Eight types of pronouns
This article will discuss the eight types of pronouns in the English language, including their examples and in-depth definitions.
As we all know, pronouns are a crucial part of human speech, and this doesn't change in the English language. In fact, pronouns are essential in English grammar.
Pronouns and nouns are related to each other. If we keep using a single noun for every sentence, sentences might look messy and definitely not pretty. Here are some examples:
- Bob studies at the University.
- Bob visits his campus daily.
- Bob loves soccer and plays with friends.
The naming of a person, thing, place/area or idea is called a noun. When a term is placed in the place of a noun, it's called a pronoun. For instance, I, you, we, our, these, whom, either, neither, and each are all pronouns.
- We studied hard for the exam.
- I will meet my best friends at the local bar.
- Let's not allow conspiracies to destroy our relationship.
- The teacher said it would be for the best if you focused on your studies.
- These people seem very intelligent.
- This is the girl with whom I am in love.
- My nephew, who is super smart, managed to beat this Super Mario video game in under three hours.
- Either she or you must do this job.
- Neither you nor I want to attend the conference.
- Each of my friends is competitive. This annoys me.
The eight types of pronouns with sentences and examples
Pronouns are distinguished among different categories and types. These are the eight types of pronouns in the English language:
- Personal pronouns
- Reflexive pronouns
- Possessive pronouns
- Indefinite pronouns
- Demonstrative pronouns
- Relative pronouns
- Distributive pronouns
- Interrogative pronouns
Let's look at each category:
Personal pronouns are amongst the most common pronouns used in the English language. They take the place of persons and are well-known: I, we, he, she, it, you, they, etc.
Below you will find sentences with personal pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- I (personal pronoun) have a large appetite.
- We went outside for a walk this morning.
- He is so good at English.
- She looks so pretty in that dress.
- You know you're right!
- They will meet again in the final.
Masculine personal pronouns: He, him
Female personal pronouns: She, her
Neuter personal pronouns: It
A reflexive pronoun adds self or selves and indicates the clause or subject. Think of: myself, yourself, himself, themselves, etc. Generally, a reflexive pronoun of place is when the object and subject indicate the same thing or person.
Below you can find sentences with reflexive pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- It'd be great if they could help themselves without needing our aid.
- We will go to the party, myself included.
- He was hungry, so he bought a pizza for himself.
- She can't wait to see herself in her new office.
- We cooked dinner ourselves. Isn't it awesome?
- Please, take better care of yourself.
A possessive pronoun is a necessary pronoun. In fact, it's one of the most essential among these eight types of pronouns. A possessive pronoun is defined as a pronoun used to indicate possession. Such pronouns are ours, mine, yours, hers, theirs, his, etc.
Below are sentences with possessive pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- This book is mine. So, give it back!
- The pen is hers.
- This website is ours, and we're proud of it!
- You don't have to follow his plan. Stick to your own thing instead.
- Strive to fulfil every dream of yours.
- The horses are theirs. We better ask them before we pet them.
Pronouns that indicate unidentified things, places, or persons are called indefinite pronouns. For example, some, anyone, anybody, nobody, somebody, many, everyone, etc., are indefinite pronouns.
Below are sentences with indefinite pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- Everyone, please concentrate on your studies.
- Any person might get down from the bus.
- Hello! How many books can I borrow?
- Can anyone answer my question?
- Somebody should help us!
- Call someone to pick me up.
- Nobody beats her at badminton.
- No one can disagree with him.
- All of us missed the train. Now, we need to wait for the next one.
- I have so many things in my house. I may have to donate them since I don't use them anymore.
Demonstrative pronouns are commonly used in the place of specific things to show which thing/topic/concept we're talking about. For example:
- This (e.g., demonstrative pronoun) blazer looks cool. However, I think that one would fit me better.
So the words 'this' and 'that' indicate specific things to the speaker. 'This' usually refers to nearby things, while 'that' refers to things that are a bit farther away. The plural for 'this' is 'these', and the plural for 'that' is those.
Relative pronouns are used to describe a noun concerning another word. For instance:
- I am working with this guy, who sometimes is an annoyance!
'Who' is a relative pronoun and shows the relationship between 'guy' and annoyance.'
A distributive pronoun indicates things or people at a specific time. Distributive pronouns are in singular form and follow a noun and verb. Examples of pronouns: each, neither, either, and so on.
Below are sentences with distributive pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- Either they or I will do the task.
- Each of us can take the last shot.
- Neither Bob nor Garret joins our class.
Interrogative pronouns are simple. They're the pronouns used to ask questions, like what, who, whom, and so on.
Below are sentences with interrogative pronouns. They are in bold for easy reference:
- Who (i.e., interrogative pronoun) broke my laptop?
- Who believes in this government?
- Who will fetch the mail?
- What will we do about the regulations?
- What do you think of this singer?
- What is the matter with you?
- Which phone do you want to buy?
- Which company is better: Apple or Samsung?
- Whom do you prefer to live with: Your mum or dad?
- Whom do you want to marry: Johnny or James?
Etymology of pronoun
The word pronoun translates into a 'word used in the place of a noun to avoid repetition of it'. It comes from the 15th century Old French 'pronoun' or 'pronom', which, in turn, derives from Latin' pronomen,' meaning 'word standing in the place of a noun'. 'Pronomen' derives from 'pro,' which means 'in place of,' and 'nomen', which means 'name or noun.' The Latin word is a loan translation of the Greek word 'antonymia'.
The interesting thing is that in Old English, the word 'name' was used instead of 'noun' and 'pronoun.'
Eight types of pronouns FAQs
Below find the most common questions regarding the eight types of pronouns:
- What are the personal pronouns?
Personal pronouns are used in commands or statements. However, they are not used in questions, where interrogative pronouns (i.e., who, whom, what) are used instead. In English, the personal pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, they, them, us, hers, his, her, theirs, your, and our.
- Is Dr a pronoun?
No, because the pronoun is a doctor. This is because a pronoun is a word substituted for a noun or noun phrase.
- Are pronouns adverbs?
No. They're different. Common adverbs: Eagerly, boldly, bravely, elegantly, cheerfully, deftly.
Pronouns play one of the most important roles in how our language works because they improve the quality of sentences. And that's exactly how we identify pronouns in sentences! So, it's crucial to understand and learn these eight types of pronouns and their definitions by heart.
Besides, pronouns are eight fundamental parts of speech. Hence, it's paramount to understand how pronunciation works in sentences to make your writing more engaging and effective.
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