Sunday, 3 June 2012


All the words of the English language fall into one of these eight categories: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. Likewise, there are several types of pronouns: 
  • personal: I, me,...
  • possessive: mine, yours,...
  • reflexive: myself, yourself,...
  • demonstrative: this, that,...
  • indefinite: some, any,...
  • interrogative: who, what,...
  • relative: which, that,...
Today we are going to see the first three types, which, like all pronouns, are used instead of nouns. Don’t get confused: personal pronouns do not only refer to persons. They are called like that because they refer to the three grammatical persons: 
  • First: person who speaks
  • Second: person who is spoken to
  • Third: a person or thing different from the first and second.
Some personal pronouns can be the subject of a sentence, others can be direct or indirect objects. They can refer to the first, second or third person, and they can be plural or singular. Only the third person singular pronouns can be masculine (he/him), feminine (she/ her) and neuter (it).
You can find all these pronouns in the table below.
PersonsSubject pronounsObject pronounsPossessive adjectivesPossessive pronounsReflexive pronouns
1st. p. singImemyminemyself
2nd p. sing.youyouyouryoursyourself
3rd p. sing. masc.hehimhishishimself
3rd p. sing. fem.sheherherhersherself
3rd p. sing. neut.itititsitsitself
1st p. pluralweusouroursourselves
2nd. p. pluralyouyouyouryoursyourselves
3rd p. pluraltheythemtheirtheirsthemselves

Let’s see how we can use these pronouns:

If we had to change the nouns for pronouns in this sentence Paul loves Laura, which ones would you use? 

Taking into account that John is the subject and Laura is the direct object, the sentence would be He loves her. We cannot say *He loves she, as she is a subject pronoun, not an object pronoun. (See table above).
Object pronouns can also go after prepositions: Hurry up! They are waiting for us, not *They are waiting for we. INCORRECT


Possessive adjectives accompany nouns, while possessive pronouns go alone.
E.G.That’s her car and this is mine.
        adjective                 pronoun
Possessives agree with the possessor and not with the thing possessed.  
E.G. That’s my book. Those are my books.
Note that the possessive adjective remains the same with either singular or plural nouns.

Note that I have also included the possessive adjectives because their use is very close to that of the possessive pronoun.


Reflexive pronouns  are used in cases when the same person is the subject and the object of the sentence. 

E.G. Sarah is teaching herself to speak Spanish.
In this example Sarah both does and receives the action of the verb.
They can also be used as indirect objects: I bought myself a beautiful watch. And also as the object of a preposition: He is angry with himself for failing the exam.
Sometimes they are used for emphasis: I don’t think you need help with your homework. You can do it yourself.
Preceded by the preposition by, reflexive pronouns mean “alone”: He likes living by himself = He likes living alone.

I hope all this will be useful fou you!

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