What is Pronoun | Kind of Pronouns

Pronoun you can say stand for nouns. Pronouns are used for nouns to avoid the repetition of nouns. Like Nouns, pronouns have

  1. Number : Singular or Plural
  2. Gender: Masculine, Feminine, Common or Neuter
  3. Case: Nominative, Accusative, Possessive, Vocative and Dative.

Kinds of Pronouns

  1. Personal Pronouns
  2. Reflexive Pronouns
  3. Emphatic Pronouns
  4. Demonstrative Pronouns
  5. Indefinite Pronouns
  6. Interrogative Pronouns
  7. Distributive Pronouns
  8. Reciprocal Pronouns
  9. Relative Pronouns

1. Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are used for persons and things; as I, we, you, he, she, it, they

We define these pronouns as personal also because they stand for the three persons in English grammar.

First Person: The Person or persons speaking; as I, we, me, us, my, mine, our, ours.
Second Person : The Person or persons spoken to ; as you, your, yours(thou, there, thy, thine are used only in poetry and prayers)
Third person: Another person or persons, thing or things spoken of ; as he, she, they, him, her, them, his , their, it, its.

2. Reflexive Pronouns

When self is added to my, your, him, her, it and selves to our, your, them, we get compound Personal Pronouns. These ‘self’ form of pronouns can be used as Reflexive pronouns or Emphatic Pronouns.

Reflexive forms of personal pronouns are used to show that the person (or thing) does something to himself (or itself). The action done by the subject reflects (turns back) on the subject. E.g.,

“He hurt himself. I forgot myself. She killed himself”

The ‘self’ forms are here used as objects of verb but they refer back to the subject.

3. Emphatic Pronouns

Emphatic pronouns of personal pronouns are used for the sake of emphasis. E.g.,

  • I will do it myself
  • We saw the President himself.
  • We ourselves went to the scene of accident.

Note: Own may also be used for emphasis; as It is your own fault.

4. Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns point to the noun for which they are used. This, that, these, those, such, one, same and so are used as demonstrative pronouns.

  1. This, these indicate what is near the speaker. E.g.,
    This is the watch I bought yesterday.These are the toys which are less expensive.
  2. That, those indicate what is remote from the speaker, e.g.,
    That is Mr. Sharma’s house.My views are different from those of your father.
  3. Such means ‘of this kind’ or ‘of that kind’.
    Kings are constituted such by law. (such = king)If John is a friend, show him such. (as a friend)
  4. The same: You sang a song last night. Sing the same to me. (Same = the song)
    I got your parcel and think you for the same.My trouble is the same as yours.
  5. So: I shall give you only one hundred rupees or so.
    We should make people our friends and keep them so (friends).

5. Indefinite pronouns

Sometimes, Demonstrative, pronouns are used indefinitely. They do not refer to any persons or thing in particular but to persons or things in a general way. e.g.,

  • One must do one’s best.
  • None but fools behave like this.
  • All were drowned
  • Some are born great.
  • Somebody has stolen my pen.
  • Anybody can do that.
  • Nobody was there to welcome us.
  • Few escaped unhurt.
  • Many applied but few were called.
  • What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business.
  • Every one wants to be rich and happy.

6. Interrogative Pronouns

An Interrogative Pronoun is used to ask a question. ‘Who’, ‘whom’ and ‘whose’ ask questions about persons only e.g.,

  • Who is there? Who spoke?                              (Nominative)
  • Whom do you want?                                         (Accusative after Verb ‘want’)
  • Of whom did you speak?                                  (Accusative after preposition)
  • Whose watch is this?                                         (Genitive Possessive case)

Which is used for both persons and things.

  • Which of you has broken this window?             (person)
  • Which is your room?                                             (thing)
  • Which of these apples will you have?                (thing)
  • Which is your friend?                                            (person)

Which means selection, i.e., asking a question about a particular person out of a limited number or a definite group of persons?

  • What is used only of things. E.g.,
    • What did you say?
    • What did you pay for this table?
    • What do you mean?

7. Distributive Pronoun

Each, either and neither are called Distributive Pronouns because they refer to pronouns or things taken one at a time. Hence, they are always singular and are followed by Singular verbs:

Each refers to every one of a number of persons or things taken separately. e.g.,

  • Each of you gets a prize.
  • Each comes forward in his turn.

Either means the one or the other out of the two. E.g.,

  • Either of you may go to the shop.
  • Either of these roads leads to the bus stand.

Neither means not the one nor the other of the two. E.g.,

  • Neither of you came in time.
  • Neither of them has the requisite qualifications.

8. Reciprocal Pronouns

Each other and one another are called Reciprocal Pronouns because they express a mutual or reciprocal relationship. E.g.,

  • The two rivals faced each other.
  • We must all help one another.
  • They held each other’s hand.
  • The members visited one another’s house regularly.

Note: Each other is usually used in speaking of two persons or things, and one another in speaking of more than two. We usually say.

  • The two brothers loved each other.
  • We should love one another.

9. Relative Pronouns

Relative Pronouns take the place of nouns to which they refer or are related and act as joining words; as

  •   I met Singh who told me your address.
  •   I have found the pen which I had lost.
  •   Here is the watch that you gave me.

Who, which, that etc. are relative pronouns. The noun coming before a relative pronoun. e.g., John, pen, watch, is called its antecedent.

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