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A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun or a group of words functioning as a noun.


Ellen has been working on a project for a long time. She spends eight hours a day on it. Her time is well spent, however, as she herself recognizes.


The meaning of a pronoun comes from the noun it represents. This noun is called the antecedent.

In the above example,

the antecedent of the pronoun she is Ellen;

the antecedent of the pronoun it is project.

As you can see, the antecedent usually comes before the pronoun in the sentence. Most pronouns have specific antecedents, but some do not.

Types of Pronouns

1)Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns
2)Interrogative Pronouns
3)Relative Pronouns
4)Demonstrative Pronouns
5)Common Indefinite Pronouns

There are different types of pronouns, depending on their function within a sentence and on their form.

Personal pronouns refer to specific people.

Personal pronouns that refer to the speaker are known as first-person pronouns;
those that refer to the person spoken to are known as second-person pronouns;
those that refer to the person, place, or thing spoken about are known as third-person pronouns.

The following is the list of some of the pronouns used as first-person, second person, third person in singular and plural forms:

first-person (singular) : I, me, my, mine

first-person (plural) : we, us, our, ours

second-person(Singular) : you, your, yours

second-person(Plural) : you, your, yours

third-person(Singular) : he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its

third-person(Plural): they, them, their, theirs

Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns

Intensive pronouns add emphasis to a noun or pronoun; reflexive pronouns show that the subject of the sentence also receives the action of the verb and adds information to a sentence.

Both intensive and reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves.
These include :

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



I myself have never given much thought to the matter.

Marty hung the striped wallpaper himself.


I treated myself to a new pair of shoes.

Michael kept telling himself that it was not his fault.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used to introduce questions. These pronouns do not have to have a specific antecedent.
Some of these are:

which, what, who, whom, whose


What did you call me for in the first place?

Whom have you called about this matter?

Whose dog is this?

Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are used to tie together or relate groups of words. Relative pronouns begin subordinate clauses.
Some of these pronouns are:

which, that, who, whom, whose


Debbie enrolled in the class that her employer recommended.

Charles has a friend who lives in Toronto, Canada.

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns identify specific nouns. They can be placed before or after their antecedents.
These pronouns include:

this, that, these, those


This is the book I told you about last week.

That is a perfect place to sit down and have lunch.

Is that the house with the Japanese garden in the back yard?

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns take the place of a noun but they do not have to have a specific antecedent.
These include:

much, both, little, some, everybody, one, none, several, each, all, others, anyone, either, any, many, another, most, anything, more, few, nobody, somebody, no one, nothing, everything, some one, something, everybody.


Specific Antecedent:

The casserole was so delicious that none was left by the end of the meal.

A few of the relatives usually lend a hand when my husband undertakes one of his home repair projects.

No Specific Antecedent:

Someone arrived at the party early, much to the embarrassment of the unprepared host and hostess.

Everyone stayed late, too.

Sample Usage

As above.

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