Grammar : Pronoun

A pronoun is a word that is used to represent a noun.

Pronoun means


• Ramu is not a member of this organization.

In this sentence the word
Ramu is the name of a person. So Ramu is a noun. When we write about the same person in the following sentence, we use the word He.

• So, he could not attend the meeting meant only for the members.

In this sentence the word
he represents Ramu.

He is a pronoun.


Sri Lanka is a big island. It has many tourist-attractions.

In these sentences,
Sri Lanka is a noun. It is a pronoun.


• I do not know why he did not continue his studies. It is a mystery for many of us.

In these sentences, the phrase
why he did not continue his studies is noun but in phrase form. It is a pronoun.


Oxygen is essential for life on earth. It is a purifying element.

• In these sentences, the word
oxygen is a noun. The word it is pronoun.

There are
seven types of pronouns.

They are:

1. Personal

2. Reflexive

3. Demonstrative

4. Indefinite

5. Distributive

6. Relative

7. Interrogative

Let us see one by one.

1. Personal :

There are only seven personal pronouns.

They are He, She, It, They, You, We and I.

Here we use the word
you to indicate both the singular and plural forms.

Here we use the pronoun
they to indicate the plural form of both neuter gender and masculine or feminine gender.


I, He, She, It and You.


We, They and You.


• Mr. Gandhi, why not you seek his help?

Here the word
you is used to indicate only Mr. Gandhi (singular).

See another sentence.

• Students, you have to be assembled at the Lawtey hall by 11pm.

Here the word
you has been used to indicate the students (plural).


• Mr. Clinton is the Chairman of this company. He has gone to Paris to attend a meeting.

Mr. Clinton is noun and he is pronoun.

• Mrs. Clinton is the author of the book Why not you?. She has been nominated to the Nobel Prize for her book.

Here Mrs. Clinton is noun whereas the word she is pronoun.

• This University was founded in 1907. Then it had only 75 students.

Here the University is noun whereas it is pronoun.

• The students of this university participated in the foot-ball competition. They have won the competition.

Here, the students of this university is noun whereas They is pronoun.

• Mr. John, why can not you take more training in this field?

Here Mr. John is noun whereas you is pronoun.

• We, the natives of England, will support you for your humanitarian approach.

Here, the natives of England, is noun whereas we is pronoun.

• I, the father of the child, will attend the parents-meet scheduled to be held on 13th of this month.

the father of this child is noun whereas I is pronoun.

The pronoun
it is used to indicate only the neuter gender.

Tree, lion, river, sky, book, car, computer and language can be denoted by the pronoun

Al these seven Personal Pronouns as such are called
Nominative forms of Personal Pronouns.

All these seven Personal Pronouns have their own
Possessive forms of Personal Pronouns.

Mine( I ), ours(we), his(he), hers(she), its(it), yours(you) and theirs(they).


• This book is not mine.

• That house of hers is beautiful.

• That is the college of ours.

• This book is his.

All these seven Personal Pronouns have their own
Accusative forms of Personal Pronouns.

Me( I ), us(we), you(you), him(he), her(she), it(it) and them(they).


• He gave a book to me.

• The presents are meant for you and her.

• The Dean warned all of them.

• He gave us his house to stay for ten days as he went to Tokyo.

I, we, you, he, she, it and they are the seven personal pronouns. Because, they stand for the three-persons.

i. The person speaking
ii. The person spoken to
iii. The person spoken of

The pronouns
I and we, which denote the person or persons speaking, are said to be Personal Pronouns of the FIRST PERSON.

The pronoun
you, which denotes the person or persons spoken to, is said to be a Personal Pronoun of SECOND PERSON.
YOU is used both in the singular and in the plural.

The pronouns, he, she, it, and they which denotes the person or persons spoken of, are said to be Personal Pronouns of

The following are the different forms of the personal pronouns.


I and We are First Persons.

Nominative forms:

• I will come to your house today evening.

• We will do our best to get the job.

Possessive forms:

• That book is mine.

• That University is ours.

Accusative forms:

• He gave me a five-rupee note.

• He called on us.


You is the only SECOND PERSON.

Nominative Form:

• You are our best friend.

• You are welcome.

Possessive form:

• That suitcase in brown cover is yours.

Accusative form:

• We gave you your room-key.


He, She, They and It are THIRD PERSONS.

Nominative forms:

• He is a student of this University.
• She is learning French.
• They are from Japan.
• It is my home-town.

Possessive forms:

• That book is his.
• That book is hers.
• That book is ours.
• Japan is a workaholic country. The growth that it has attained is its.

Accusative forms:

• They gave him an award.
• They praised her for her splendid performance.
• People voted us to power. We thanked them.
• A cow is giving us ten liters of milk a day. We feed it properly.

These are the only seven pronouns. The pronouns that you are going to see under other different-types of Pronouns as mentioned below are various forms of these seven pronouns only.

2. Reflexive (or Emphatic pronouns):

The pronouns which are used to reflect upon the person or persons or thing or things which the pronouns represent are called reflexive pronouns.

Himself, herself, itself, themselves, yourself, yourselves, ourselves and myself are the reflexive pronouns.


• Mr. John himself called on us two days back.

• Mrs. Clinton herself came forward to contest the election to the post of Presidency of this association.

• Students themselves went out of the class-room in protest against the increases in the admission fees.

• You yourself can not cut you hair.

• You yourselves can organize a meeting to seek the opinions of all the students.

• We ourselves will come to your seeking your support.

• I motivated myself.

The singular form of the pronoun
you has its reflexive form yourself.

The plural form of the pronoun
you has its reflexive form yourselves.

3. Demonstrative :

This, that, those, and these are the demonstrative pronouns.


• I want only this book.

• Those incidents changed his mind drastically.

• These people are not qualified to attend the training program.

• That train is not the one for which we are waiting.

4. Indefinite :

These pronouns refer to persons or things in general.

One, many, all, some, somebody, someone, few, many, others, nobody, everybody etc… are the indefinite pronouns.


• Somebody crossed the road.

• Nobody came forward to assume responsibilities.

• Few candidates did not attend the interview.

• All are welcome.

• One has to be wise enough to live peacefully.

• Anybody can do that.

In these sentences the indefinite forms have been used only in general. Those forms do not represent anybody in particular.

5. Distributive :

The pronouns which are used to indicate all the members of the representative group are called distributive forms.

Each, everyone, either and neither are the distributive forms.


• Each one of you will be given a chance.

• Everyone, present here, should take their dinner.

• Either of you can take the matter to the chairman.

• Neither of you is qualified to attend the final.

6. Relative :

The pronouns which are used as conjunctions are called relative pronouns.

Who, what, that, which and where are relative pronouns.


• The pronouns which are used as conjunctions are called relative pronouns.

In this sentence, the word
which has been used to represent those pronouns used as conjunctions.

which is in relative form.

• The University which gave me admission is a very good University.

• Mr. Kobe who is a native of London is not the owner of this car.

• What you did is my problem.

• A grove of trees that is at the outskirts of the city is for sales.

7. Interrogative :

The interrogative forms of the pronouns are used here.

Whom, which, whose, what and that are interrogative pronouns.


• Mr. Kodak whom we are searching for is a native of Japan.

• Mrs. Goosd whose son is studying in Harvard has been hospitalized.

Go to the section on Verbs to continue

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