Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a common noun or a proper noun. There are different kinds of pronouns.

Personal Pronouns

The words I, you, he, she, it, we and they are called personal pronouns. They take the place of nouns and are used as the subject of the verb in a sentence. The subject of a sentence is the person, animal, place or thing that does the action shown by the verb. For example,

  • My name is David. I am the youngest in the family.
  • This is my father. He is a teacher.
  • This is my mother. She is a lawyer.
  • I have a brother and two sisters. They are Peter, Sharon and Jenny.
  • I have a dog. It is called Lucky. Lucky, you are a good dog.
  • Good morning, children! You may sit down now.
  • My family and I live in a big city. We have an apartment.

The words me, you, him, her, it, us and them are also personal pronouns. They also take the place of nouns. These pronouns are used as the object of the verb in a sentence. The object of a sentence is the person, animal, place or thing that receives the action shown by the verb. For example,

  • I am standing on my head. Look at me.
  • My mother is kind. Everybody likes her.
  • Lisa, I told you to tidy your bed!
  • Sharon and Jenny! Dad is waiting for you!
  • Lucky and I are playing in the park. Dad is watching us.
  • You must not play with the knife. Give it to me.
  • Pick up your toys and put them away.
  • Baby birds cannot fly. Mother bird has to feed them.
  • Tom likes riding my bicycle. I sometimes lend it to him.

First, Second and Third Person

There are three groups of pronouns: first person, second person and third person.

The person speaking is called the first person. The first-person pronouns are I or me (in the singular) and we or us (in the plural).

The person spoken to is called the second person. The second-person pronoun is you (in both singular and plural).

The person (or animal, or thing) spoken about is called the third person. The third-person pronouns are he or him, she or her, and it (in the singular), and they or them (in the plural).

The word "I" is always spelled with a capital letter. The pronoun he is used for men and boys, she for women and girls, and it for things and animals.

Reflexive Pronouns

The words myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves are called reflexive pronouns. They refer to the person or animal that is the subject of the verb. For example,

  • I made this cake myself.
  • Be careful with the knife. You’ll cut yourself.
  • Michael is looking at himself in the mirror.
  • Susan has hurt herself.
  • Our cat washes itself after each meal.
  • We organized the party all by ourselves.
  • Come in, children, and find yourselves a seat.
  • Baby birds are too young to look after themselves.

Interrogative Pronouns

The words who, whom, whose, what and which are called interrogative pronouns. These pronouns are used to ask questions.

Who

  • Who is he talking to?
  • Who are those people?

Whom

  • Whom are you playing with?
  • Whom is he talking to?

Whose

  • Whose is this umbrella?
  • Whose are these gloves?

Which

  • Which of these bags is yours?
  • Which do you prefer?

What

  • What is your dog’s name?
  • What are you talking about?
  • What is the time?

"Who" can be used as the object of a verb as well as the subject. "Whom" is used only as the object.

Demonstrative Pronouns

The words this, these, that and those are called demonstrative pronouns. They are showing words.

You use this and these when you point to things near you. For example,

  • This is my house.
  • This is a hill.
  • These are donkeys.
  • What is this?
  • Did you drop this?
  • Hi, Jane! This is Michael!

You use that and those when you point to things farther away. For example,

  • That is John’s house.
  • That is a mountain.
  • Those are horses.
  • What are those?
  • We can do better than that.
  • No, that’s not mine.
  • You mean you won? That’s amazing!
  • Hello, who is that speaking, please?
  • Hello, is that you, George?