What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun in order to avoid repetition of the latter.

Kinds of Pronoun

1. Personal Pronouns -Words used in place of nouns referring to persons.

I, we, you, he, she, it, they’ etc.

The case of
Personal pronoun
Singular plural- First personI
Singular – Second PersonYou
Plural – Third PersonTheyThemTheirTheirs

2. Demonstrative Pronouns- Words used for nouns to point out objects.

“This, that, these, those’ etc.

(i) This is my book.

(ii) That is her house.

But in the following examples, This’ and ‘That is used as demonstrative adjectives.

(i) This book

(ii) That house

3. Relative Pronouns—Words used for nouns to express functions relating to ‘who, which, that, whose, whom’ etc.

(i) The man who has just entered the room is my friend.

(ii) The book that I bought is very costly.

4. Interrogative Pronouns-Words used for nouns to ask questions.

Who? What? Which? Whose? Whom?

(i) Who took my bag?

(ii) Whom did you meet?

(iii) Whose books are these?

(iv) What are you doing?

(v) What shirt is this?             Interrogative adjective

(vi) Whose book is this?        Interrogative adjective

5. Indefinite Pronouns- Words used for nouns in vague and general

‘everybody, nobody, somebody, either, neither, all, much, several, ear

another’ etc.

 6. Reflexive Pronouns-Words used as forms of Personal pronouns for emphasis.

‘myself, ourselves, himself, themselves, yourself’ etc.

7. Distributive Pronouns-Used for individuals and objects referring to them at a time.

‘either, neither, each, every, none, anyone’, etc.

(1) Either of the two sisters is staying here.

(ii) Neither of his arms is defective.

(iii) You can take either room.    (Distributive adjective)

(iv) You can talk to each boy.      (Distributive adjective)

8. Reciprocal Pronouns-Words used to point out mutual relationship.

‘each other, one another’ etc.

 (i) Both the brothers love each other.

(ii) Indians should not fight with one another.

              Rules of Pronoun

Rule I

When the subject of the verb is the receiver of the action, the action is said to be refle Such verbs are used reflexively.

‘Acquit, absent, avail, reconcile, amuse, resign, avenge, revenge, enjoy, exert, Anni. adapt, adjust, pride’ overreach, etc, are used reflexively. e.g.,

(i) You should avail yourself, of every chance in life.  (Correct)

(ii) They enjoyed the picture last evening. (No reflexive pronoun is needed) (iii) They enjoyed during summer vacation. (Place ‘themselves’ after ‘enjoyed’)

(iv) He resigned himself to his failure.  (Correct)

(v) The former D.M. acquitted very efficiently. (Place ‘himself after ‘acquitted’).

(vi) He was determined to avenge the death of his wife. (Correct)

Rule II

The following verbs are not used reflexively.

 Keep, stop, turn, qualify, bathe, move, rest, hide’ are not used reflexively. e.g.,

(i) You should keep yourself from bad boys.

(ii) He has qualified himself for the post.

 (iii) He hid in the room.

(iv) The thief hid money under the carpet.

Rule III

A reflexive pronoun cannot act as a subject or object of a verb unless it is preceded by pronoun or noun concerned. e.g.,

(i) Myself will see to it that you get your share of the property. (Change ‘myself into T)

 (ii) Yourself and he reached there in time. (Change ‘yourself into ‘you’)

(iii) I myself like him. (Correct)

 (iv) Raj will do it for myself and my sister. (Change ‘myself’ to ‘me’)

Rule IV

(a) The verb ‘to be’ should be followed by subjective form when the complement is a pronoun. e.g.,

(1) It is me who has brought you home. (Change ‘me’ into ‘T)

 (ii) Was it her who did it for you?  (Change ‘her into ‘she’)

(iii)  It will be us who will buy a new house. (Change ‘us’ into ‘we’)

Rule V

Verbs and Prepositions are monitored by the objective case of a pronoun.

(i) Between you and I, Suhani is intelligent.   (Say ‘me’)

(ii) She is teaching Rohit and ‘she’.     ( Say ‘her’)

(iii) Let them go.      (Say ‘them’)

Rule VI

(a) Good manners require that the order of singular pronouns should be second person, third person and first-person.

 b) But in the plural ‘we’ is used before ‘you’ and ‘they’ after “you’ . The latter order is also observed while referring to unpleasant acts. e.g.,

(i) I and you will attend her wedding tomorrow. (Correct use is ‘You and i)

 (ii) He and you will share the mangoes. (Use ‘You’ and ‘he’)

 (iii) You, Mohan and I will watch a movie tonight. (Correct)

 (iv) We, you and they are leaving for Mumbai tomorrow. (Correct)

 (v) You and I will be punished.  (Unpleasant act, use ‘I and you’)

Rule VII

Use of possessive adjectives (Possessive case of the pronoun)

(A) When two subjects are joined by—

composed with, besides with, and not, in addition to, similar, dissimilar, with rather than, excluding, no less than, nothing but, more (noun) than one, the grasping case of the pronoun (possessive adjective) is used in agreement with the first subject.

(B) When two subjects are joined by

‘Either-or, neither-nor, not only-but also, none-but.’ the possessive case of pronoun (possessive adjective) is used according to the nearest


(C) When the pronouns

All, neither, any, anyone’ many a, more than one (possessive adjective) is used as the subject, the possessive case should be third person singular.


‘Which’ is used in place of Who’ when we are referring to a choice between two or than two things or persons, e.g.,

(1) of the two sisters who are the more intelligent. (Use ‘which’ in place of who)

(ii) Who is your father in the crowd? (Use ‘which’ in place of who)

(iii) Who is better of the two dancers in our society?

Rule IX

Possessive case -We don’t use a noun after possessive case of a pronoun. e.g..

 (i) This shirt is yours = This is your shirt.

(ii) Our is a populous country. (Say ‘Ours)

Rule X

The relative pronoun should be expressed according to its relation with the verb of the adjective clause. ‘Who’ is used as a subject of a verb of the adjective clause and ‘who is use an object of a verb or the adjective clause. e.g.,

(i) He was talking of the women who, he said, he met in America. (Use whom’ in place of ‘who)

(ii) She is the kind of lady whom, everybody knows, is intelligent. (Use whom’ in place of ‘whom)

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