Pronouns in English with Examples
A pronoun is used to replace a noun in a sentence, so as to avoid repetition. In other words, they shorten conversations or writing. They represent handy “shortcuts” to make English more efficient, as long as the speaker/writer and listener/reader both know to what they refer. Pronouns function simply as the replacement term for nouns or noun phrases that run the risk of sounding repetitive.
Pronouns are words that can function by themselves and refer either to the participants in the sentence (for example, I, you, or they) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the sentence (e.g., he, it, or this). There are several major categories of pronouns, a few of which we cover here:
- Personal pronouns are used to replace a specific person’s name. For example:
- Martin likes to eat fruit. He eats at least two apples every day.
- Object pronouns are the recipients of action in a sentence. For example:
- I asked Natalie out on a date. I will meet her at the movie theater on Saturday.
- Reflexive pronouns emphasize the subject or object of a sentence by referring to the same person or thing. For example:
- He treated himself to the day off to celebrate his birthday.
- Possessive pronouns indicate ownership. For example:
- It looks like you forgot your textbook. Would you like to borrow mine?
- Relative pronouns connect a phrase or clause to a noun or pronoun. For example:
- My cousin Angela, who just turned 16 years old, just got her driver’s license.
Each type of pronoun comes with its own terms. To summarize these: