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In this blog we will discuss important topic of English Grammar i.e. Pronouns.

Now the question arises, why we use Pronouns? So, if nouns clearly represent the people, places, things or ideas that they are used for, why would we want to replace them with pronouns? The very basic purpose of pronouns is to avoid repetition and make sentences easy to understand.

Read aloud this sentence, and you shall begin to see why we use pronoun?

Ravi goes to school. Ravi enters in the class. Ravi does studies. Ravi comes back home. Ravi takes lunch. Ravi’s mother is busy. Ravi’s sister has gone to office.

Now let’s use pronouns:

Ravi goes to school. He enters in the class. He does studies. He comes back home. He takes lunch. His mother is busy. His sister has gone to office.

Now I think you all must have understood the use of pronouns.

Let’s see

What is Pronoun?

A word that is used instead of a noun is called a Pronoun. (pronoun means for-a-noun) it is the substitute of noun.

For ex. We may say-

Hari is absent, because hari is ill.

But it is better to avoid the repetition of the noun Hari, and say-

Hari is absent, because he is ill.

So, in this we can see how pronoun substitute the noun. And how it made the sentence, smother and clear.

Let’s have a look on some of the forms of pronouns.

  1. Personal Pronoun:  The pronouns that denote the personal and the things are called personal pronouns. There are three kinds of personal pronouns.
PersonSingularPlural
First personIWe
Second personYouYou
Third personHe, She, ItThey

Some other forms of personal pronouns are as follows-:

Nominative case (subject)Accusative case (object)Possessive Pronouns
IMeMine
WeUsOurs
HeHimHis
SheHerHers
ItItIts
TheyThemTheirs

Note 1. It will be seen in possessive cases of most of the personal pronouns have two forms. Of these the forms my, our, your, her, their, are called Possessive Adjectives because they are used with nouns and do the work of Adjectives; as,

  • This is my book.
  • That is her book.
  1. Reflexive Pronouns: when –self is added to my, your, him, her, it, and –selves to our, them, your, or we can somewhere the action done by the subject turns back (reflects) upon the subject, they are called Reflexive Pronouns.
  2. I hate myself
  3. Sita pinched herself.
  1. Relative pronouns:  these pronouns are that, which, who, whom, whose. We use it to give the description of a noun. These are used after the noun.

Identify it:

 Ex. The man who invented telephone was an American.

The noun is ‘the man’. The relative pronoun is ‘who’ The adjective clause identifying the man.

Gives more detailed about it:

Ex. I drove my car, which now had two flat tyres, back home.

The noun is ‘my car’. And the relative pronoun is ‘which’

Relative Pronouns (FOR PEOPLE AND THINGS)

  • WHO and WHOM refer to people?
  • WHICH refer to things?
  • THAT and WHOSE refers to people or things.
  1. Distributive Pronouns:  they refer to person or things one at time. For this reason they are always singular and as such followed by the verb in the singular.

Ex. Each got a certificate for their participation.

  1. Demonstrative Pronouns: all that can be demonstrated by your hand , ‘this’ is used near to your hand ; ‘that’ is used for the farther

Please note that the plural forms of ‘that’ and ‘this’ are ‘these’ and ‘those’ respectively

              Ex.  This is my house

           That is the pencil, which belongs to you.

  1. Emphatic Pronouns: when the personal pronouns are given stress/ emphasis. Emphatic pronouns are used.

Ex.  I, myself cooked the food for my dad.

Let’s have a look to some of the examples and spot the error in these sentences using pronouns.

  1. (a) when the mother saw /(b) the child in /(c) the courtyard /(d) he was laughing.

Ans. Here the error is in (d) because the child sex is not determined and it is a neuter gender so on the place of ‘he’ we will use ‘it’,

  1. (a) the committee elected /(b) the president /(c) of workers without /(d) having the lunch.

Ans. In the sentence we can see committee is a plural noun so here for the plural noun, plural pronoun will be used. So, in the sentence (d) we will use their instead of his.

  1. (a) I have learned so much /(b) for the writing competition that there /(c) is no question of / (d) mine coming second.

Ans. In the point (d) my will replace mine. Because pronoun coming before V-ing  remains in the possessive form.

  1. (a) it is her / (b) who should be /(c) terminated for /(d) this machinery failure.

Ans.  (a) ‘she’ will be used. After “is, are, was, were, be, been, such, as, but, except”, nominative case of the pronoun is used i.e. I, we, you, he, she, it, they.

  1. (a)Either Seema or Reema / (b) forget to /(c) take their / (d) purse.

Ans.   (c) ‘her’ will be used. When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘or’, either- or neither –not, the pronoun is generally singular.

Some of the important rules are as follows: 

Rule No. 1: when a pronoun is used before verb then it should be in nominative case but when it is used after verb it should be in objective case.

Ex.  I am instructing him.

Rule No. 2: when a pronoun stands for a collective noun, it must be in the singular number (and neuter gender) if the collective noun is viewed as a whole.

Ex. The army has to suffer terrible privations in its march.

If the collective noun conveys the idea of separate individuals comprising the whole, the pronoun standing for it must be of the plural number.

Ex. The jury was divided in their opinions

Rule No. 3: when a sentence starts with each or every and two singular nouns joined by and then we should use singular pronoun only

Ex. Every buffalo and horse has lost their tail. (INCORRECT)

     Every buffalo and horse has lost its tail. (CORRECT)

Rule No. 4: when a sentence starts with it and after that any form of verb be is used then pronoun must be in nominative case.

Ex. It is me who had done this. (INCORRECT)

     It is I who had done this. (CORRECT)

Note: each of the personal pronouns, I, we, he, she, they, has a different form for the accusative case, namely, me, him, her, us, them. It is a common mistake to use I for me, when the pronoun is connected by conjunction (and, or) with some other word in the accusative case.

Rule No. 5: After some compound conjunction like as good as, as much as, as well as that are used for comparison, we should not put objective case but use nominative case.

Ex. When it comes to give service, ram is as good as him. (INCORRECT)

     When it come to service, ram is as good as he is in service. (CORRECT)  

Rule No. 6: In the relative pronoun which has the same form for the nominative and accusative cases similarly, that too have the same, but in the singular and plural form. It has no genitive case.

Ex.  This is a house which belongs to my uncle.

       Take anything that you like.

In this pronoun what is used only in the singular and has the same form in the nominative and accusative.

Ex. I say what I mean.

Rule No. 7: when a pronoun refers to a noun already stated in the sentence, the replaced noun is called antecedent. The pronoun should be placed closed to the antecedent and must agree with it in gender and number.

Ex. The teacher chose those students because they had scored the highest marks.

Here, the noun (antecedent) ‘students’ is later replaced with ‘they’ which is a pronoun. It is placed close to the noun and agrees with it in both number and gender.

Rule No. 8: (this is one of the important rules for the competitive exam) the rule says, never use apostrophes with possessive pronouns.

Ex. Jack took his’s dog for a walk. (WRONG)

      Jack took his dog for a walk. (RIGHT)

Rule No. 9: In Bank Exam the error usually comes in changing ‘who’ and ‘whom’, so first determine if the what is it referring to. If it refers to the subject, the pronoun will be ’who’ for objects, use ‘whom’.

Ex. Who cooked this delicious dish? (reference is made to the subject, hence ‘who’ is used)

     Sara invited whom for dinner? (reference is made to the object hence ‘whom’ is used.

Rule No. 10: proper usage of reciprocal pronouns. ‘Each other’ is used for two people. ‘One another’ is used when there are more than one people involved.

Ex. People in the society love one another.

 While in the indefinite pronoun ‘one’ should be changed to “one’s” in the possessive case.

Ex. One should love one’s country. (WRONG)        One should love their country. (RIGHT)

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