What is a Pronoun?
In grammar, a pronoun is defined as a word or phrase that may be substituted for a noun or noun phrase. They can be divided into numerous categories including:
- Indefinite pronouns – thosereferring to one or more unspecified objects, beings, or places
- Personal pronouns – those associated with a grammatical person
- Reflexive pronouns – those preceded by the adverb, adjective, pronoun, or noun to which they refer
- Demonstrative pronouns – those used to point to something specific within a sentence
- Possessive pronouns – those designating possession
- Relative pronouns – those which refer to nouns mentioned previously
There are a few important rules for using pronouns. Keep these in mind and you will discover that pronouns are easy to work with.
- Subject pronouns may be used to begin sentences. For example: We did a great job.
- Subject pronouns may also be used to rename the subject. For example: It was she who decided we should go to Hawaii.
- Object pronouns are used as direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions. These include you, me, him, her, us, them, and it. For example: David talked to her about the mistake.
- Possessive pronouns show ownership. They do not need apostrophes. For example: The cat washed its whiskers.
Examples of Pronouns
In the following examples, the pronouns are italicized.
- We are going on vacation.
- Don’t tell meyou can’t go with us.
- Anybody who says it won’t be fun has no clue what they are talking about.
The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how pronouns work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.
1. This is ______________ speaking.
c. He john
Answer: B. This is he speaking.
2. Greg is as smart as _____________ is.
Answer: C. Greg is as smart as she is.
3. The dog chewed on _________ favorite toy.
b. it is
Answer: D. The dog chewed on its favorite toy.
4. It could have been __________________.
d. more difficult
Answer: B. It could have been anyone.
5. Terry is taller than _______ am.
Answer: A. Terry is taller than I am.
List of Pronouns
As you read through this list of pronouns, remember that each one of these pronouns is a word that can be used to take the place of a noun. Think about ways to use the pronouns on this list in sentences, as this will increase your understanding.