English Grammar Parts of Speech – Pronoun | Exercises | Notes
A pronoun is a word used instead of a Noun.
Types of pronoun
A pronoun which is used instead of the name of a person is called Personal pronoun.
I,my, mine, me, we, our; ours, usl (FirSt’person)
Thou, their, thy, thee, you, your, yours (Second person)
He, his, him, she, her, hers, it, its, they, their, theirs, them (Third person).
(a) Forms of the Personal pronouns.
First Person (Masculine or Feminine):
Nominative I We
Possessive my, mine our, ours
Objective me us
Second Person (Masculine or Feminine)
Nominative thou you
Possessive thy, their your, yours
Objective thee you
Nominative he she
Possessive his her, hers
Objective him her
Neuter All genders
Nominative it they
Possessive its their, theirs
Objective it them
(b) Use of the Pronoun
(i) For things without life.
e.g. Here is your book; take it away.
(ii) For animals, unless we clearly wish to speak of them as male and female.
e.g. He lives his dog and cannot do without it.
The horse fell and broke its leg.
(iii) For a young child, unless we clearly wish to refer to the sex.
e.g. When I saw the child it was crying.
That baby has torn its clothes.
(iv) To refer to some statement going before. e.g. He is telling what is not true; as he knows it.
(v) As a provisional and temporary subject before the verb to be when the real subject follows.
e.g. It is easy to find fault.
It is doubtful whether he will come.
(vi) To give emphasis to the noun or pronoun following.
e.g. It was you who began the quarrel. 2. It was I who first protested.
(vii)As an indefinite nominative of an impersonal verb.
e.g. It rains It snows
(viii)In speaking of the weather or the time.
e.g. It is time
It is ten o’clock.
(а) Since a personal pronoun is used instead
of a noun, it must be pf thesame number, gender, and person as the noun for which it stands. ,
e.g. Rahul is a kind boy. He has lent his bicycle to. rhe.
(b) When a pronoun stands for a collective noun it must be the singular number (and neuter gender) if the collective noun is 3. viewed as a whole.
e.g. The fleet will reach its destination in a week.
(c) When two or more singular nouns are joined by and, the pronoun used for them must be plural.
e.g. Rahul and Himanshu work hard.
They are praised by their teacher.
(d) When the two singular nouns joined by and are preceded by each or every, the pronoun must be singular.
e.g. Every soldier and every sailor was in his place.
(e) When two or more’singular nouns are joined by or or either… or, neither… nor, the pronoun is generally singular.
e.g. Rahul or Himanshu must lend his hand.
(f) When a plural noun and a singular noun are joined by or or nor, the pronoun must be in the plural.
e.g. Either the manager or his assistants failed in their duty.
(g) When a pronoun refers to more than one noun or pronoun of different persons, it must be of the first person plural in preference to the third. e.g. You and I have done our duty.
Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns
When self is added to my, your, him, her, it, and selves to our, your, them, we get compound personal pronouns. They are called Reflexive pronouns when the action done by the subject turns back (reflects) upon the subject.
e.g. I hurt myself.
We hurt ourselves.
You will hurt yourselves.
They hurt themselves.
Each of these Reflexive pronouns is used as the object of a verb, and refers to the same person or thing as that denoted by the subject of the verb.
When compound personal pronouns are used to give emphasis they are called Emphatic pronouns, e.g. I will do it myself.
I myself saw him do it.
Pronouns used to point out the objects to which they refer are called Demonstrative pronouns, e.g. Both cars are good; but this is better than that. ,
Here this and that are used to point out the objects to which they refer and are therefore they are Demonstrative pronouns.
(a) This, that, etc. are (Demonstrative) adjectives when they are used with nouns. e.g. This book is mine.
That pen is yours.
(b) This refers to what is close at hand, and nearest to the thought or person of the speaker (that refers to what is over there, farther away, and more remote;
e.g. This is better than that.
(c) That with its plural those, is used to avoid the repetition of a preceding noun.
e.g. The beauty of Araria is worse than those of Patna.
(d) When two things which have been already mentioned are referred to, this refers to the thing last mentioned, that to the thing first mentioned..
e.g. Alcohol and tobacco are both injurious; this perhaps, less than that.
All pronouns which refer to persons or things in a general way and do not refer to any particular person or thing are called indefinite pronouns.
e.g. None of his poems are well known. One must not praise oneself.
(a) Most of these words may also be used as Adjectives.
e.g.1 will take you there one day.
Any fool can do that.
(b) In referring to anybody, everybody, everyone, anyone, each, etc., the pronoun he or she is used according to the context.
e.g. I shall be glad to help everyone of my boys in his studies.
But when the sex is not determined, we use the pronoun of the masculine gender, as there is no singular pronoun of the third person to represent both male and female.
e.g. Everyone likes to have his way.
Each must do his best.
Each, either, neither are called distributive pronouns because they refer to persons or things one at a time. For this they are always singular and followed by the verb in singular.
e.g. Each of the boys gets a prize.
Neither of the accusations is true.
A relative pronoun refers or relates to some noun going before, which is called its antecedent,
e.g. I met Rahul who had just returned.
• The word who is used instead of the noun Rahul. It, therefore, does the work of a pronoun.
• The word who joins or connects two statements. It, therefore, does the work of a conjunction.
The word who, therefore, does double work : the work of pronoun and also the work of a conjunction. Therefore who is called as Conjuctive Pronoun.
Forms of the Relative Pronouns
(i) Relative pronoun who has different forms for objective and Genitive.
Singular and Plural
e.g. This is the boy (or girl) who works hard. This is the boy (or girl) whose exercise is done well.
(ii) The relative pronoun which has the same form for the nominative and objective cases.
e.g.This is the house which belongs to my uncle.
The relative pronoun ‘which’ has no Genitive case.
(iii) The relative pronoun that has the same form in the singular and plural, and in the nominative and objective. It has no genitive case.
e.g. He that is content is rich.
They that touch pitch will be defiled.
(iv) The relative pronoun what is used only in the singular, and has the same form in the nominative and objective.
e.g. What has happened is not.clear.
I say. what I mean.
Use of the Relative Pronouns
(i) As a general rule, who is used for persons only. It may refer to a singular or a plural noun. e.g. The man who is honest is trusted.
He who hesitates is lost.
Who is sometimes used in referring to animals. Whose (the Genitive form of who) is used in speaking of persons, but sometimes of thing without life.
e.g. This is the question whose solution has baffled philosophers of all ages.
(ii) Which is used for thing without life and for
animals. It may refer to a singular or plural noun. ‘
e.g. The horse which f recently bought is an Arab.
(iii) That is used for persons and things. It may refer to a singular or a plural noun. That has no genitive case and it is never used with a preposition preceding. e.g. I have lost the watch that you gave me. He that is not with me is against me.
(iv) That may be used as an adverbial objective = on which, in which, at which. e.g. I remember the day that he came.
(v) As the relative pronoun that has restrictive force it sometimes becomes unsuitable as the substitute for who or which.
Thus it is wrong to say :
e.g. My father that is a school master is fifty years old.
We must say :
e.g. My father, who is a school master, is fifty years old.
(vi) The relative pronoun that is used in preference to who or which.
(a) After adjectives in the superlative degree.
e.g. He was the most eloquent speaker that I ever heard.
(b) After the words, all, same, any, none, nothing, only.
e.g. All is not gold that glitters.
(c) After the interrogative pronouns who, what.
e.g. Who that saw her did not pity her? What is it that troubles you so much?
(d) After two antecedent, one denoting a person and the other.denoting an animal or a thing.
e.g. The boy and his dog that had trespassed on the club premises were turned out.
(vii) What refers to thing only. It is used without an antecedent expressed, and is equivalent to that which.
e.g. What (= that which) can not be cured must be endured.
I say what (= that which) I mean.
(viii)The word as is used as a relative pronoun after such and sometimes after the same: e.g. He is such a man as I honour.
My trouble is the same as yours.
The word as is also used as a relative pronoun after as followed by an adjective.
e.g. I collected as many mangoes as I could find.
Compound Relative Pronouns
(i) The pronouns formed by adding’ ever, so, or soever to who, which and what are called compound, relative pronouns. They are :
e.g. Whoever, whose, whosoever, whichever, whatever, whatsoever.
ii) The forms whoever, whichever and whatever are now ordinarily used.
e.g. Whoever (i.e. any person who) comes is welcome.
Take whichever (i.e. any which) you like.
I will take with me whomsoever you choose.
These pronouns, are used in asking indirect questions.
e.g. Whose book is this?
Who is these ?
Of whom do you speak?
(i) Who is used of persons only. ) •
e.g. Who goes there?
Who made the top score?
(ii) Which is used of both persons and things. It implies selection, i.e. it implies a question concerning a limited number.
e.g. Which is your friend?
Which of the boys saw him?
(iii) What is used of things only.
e.g. What have you found?
What do you want?
(iv) In such expressions as, what are you? ‘what is he?’ ‘what is this man?’
The word what does not refer to the person but to his profession or employment.
e.g. What are you? —I am an Engineer.
What is he? — He is a doctor.
(v) In the following sentences, which and what are used as interrogative adjectives.
e.g. Which book are your reading?
What books have you read?
(vi) In the following sentences, the words whoever and whatever are used as compound interrogative pronouns.
e.g. Whoever told you so?
Whatever are you doing?