pronouns

Pronouns

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Pronouns

Tips on Pronouns

Tips on answering questions in English grammar related to Pronouns

    1 Tips

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Sep 30, 2017 5:52:33 PM

Grammar Rules with 8 Tips on using Pronouns


What is a Pronoun?


A pronoun is defined as a word or phrase that is used as substitute for a noun or noun phrase in a sentence. It also helps to avoid repetition of noun in a sentence.

Example:

a)    Radhika is a singer and Radhika announced that Radhika’s music album will be released soon. (repetition of the noun ‘Radhika’ makes the sentence cumbersome)

b)    Radhika is a singer and she announced that her music album will be released soon.

Basic concepts related to Pronouns:

1.    Subject Pronoun replaces nouns that are the subject of their clause and can be used to begin sentences. Example: We did a great job.

2.    Object Pronouns are used to replace nouns that are the direct or indirect objects of a clause. Example: Give the book to me.

Antecedent is a word or phrase that a pronoun refers to. A pronoun must agree in number (singular/plural) with its antecedent. Example: Jatin threw the ball to Nitish, and Nitish threw them it back. ("the ball" is the antecedent of "it.")


Forms of Pronouns:


Pronouns are formed based on the following three categories:

a)    Person: Who is speaking? I? He? She? They?

b)    Number: Is the speaker/subject is Singular or Plural? I or We? He or They?

c)    Gender: Is the speaker/subject Masculine, Feminine or Neuter? He? She? It?

Case of pronoun:

1.    1st person singular:

a)    Subject pronoun: I

b)   Object pronoun: Me

c)    Possessive adjective: My

d)   Possessive pronoun: Mine

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Myself


2.    1st person plural:

a)    Subject pronoun: We

b)   Object pronoun: Us

c)    Possessive adjective: Our

d)   Possessive pronoun: Ours

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Ourselves


3.    2nd person singular:

a)    Subject pronoun: You

b)   Object pronoun: You 

c)    Possessive adjective: Your

d)   Possessive pronoun: Yours

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Yourself


4.    2nd person plural:

a)    Subject pronoun: You

b)   Object pronoun: You

c)    Possessive adjective: Your

d)   Possessive pronoun: Yours

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Yourselves


5.    3rd person singular:

a)    Subject pronoun: He/She/It

b)   Object pronoun: Him/Her/It

c)    Possessive adjective: His/Hers/Its

d)   Possessive pronoun: His/hers

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Himself/Herself/Itself


6.    3rd person singular:

a)    Subject pronoun: They

b)   Object pronoun: Them

c)    Possessive adjective: Their

d)   Possessive pronoun: Theirs

e)    Reflexive pronoun: Themselves


Types of Pronouns:


1.    Personal pronouns – words that refer to certain person, thing, or group; I, We, He, Him, She, Her, It, They etc.

2.    Indefinite pronouns – words that refer to one or more vague, unspecified objects, beings, or places; Everybody, Somebody, Nobody, Several, Each, Either etc.

3.    Reflexive pronouns – forms of Personal pronoun ending in –self or –selves; Myself, Yourselves, Themselves, Himself, Herself, Yourself etc.

4.    Demonstrative pronouns – words used to point to something specific within a sentence; This, That, These, Those etc.

5.    Possessive pronouns – words that indicate possession or ownership; Her, His, Ours, Yours, Its etc.

6.    Relative pronouns – words that refer to nouns mentioned previously, acting to introduce an adjective (relative) clause; Who, Which, Whose, Whom, That etc.

7.    Interrogative pronouns – words used to ask a question; Who, What, Which, Whose etc.

8.    Reciprocal pronouns – words to express mutual actions or relationship; One another, One another etc.

9.    Distributive pronouns – words for individuals and objects referring to them one at a time; Either, Each, Every, None, Anyone etc.


Tips on using Pronouns:


Tip # 1: When to use a Reflexive Pronoun

Reflexive Pronouns are used after verbs when subject of the verb is receiver of the action. Avenge, Revenge, Acquit, Adjust, Adapt, Avail etc. are some of the verbs that are used reflexively.

a)    He resigned from the post of CEO. (No reflexive pronoun required)

b)    He resigned himself to his fate. (Here the act of resignation reflects on the subject ‘he’)

Reflexive Pronouns are preceded by a noun or pronoun when acting as subject of a verb.

a)    I myself supervised the event. (‘I’ is precedes ‘myself’)

Reflexive Pronouns are NOT used after verbs like Keep, Stop, Move, Qualify, Rest, Hide etc.

a)    He hid himself under the table.


Tip #2: Subject Pronoun Agreement

As well as, Together with, Along with, in addition to, Except, No less than: When two subjects in a sentence are joined by these words, the Possessive Pronoun is in accordance with the first subject.

a)    The teacher as well as the students returned to his classroom.

Either-or, neither-nor, not only-But also, none-but: When two subjects in a sentence is joined by these words, the Possessive Pronoun is in accordance with the nearest subject.

a)    Not only the teacher but also the students returned to their classroom.

Possessive Pronouns are NOT used after nouns like Leave, Excuse, Mention, Report, Sight etc.

a)    The thief fled at his sight at the sight of him.


Tip #3: Usage of Apostrophe

Apostrophe Mark: Possessive pronouns do not need apostrophes to show ownership.

a)    This book is her’s hers.

b)    This is their car. (Here ‘their’ is possessive adjective appearing before the noun ‘car’)

c)    This car is theirs.  (Here ‘theirs’ is possessive pronoun)

One: When ‘one’ is used as subject of a sentence, the Possessive pronoun should be One’s.

a)    One should do his one’s duty properly.

b)    Everyone should do one’s his duty properly.


Tip #4: Subject-Object Singular-Plural

Subjective Case of Pronoun: is used when pronoun follows the verb ‘to be’

a)    It is me I who have called your mother.

Objective Case of Pronoun: is used when pronoun follows and Verb or Preposition.

a)    They are briefing Rajiv and she her.

Order of using Singular Pronouns: is second person, third person and first person (231) in a sentence.

a)    You, he and I will go out for dinner tonight.

Order of using Plural Pronouns: is first person, second person and third person (123) in a sentence, specifically for unpleasant acts.

a)    We and they will both be punished.


Tip #5: Either, Neither, Anyone, None

Either, Neither, Anyone, Many a, Each, Every: when these are used as subject in a sentence, the Possessive Pronoun will be in Third Person Singular.

a)    Neither of the two sisters brought their her bags.

Either, Neither, Each other: are used to refer to two persons or things.

a)    None neither of his legs was injured in the accident. (Used ‘neither’ in place of ‘none’ to refer to either one of the two legs)

Anyone, None and One another: are used to refer to more than two persons or things.

a)    Students should not fight with each other one another. (Used ‘one another’ because there are more than two students)


Tip #6: Pronouns in Interrogative Sentences

The pronoun in the question tag should be in agreement with subject in the main sentence.

a)    Samaira is intelligent, isn’t it she? (Note that ‘she’ is used in place of ‘it’ as per the subject ‘Samaira’ and if the main sentence is in affirmative, the following question tag is in negative)

Hardly, Seldom, Barely, Scarcely, Few, Little: if these words are used to make a negative sentence, then the following question tag will be affirmative.

a)    She is seldom late, isn’t is she?

Everyone, Everyone, Somebody, Someone, Anybody and None etc.: for these Indefinite Pronouns, ‘they’ is used in the question tag.

a)    Everyone can succeed, can’t they?


Tip #7: Both, Same

Both: is not used in negative sense and is followed by ‘and’ in place of ‘as well as’

1.    Both you as well as and your brother are going to high school next year.

a)    Both of them are not going to high school. (Incorrect)

b)    Neither of them is going to high school. (Correct)

Same: is not to be used as a pronoun.

a)    He bought a house and living in the same it.


Tip #8: Who, Which, Whom, What

Which: is used to make a choice between more than two persons or things.

a)    Of the three sisters who which is the better singer?

Who: as a Relative Pronoun is used as a Subject of a verb in the adjective clause.

a)    He is a kind of person who, everybody knows, is generous.

Whom: as a Relative Pronoun is used as an Object of a verb in the adjective clause.

a)    A man, whom I have never seen before, was asking about you.

What: as a Pronoun is used without antecedent and is used to refer to things only.

a)    It is incredible what she saw.

b)    The movie what that she saw was incredible.


Spot the Errors:


Each of the following sentences will contain a mistake in the usage of Pronouns. See if you can spot that mistake.


#1:

He has himself qualified for the job. (Incorrect)

He has himself qualified for the job. (Correct)


#2:

They enjoyed during the winter vacation. (Incorrect)

They enjoyed themselves during the winter vacation. (Correct)


#3:

It will be her who will help you in the kitchen. (Incorrect)

It will be she who will help you in the kitchen. (Correct)


#4:

Yourself chose this path. (Incorrect)

You yourself chose this path. (Correct)


#5:

She has brought sweets for you and I. (Incorrect)

She has brought sweets for you and me. (Correct)


#6:

Neither the players nor the coach was playing in their uniform. (Incorrect)

Neither the players nor the coach was playing in his uniform. (Correct)


#7:

She did your mention during the speech. (Incorrect)

She did make mention of you during the speech. (Correct)


#8:

I and you will go to market tomorrow. (Incorrect)

You and I will go to market tomorrow. (Correct)


#9:

My brother along with his friends is launching their new store next month. (Incorrect)

My brother along with his friends is launching his new store next month. (Correct)


#10:

They and we will not be traveling together. (Incorrect)

We and they will not be traveling together. (Correct)


#11:

Either of the four tires must be damaged. (Incorrect)

Anyone of the four tires must be damaged. (Correct)


#12:

Each one of us should count our bags properly before boarding. (Incorrect)

Each one of us should count his/her bags properly before boarding. (Correct)


#13:

Few men are participating in the blood donation camp, isn’t he? (Incorrect)

Few men are participating in the blood donation camp, are they? (Correct)


#14:

They did not go to Goa for vacations, isn’t it? (Incorrect)

They did not go to Goa for vacations, did they? (Correct)


#15:

Both Reena as well as Sejal are appearing for exams next year. (Incorrect)

Both Reena and Sejal are appearing for exams next year. (Correct)


#16:

I don’t believe in the words what he said. (Incorrect)

I don’t believe in the words which/that he said. (Correct)


#17:

I don’t believe in which he said. (Incorrect)

I don’t believe in what he said. (Correct)


#18:

Please mail it to I. (Incorrect)

Please mail it to me. (Correct)


#19:

Every policeman and every fireman was in their place. (Incorrect)

Every policeman and every fireman was in his place. (Correct)


#20:

The horse fell and broke her leg. (Incorrect)

The horse fell and broke its leg. (Correct)



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pronouns

Pronouns

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Pronouns

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