yours? [Which is a pronoun referring to rooms, the object of the preposition of.] Which room is yours? [Which is an adjective modifying room.]

The Pronoun Worksheet

Identify the pronouns in the following sentences. 

1. Last year my school gave two photography courses, neither of which had been offered before. 
2. The course that I took dealt with the ways in which people perceive their environment. 
3. Many of us block out much in our everyday surroundings. 
4. You can demonstrate to yourselves how unaware of our surroundings nearly all of us are. 
5. Which of you, on returning home from a trip, hasn’t noticed how different all of the rooms look to you? 
6. Some of your possessions may seem unfamiliar to you, and a few of them may appear quite peculiar. 
7. Eventually the sensation fades, and your surroundings assume their usual background role. 
8. Each of us can regain the ability to see freshly if we learn to make full use of our sense of sight.
9. We can train ourselves to perceive the objects as shapes instead of thinking about their functions. 
10. As the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet remarked, we must forget the names of the things that we observe.

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Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎

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