Pronouns – The words we can use in place of nouns to refer them.

P  Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns refer to people or things. These pronouns can be divided into more categories.

1.      Singular or plural (according to numbers)

2.      First, second, or third person (According to persons)

3.      Subjective or objective case and possessive (according to cases) 


  1. The first person indicates the person speaking or writing.
  2. The second person indicates the person being spoken or written to.
  3. The third person indicates the person, people, thing, or things being spoken or written about.


 I am not going to the party.                                        [First person, singular, subjective]
 The fight ends with me.                                              [First person, singular, objective]
We could not discover the root of the issue.              [First person, plural, subjective]

*Pronoun, “You” is considered both singular and plural and used in both the subjective and objective case.

Possessive Pronouns

The third case is possessive. Possessive pronouns function as an adjective that shows ownership or relationship – She is my favorite person.

They can be identified as first, second, or third person and singular or plural as well.


1.     We are leaving our lives in the hands of the rescue team. [First person, plural]
The others’ opinions are irrelevant; the only one that matters is yours. [Second person, singular]
Their conclusions overstepped the bounds of their research. [Third person, plural]
I cannot find its case. [Third person, singular]

Reflexive Pronouns

As shown by their names, these pronouns reflect the reader’s attention back to the subject of the sentence – Ram completed his homework by himself.

Reflexive pronouns are used in two main situations:

  •       When the subject and direct object is the same thing.
  •       When the subject and object of a preposition are the same.

Singular Plural First Person myself ourselves Second Person yourself yourselves Third Person himself, themselves herself, itself

Note: The forms His self, their selves, and themself are not words in the English language. Examples:

a.       Type 1: Jamil shot himself in the foot.

b.      Type 2: I talk to myself quite relentlessly. You are more afraid of yourself than anyone else.

Intensive Pronouns

Their spellings are same in form as reflexive pronouns but are used to stress on the subject–

Examples: -They themselves were unsure.

Note: To distinguish between reflexive and intensive pronouns is to remove the pronoun from the sentence – if the sentence still makes sense, the pronoun is intensive.


1.      We ourselves would have never considered it an option.

2.      I have climbed The Himalayas three times myself.

Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns describe clauses. They are categorized into those used for

1.      People (who, whom, and whose)

2.      Things (which and that)

People pronouns are either subjective or objective and either restrictive or nonrestrictive.

Thing pronouns are either restrictive or nonrestrictive.

Interrogative Pronouns

These pronouns have the the same form as relative pronouns but are used to introduce a question instead. Examples:

a.       Which one do you want?

b.      Whose is this?

c.       Whom are you looking for?

d.      Who is it?

Demonstrative Pronouns

These four pronouns – this, that, these, those – are used to point to a specific noun or nouns and indicate a position relative to the speaker.

Example:  Are those the shoes you wanted? [Points to a specific pair in a specific location away from the speaker.]

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are considered indefinite because they do not refer directly to a clearly specified noun. While they often suggest a number or amount (some, all, everyone, few), the measure is not specific. These pronouns can be tricky because some of them can be both singular and plural.


a. Someone has to take out the trash. (Singular)

b. Neither of the participants was comfortable. (Singular)

c. Most of the audience responds to this type of persuasion. (Plural)

d. Each of the students identifies a few of his/her favorite hobbies. (Singular; plural)

Reciprocal Pronouns

These pronouns are actually phrases made up of pairs of pronouns—one another and each other. These pronouns indicate a relationship between the individuals of the plural subject such that the individual members of the subject “take each other as their objects”. 

Example: Radha and Shayma are fond of each other.


1 comment:

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