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Pronouns are the words which substitute for a noun or a noun phrase. A pronoun refers to something already mentioned in a sentence or a piece of text. Pronouns are used in place of nouns to prevent repetition of the noun to which they refer. Every pronoun should have a clear antecedent (The word for which the pronoun stands for)


The flight is late, the flight has been delayed. Sounds repetitive doesn't it? 
Lets use a pronoun in place of the noun- flight
The flight is late, it has been delayed. Much better!

Another example: 

The flights are late, the flights have been delayed. (Again, sounds repetitive)
Now, lets use a pronoun in place of the noun-flights
The flights are late, They have been delayed. (Sounds much better!)

Personal Pronouns

   Singular     Plural  

 Subjective  Objective  Subjective 
        Subjective  Objective  Subjective 
        I     ME      MY    Mine           We      Us     Our    Ours
     You    You     Your    Yours          You     You     Your    Yours
           They   Them     Their   Theirs

point of view

Personal Pronouns Characteristics:

The Point of View      -        First Person: The one who's Speaking

                                           Second Person: The one spoken to

                                           Third Person: The one's spoken about

For example:     I will be going to Delhi next Saturday. (In this sentence, I is the 1st person personal pronoun)
                          Which clothes do you want to buy?(In this sentence, you is the personal                                                                  pronoun)
                          The enemy forced them to surrender. (In this sentence, them is the personal                                                          pronoun)
personal pronoun

Three Genders        -         Feminine: She, Her, Hers

                                          Masculine: He Him His

                                          Neuter: It Its They Them Their Theirs

For example:      She had to borrow a bike from her friend. (In this sentence, She and Her are feminine                                              personal pronouns)
                            People enjoy john's cooking, when he cooks Chinese food (He is a masculine                                                          personal Pronoun)
                            The dog had dug four of its teeth in the strangers foot. (Its is a neuter personal                                                        pronoun.)

Two Numbers  -          Singular: I Me My Mine You Your Yours He Him His She Her Hers It Its
                                    Plural: We Us Our Ours You Your Yours They Them Their Theirs
                For example: 

  They informed me that they had met him during their vacation
      |                      |              |                      |                    |    
  Plural           Singular    Plural          Singular        Plural

Three Cases  -    Subjective: (I You He She It We They)  
                            Objective (Me, You, Him, Her, It, Us, Them)
                            Possessive  (My Mine Your Yours His Her Hers Our Ours Their Theirs)

              For example:     She was an author of high repute. (She is a subjective personal pronoun)
                                        The woman I was with at the party was she. (She is a subjective personal pronoun)
                                        Peter please give my message to Ron. (My is a possessive personal pronoun)
                                        That chair is mine. (Mine is a possessive personal pronoun)
                                        The boss wants us to finish the work today. (Us is an objective personal pronoun)
                                        You should tell them about your plans. (Them is an objective personal pronoun)
                                        Kindly, give him my message. (Him is an objective personal pronoun)

Demonstrative Pronouns  

      This                      That                 These             Those
         |                            |                         |                      |
Singular-Near     Singular-Far      Plural-Near     Plural-Far

This is a singular pronoun and describes things which are near.
That is also a singular pronoun but describes things which are far away.
These is a plural pronoun and describes things which are near.
Those is also a plural pronoun but describes things which are far away.

For example
This is news to me.
That is a good horse.
These pancakes are terrible.
The pancakes I had yesterday, those were better.
This novel is very well written.
You are going to play with these toys.
Is this the best you could do?

The demonstratives act as Pronouns or can also be used as determiners.

Example: Hand me that screwdriver. (That is used for the noun screwdriver)

The demonstrative pronouns can also act as qualifiers

Example: Paul wanted that much food. (That describes the adjective much)

Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns
Reflexive pronoun is of special type. Reflexive pronouns are used when you want to refer back to the subject of the sentence. Reflexive pronouns end in self (Singular) and selves (plural). Each reflexive pronoun such as he or she has its own reflexive form.

There are eight reflexive pronouns

 Personal Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
 I Myself
 You (singular) Yourself
 You (Plural) Yourselves
 He  Himself
 She Herself
 It Itself
 We Ourselves
 They Themselves

For example:reflexiv and intensive pronouns

I blame myself for this disaster.
You will do the homework yourself.
Richard saw himself in the mirror.
Mary sent a gift to herself.
My cat hurt itself.
We saw ourselves in the mirror.
You should help yourselves.
They can not protect themselves from the flood.

How to use reflexive pronouns?

1. When the subject and the object are the same.
  • I accidentally shot myself.
  • The group calls themselves revolutionaries.
  • He hurt himself badly.
2. When the subject and the object are the same, reflexive pronoun is used as the object of a preposition.
  • I did it by myself.
  • She bought a present for herself.
  • Jeremy is talking to himself.

3. Reflexive pronouns are also used when you want to emphasize the subject:
  • I did it myself. (No-one helped me)
  • They drank all the water themselves. (No-one else drank any)

Intensive Pronouns

Intensive pronouns act a little differently from reflexive pronouns and they can't be used exactly in the same way. Reflexive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent or the subject. The intensive pronouns are positioned right after the subject.

I myself am tired of all this work.
You yourself are to blame for all this mess.
The leader himself wrote me a letter.
The dog himself untied its collar.
The boys themselves led their entire school team to victory.
I myself have seen it.
You yourself made it.
You yourself asked me to do it.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. Many times it has no antecedent because it is unknown and that is why the question is being asked. 

Who Whom What Which Whose are interrogative pronouns. Note that whose is also a personal pronoun.

Difference between who and whom

Look at the following sentences:
Whom did you speak with? (This is the correct sentence) 
but many people would say or write this as..
Who did you speak with? (This is grammatically incorrect but is accepted in spoken English)
interrogative pronouns

  • Who came first?
  • Whom did you fight with?
  • What is your name?
  • What do you want?
  • Which patient will the doctor see first?
  • Which car came first in the race?
  • There is one letter missing. Whose hasn't arrived?

We can also use suffix  ....ever sometimes to make compounds from some of these interrogative pronouns. Like whoever, whatever, whichever. We might use it to emphasize or to show surprise and confusion.

  • Whoever would want to do such an awful thing?
  • Whatever did Peter say to make Ellie cry like that?
  • They are all amazing. Whichever you choose?

Indefinite Pronouns

An indefinite pronoun refers to something which is not definite. Indefinite pronoun refers to something vague. Indefinite pronoun doesn't refer to a specific person, thing or amount. Indefinite pronouns can be singular or plural and must follow subject verb agreement.

There are two types of indefinite pronouns:

1. Those which refer to an indefinite noun. There indefinite pronouns are:

anybody, anything, everyone, nobody, no one, somebody, something, anyone, everybody, everything, none, nothing, someone

2. The second category of indefinite pronouns are those which refer to a specific noun whose meaning is easily understood only because it was previously mentioned or because the following words make it clear. These indefinite pronouns are:

all, any, each, few, neither, some, another, both, either, many, one several.

Singular Indefinite Pronouns

Another, everyone, each, everybody, everything, nobody, nothing, somebody, someone, anybody, anything, either, everyone, either, no one, one, something

Plural Indefinite Pronouns

Both, few, many, several

Examples of Indefinite Pronouns:
indefinite pronoun

Does anybody know where John is?
All are welcome to our party.
Rocky doesn't have any.
He passed his note to another.
Each bought a different dessert.
Anyone can see the stars on a clear night.
I couldn't hear anything at the concert.
Everything is fine.
Everyone praised the performance of the artist.
Many missed the last train.
No one admitted to the mistakes.
One could see the large waves from miles away.
Several turned out to help the needy.
Somebody called me on the phone.
He gave the ticket to someone.

Relative Pronouns

Relative Pronoun is a pronoun which relates to the word that it modifies. For example - the person who phoned me last night is my friend.
We can use the relative pronoun to link one clause or phrase to another. Who, whom, that, which, whoever, whomever and whichever are relative pronouns.

Relative pronouns who or whoever can be used to refer to the subject of a clause or sentence. Whom and whomever can be used to refer to the objects of the verb, a verbal phrase or a preposition.
relative pronoun


You may invite whomever you like to your house.
The candidate who wins the greatest popular vote doesn't always win the election.
The house that Joe built is small.
The professor whom I respect, recently retired.

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Pronouns Exercises