What Is a Pronoun? Pronoun Types and Examples
What Is a Pronoun?
A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun or noun phrase that has already been referenced or is understood on its own. Pronouns help add variety in writing and speech and prevent repetitive words. Like nouns, pronouns can be singular (I, you, he) or plural (they, our, their).
What Are the Types of Pronouns?
There are nine primary types of pronouns in the English language.
· Possessive pronouns
· Indefinite pronouns
· Demonstrative pronouns
· Relative pronouns
· Interrogative pronouns
· Reflexive pronouns
· Intensive pronouns
· Reciprocal pronouns
What Is a Personal Pronoun?
Personal pronouns replace the name of a person, animal, or other being and can be written in first person (I/we), second person (you), or third person (he/she/it/they). Personal pronouns can substitute the subject or object in a sentence. Subject pronouns replace the subject and typically appear at the beginning of a sentence. Object pronouns substitute the object and typically appear at the end of a sentence.
Subject Pronoun Examples
· I ate the last cookie.
· You should brush your teeth twice a day.
· They have never seen her this way.
· It might rain this time.
Object Pronoun Examples
· The knight gave the rose to me.
· Beverly needs to speak to you.
· John walked with them.
· Chris didn’t want to take it.
What Is a Possessive Pronoun?
A possessive pronoun indicates possession or ownership of a noun. As with personal pronouns, these pronouns usually take the place of a name in a sentence. However, unlike possessive nouns, which use apostrophes to show ownership, possessive pronouns do not. Possessive pronouns are categorized as independent possessive pronouns or possessive adjectives.
Independent Possessive Pronouns
These pronouns stand alone in a sentence and always appear at the end.
· Those shoes are mine.
· The package is ours.
· That TV isn’t theirs.
· The watch is his.
When a personal pronoun functions as a descriptor of a noun, it’s referred to as a possessive adjective. Possessive adjectives modify nouns and, therefore, placed before them.
· My dress no longer fits.
· Your bus is right here.
· Their house is clean.
· Our parrot loves to talk.
What Is an Indefinite Pronoun?
An indefinite pronoun serves as the subject in a sentence and doesn’t refer to a specific noun or gender.
· Everyone saw the shooting star.
· No one forgot his birthday.
· Both were surprised.
· Most chose the strawberry flavor.
What Is a Demonstrative Pronoun?
Demonstrative pronouns identify a noun or pronoun in a sentence. They provide clarity about which specific person, place or thing the speaker/writer is addressing.
· This chocolate cake is amazing!
· Neither option is a good one.
· These earrings are 14K gold.
· Are those the glasses you bought?
What Is a Relative Pronoun?
These pronouns typically introduce relative clauses (a type of dependent clause) that describe nouns or other pronouns. They link these relative clauses to independent clauses in a sentence.
· I don’t know the person who took the photo.
· The bike, which was his Christmas gift, is green.
· The students whose class was canceled were elated.
What Is an Interrogative Pronoun
Interrogative pronouns are used to ask a question or refer to people or objects. The five primary interrogative pronouns (who, what, which, whom, and whose) also appear in lists of relative pronouns. The difference, however, is that interrogative pronouns appear only in questions.
· Who let the dogs out?
· Which house is yours?
· Whose shoes are these?
What Is a Reflexive Pronoun?
A reflexive pronoun refers back to the noun and can act as the object or indirect object in a sentence.
· I baked myself some cookies.
· Jane bought herself the dress.
· You should give yourselves a break.
What is an Intensive Pronoun?
Intensive pronouns add emphasis to another noun or pronoun and are very similar to reflexive pronouns in that they end in “self” or “selves.” However, intensive pronouns can be removed from a sentence without affecting its meaning while reflexive pronouns cannot.
· I myself baked the cookies.
· Jane herself bought the dress.
· Larry himself turned out to be the culprit.
What Is a Reciprocal Pronoun?
Reciprocal pronouns indicate a give-and-take relationship between two (or more) nouns in which a certain action affects both nouns simultaneously.
· They high-fived each other after hearing the news.
· Love one another.
What Are Some Pronoun Examples?
There are more than 100 pronouns in the English language. The following are some of the most common ones.