Pronoun Types

Moving on to the topic of Pronoun type structure, we previously examined the use of relative pronouns (who, whom, which, whose, etc.). This time, our focus is on other pronoun types: Personal, demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive.   Personal Pronouns: These words substitute for any of the three persons in the English language: The first person […]

Moving on to the topic of Pronoun type structure, we previously examined the use of relative pronouns (who, whom, which, whose, etc.). This time, our focus is on other pronoun types: Personal, demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive.

 

Personal Pronouns:

These words substitute for any of the three persons in the English language:

  1. The first person pertains to the person(s) being addressed.
  2. The second person refers to the person(s) being addressed.
  3. The third person refers to the person(s) or things spoken about.

Note that personal pronouns come in singular and plural forms and can be used in both nominative (subjective) and accusative (objective) cases.

 

In examining personal pronouns, we observe their variations in both singular and plural forms, encompassing distinct cases such as the subjective (used as the subject in a sentence) and the objective (used as the object in a sentence). These variations are crucial in conveying different nuances and roles within sentences. Let’s delve into the details:

 

First Person:

Subjective (Singular):* “I” is employed when referring to oneself as the person being addressed.

Example: “I am going to the store.”

 

Objective (Singular): “Me” is used as the object in a sentence when referring to oneself.

Example: “John saw me at the party.”

 

Subjective (Plural): “We” is the plural form used when addressing a group that includes the speaker.

Example: “We are working on a project together.”

 

Objective (Plural): “Us” is utilized as the object when referring to a group that includes the speaker.

Example: “They invited us to join their team.”

 

Second Person:

Subjective (Singular and Plural): “You” serves as both the singular and plural form, addressing the person or persons being spoken to.

Example: “You are my best friend.”

 

Objective (Singular and Plural): “You” remains consistent in both singular and plural, representing the object in a sentence.

Example: “I appreciate you helping me.”

 

Third Person:

Subjective (Singular): “He,” “She,” and “It” are employed when referring to a singular person or thing being spoken about.

Examples: “He is my brother,” “She is a doctor,” “It is a beautiful day.”

Objective (Singular): “Him,” “Her,” and “It” are used as the object in a sentence, denoting the singular person or thing.

Examples: “John saw him at the park,” “I admire her talent,” “Please pass it to me.”

 

Subjective (Plural): “They” is utilized when referring to a plural group or things being spoken about.

Example: “They are my classmates.”

 

Objective (Plural): “Them” is the plural form, representing the object in a sentence when referring to a group.

Example: “I called them to discuss the project.”

 

Understanding the distinctions between these pronouns is essential for effective communication and grammatical accuracy in constructing sentences.

Demonstrative Pronouns:

These pronouns indicate specific persons, places, or things. The demonstrative pronouns in English are: this, these, that, those. “This” and “that” are singular, while “these” and “those” are plural.

 

Examples:

  1. This is my friend.
  2. These are my books.
  3. That is her shop.
  4. Those are my cars.

 

Interrogative Pronouns:

Interrogative pronouns are used in posing questions.

 

Examples:

  1. What is your name?
  2. Which of the dresses is yours?
  3. Whose hat is this?
  4. To whom did you give the letter?
  5. Where do you live?

 

Note: The interrogative pronoun ‘which’ is employed when making a selection from a known set of possibilities or when the choice is limited to a specific number.

 

Possessive Pronouns:

These pronouns indicate ownership, such as “The house is mine.” Other examples include his, ours, yours, theirs.

It is crucial for students to distinguish between possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives.

In understanding possessive pronouns, it is crucial to recognize their forms in both singular and plural contexts without resorting to a table:

 

First Person:

Possessive Adjective: my

Example: This is my book.

 

-Possessive Pronoun: mine

Example: The book is mine.

 

Second Person:

Possessive Adjective: your

Example: Is this your pen?

 

Possessive Pronoun: yours

Example: Yes, the pen is yours.

 

Third Person:

Singular:

Possessive Adjective: his, her, its

Examples:

  1. This is his car.
  2. Her dress is beautiful.
  3. The cat is licking its paws.

 

  Possessive Pronoun: his, hers, its

Examples:

  1. The car is his.
  2. The dress is hers.
  3. Its behavior is peculiar.

 

Plural:

Possessive Adjective: our, your, their

Examples:

  1. This is our house.
  2. Your opinions matter.
  3. Their decision is final.

 

 Possessive Pronoun: ours, yours, theirs

Examples:

  1. The house is ours.
  2. The opinions are yours.
  3. The decision is theirs.

 

It’s important to note that possessive pronouns in the third person singular (his, hers, its) do not change form between singular and plural, unlike possessive adjectives. Additionally, there is no possessive pronoun for the third person singular neuter gender in the plural form.

Note: An apostrophe cannot be used with possessive pronouns (e.g., This pencil is yours, not This pencil is your’s; This school is theirs, not This school is their’s).

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