Pronouns – Definition, Types, and Examples

A pronoun is defined as ‘a word that is used instead of a noun or a noun phrase’, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines pronouns as ‘any of a small set of words (such as Isheheyouitwe, or they) in a language that are used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and whose referents are named or understood in the context’. According to the Collins Dictionary, ‘A pronoun is a word that you use to refer to someone or something when you do not need to use a noun, often because the person or thing has been mentioned earlier. Examples are ‘it’, ‘she’, ‘something’, and ‘myself’.’

There are different types of pronouns that do different jobs in sentences. Let’s look at each type with examples to understand them better.

1. Relative Pronouns: These pronouns help connect different parts of a sentence. They include words like “that,” “which,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “what,” “whom,” and “whose.” For example, “The book that I read was interesting.”

2. Possessive Pronouns: These pronouns show ownership. Examples are “mine,” “yours,” “his,” “hers,” “theirs,” and “its.” For instance, “The red bike is hers.”

3. Reflexive Pronouns: These pronouns refer back to the subject of the sentence. Examples are “myself,” “yourself,” “himself,” “herself,” “itself,” “ourselves,” “yourselves,” and “themselves.” An example is “She taught herself to play the guitar.”

4. Demonstrative Pronouns: These pronouns point to specific things. They include “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” For instance, “This is my favorite shirt.”

5. Interrogative Pronouns: These pronouns are used to ask questions. They include “who,” “what,” “when,” “why,” and “where.” An example is “Who is coming to the party?”

6. Indefinite Pronouns: These pronouns don’t refer to any specific person or thing. Examples are “someone,” “something,” “anyone,” “anything,” “everyone,” “everything,” “nobody,” “none,” and “many.” For example, “Someone left their umbrella.”

7. Personal Pronouns: These are simple pronouns that take the place of names. Examples are “I,” “you,” “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” “they,” “him,” “her,” “us,” and “them.” For instance, “He is reading a book.”

8. Subject Pronouns: These pronouns do the action in a sentence. Examples are “I,” “you,” “we,” “he,” “she,” “it,” and “they.” An example is “We are going to the park.”

9. Object Pronouns: These pronouns receive the action in a sentence. Examples are “me,” “you,” “us,” “him,” “her,” and “them.” For example, “She called me.”

10. Reciprocal Pronouns: These pronouns show a mutual relationship. The examples are “each other” and “one another.” An example is “They help each other with their homework.”

11. Intensive Pronouns: These are similar to reflexive pronouns, but you can remove them from a sentence without changing the meaning. Examples are the same as reflexive pronouns. For instance, “I myself fixed the computer.”

Remember, pronouns are words that replace nouns to make sentences less repetitive and more interesting.

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