We’ve heard of nouns before, and hopefully, nouns have been fairly easy for you to grasp. But what on earth is a pronoun and how does it fit in with the rest of the language rules we’ve already learned? What makes a word a pronoun instead of a noun, or when should you keep a noun and not use a pronoun?
Don’t worry, these questions aren’t anywhere near as confusing as they might first seem. You’ll find that once you understand how pronouns should be used, you’ll have an easy time remembering them and probably won’t find yourself asking these questions again.
What Is a Pronoun?
A pronoun is a subcategory of a common noun that is used as a way to mix up a sentence without having to use the same word over and over again. It’s most commonly found in storytelling and novel writing as it requires a little more than just using the same noun over and over again to be an exciting piece of work.
Take the sentence “James went to the shop“, for example. If James did indeed go to the shop, then it’s a perfectly fine sentence to use, and “James” acts as the noun. However, if you then go on to say “James went for a run“, all of a sudden you’ve used to word “James” twice in two sentences and it begins to sound a bit exhaustive and repetitive.
This is where pronouns come in. Instead of using the full name to talk about the subject of the sentence, you can shorten it down completely and use the pronoun “he” or “his” when referring to “James” in the sentence. So the sentences together become “James went to the shop. He went for a run.” It just helps with the flow of your sentencing more than anything else.
Types of Pronouns & Examples
These are used in place of a specific person or thing. Like above, “he” works, as do “I” and “we“.
These are used in place of a specific item to demonstrate which one is being discussed. A good example is, “I like this instead of that“.
These pronouns are used to describe a noun about another word. For example, “you’re the man who took my life“. The word “who” is the relative pronoun in the sentence here.
These pronouns are used to show a mutual relationship between nouns. These can be either “each other” or “one another“.
These pronouns are used when referring to something that isn’t specific or something unknown. Examples include “everyone“, “everything“, “anything“, and “all“.
The pronouns are used when asking questions. They only ever refer to the words “who” or “what“.
These are used when the subject and object of the sentence are the same. A good example is “I love myself“, or “he hurt himself“.
These are the same as reflexive pronouns but are used in a different sense to add emphasis. A sentence like “she did it all by herself” is a perfect example.
List of Pronouns
- Each Other
- No One
- One Another
Pronouns | Images