Pronouns stand in for nouns
Pronouns allow us to make reference to other words without having to repeat ourselves. The words the pronouns refer to are known as antecedents.
John (antecedent) liked the book. He (pronoun) said it was riveting.
There are several types of pronouns.
As the subject of a sentence these pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, they.
When they’re the object of a sentence, you and it stay the same, but the rest change to me, him, her, us, them.
David (antecedent) caught the ball.
He threw the ball to me (personal pronouns).
The possessive pronouns are mine, yours, his, her, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs.
John (antecedent) told me the red car was his.
The reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
You use a reflexive pronoun when the subject and object are the same person.
I cut myself.
He looked at himself in the mirror.
They are also known as intensifiers.
I myself like grammar.
It is incorrect to use a reflexive pronoun as a substitute for me. (Some might say it is ‘non-standard’ English, but I hate seeing myself used instead of me so I will stick with ‘incorrect’.)
A common example of an incorrect use is:
Please send this to myself.
Please don’t hesitate to contact myself.
In both of these examples, the correct word is me (object). The hidden subject in both sentences is you.
The demonstrative pronouns are that, this, those, these.
They can substitute for a noun, noun phrase or whole sentence.
The red apples (antecedent) are ripe. These are too green.
The relative pronouns are that, who, whom, whose, which.
They stand for things, people or situations previously referred to.
That man (antecedent), whose name I can never remember, is over there.
The interrogative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, what.
These introduce questions.
Who bought the car?
The indefinite pronouns are everybody, nobody, someone, something.
Everyone loved the performance.
The reciprocal pronouns are each other, one another.
We gave each other Christmas presents.
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