Repeating nouns while talking makes the conversation boring. This is why learning pronouns can be helpful. Let us learn more about this type of words.
What Are Pronouns?
In the broadest terms, pronouns are words that replace or refer to nouns or noun phrases.
However, sometimes a pronoun does not refer to anything specific or anything at all!
As you know, a sentence can have a subject or an object and they are all nouns. Sometimes repeating the nouns can make the conversation boring and repetitive.
Even in some cases, repeating nouns makes a long complicated speech which confuses the listener. Pronouns are words that are used instead of the antecedents to avoid repetitions.
Similarities and Differences Between Pronouns and Nouns
Sometimes 'nouns' and 'pronouns' follow the same rules and sometimes they do not. For example, one of the very differences is that a determiner cannot appear before pronouns, but determiners are easily added to nouns to modify them. Check out the table to find their similarities and differences.
|determiners + pronoun||✗||determiners + noun||✓|
|pronoun + pronoun||✗||pronoun + noun||✗|
|noun + pronoun||✗||noun + noun||✓|
|pronoun alone||✓||noun alone||✓|
|preposition + pronoun||✓||preposition + noun||✓|
|pronoun + verb||✓||noun + verb||✓|
|verb + pronoun||✓||verb + noun||✓|
Rules of Determiners
Determiners are just added to nouns and they cannot be added to pronouns as it was mentioned earlier.
The he is our boss.
The Combination of Nouns and Pronouns
It is important to know that we cannot have a pronoun added to a noun or vice versa. That is because as we said, all about pronouns is that they are used instead of nouns not with them.
Alex he is tall.")
Noun Modifiers and Pronoun Modifiers
Usually, we cannot have two words of the same word-class immediately after each other, but it is not correct for nouns. A noun can be added to another noun as its modifier, however, we cannot use a pronoun as a modifier for another pronoun.
Position of Objects
Both nouns and pronouns can be 'objects' so, they can be used after prepositions, or even after transitive verbs.
Did you search carefully? Maybe it is under
I will tell
There are ten main types of pronouns based on their special characteristics.
Based on their different characteristics, pronouns are categorized into different groups. Here are their most important characteristics.
What Does the Word 'Case' Refer to?
The 'case' of a pronoun indicates if it is referring to a noun which is the subject or object of a sentence. So, to be clear, pronouns are categorized into two main groups based on their cases.
Subjective pronouns are pronouns that are used as the subject of a sentence. The most common pronouns that are used as subject pronouns are 'personal pronouns.'
Let me see your ring, oh my God,
Objective pronouns are those that are used in the place of an object. This means these pronouns replace a direct object, an indirect object, and a prepositional object (an object after a preposition).
In this example, 'his cellphone' is a compound objective pronoun and 'it' is an object pronoun.
Remember, you must choose a subject pronoun if we are using it to replace a subject. And we have to use an object pronoun if we are using it to replace an object
compound subject pronouns are subjects that are made of two or more words. There are compound object pronouns in English as well. The only important thing is to use them in their correct positions.
are both in the same boat on this case, so just support what I say.")
to get fired.")
'Me and you' or 'my friend and me' at the beginning of a statement are examples of compound subjective pronouns. But remember, this use is not correct grammatically. Still we use it in everyday English.
Gender in Pronouns
Pronouns can have 'gender.' 'Gender' refers to being a woman, man. But let us keep in mind that some people do not consider themselves as either one. Here are three main 'genders':
Number in Pronouns
The 'number' of a pronoun indicates how many 'people' or 'things' we are referring to. As you know, nouns can be plural or singular, so it is natural that pronouns agree with their numbers.
So, if the 'antecedents' are plural, the pronouns should be plural and if they are singular, the pronouns have to be singular.
The old farmer has ten
Here in this example, as the antecedent is plural (hens) the pronoun that is referring to it (they) is plural as well.
Although they had the best
Persons in Pronouns
'Persons' can indicate a few things. They can indicate 'who or what is talking.' Sometimes they can even indicate 'to whom we are talking' or 'to what we are talking.' And in some cases, they indicate 'what or whom we are talking about.' Based on 'persons,' pronouns are categorized into three groups.
First-person refers to a person or people who are speaking or writing about something. Second-person tells about the person or people being spoken to. And third-person talks about other people or things.
Pronouns Agree with the Verbs
When we say two things agree with each other, it means that they follow the same rules. You must know, pronouns agree with the 'verbs.'
For example, if the verb is third-person singular, the pronoun must be in the third-person singular form as well.
Plural Pronouns with Singular Meanings
Sometimes, when we are not sure about the gender of a person, or when they consider themselves as neither male nor female, we are supposed to use singular genderless they to refer to them.
In this case, you have to keep in mind that the verb is used in plural form even if it is referring to only one person.
Each student had a gift delivered to
We have found a credit card, the person who owns it must come to get it,
Remember, singular genderless pronoun exists in any kind of pronouns we mean we have a personal singular genderless pronoun, objective singular genderless pronoun, etc.
In this article, we have mentioned that pronouns should refer to something. But here is the thing, it is not always like this. Dummy pronouns are those pronouns that do not refer to anything. In other words, dummy pronouns do not have antecedents as other pronouns do. They are words that act like pronouns, but do not replace a noun or noun phrase.
There are two dummy pronouns in English.
Dummy pronoun 'it' and 'there' are used in many occasions and they complete the meaning of the sentences. But remember, usually, the dummy pronoun 'there' refers to the existence of something. Check out the examples for more clarification.
Here the dummy pronoun 'it' refers to the time.
Nouns and Pronouns in Combination with Phrasal Verbs
What Are Phrasal Verbs?
As you might know, phrasal verbs are made of two parts. To make a phrasal verb we must have two terms. Usually, one of them is the main verb and the other one is a preposition, they are used beside each other and make a special new verb with a new meaning. We consider these two words as a single word. However, sometimes we can separate two parts of a phrasal verb and put an object between them.
Fire fighters couldn't
Nouns and Phrasal Verbs
Some phrasal verbs are not separable and we cannot separate them. With separable phrasal verbs, the 'noun' can be used between the two parts or after them as an object.
Please take off
Pronouns with Phrasal Verbs
We use a 'pronoun' as an object between the two parts, we can never use an objective pronoun after a phrasal verb.
Rules with Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
With inseparable phrasal verbs, we can have a noun as an object after the two parts, but we can never use an objective pronoun as an object for inseparable phrasal verbs.
We got off
'Antecedents' are words that are replaced by pronouns to avoid repeating them and they are all 'nouns' or *'noun phrases.' Mostly, first, we have to mention the antecedent then decide which pronoun to use instead of it.
Yesterday I saw
Here in this example, 'John' is the antecedent which is replaced by the pronoun 'he' in the following statement.
Pronouns must agree on the number, gender, person, and the case of the antecedents. So, if the antecedents are plural, the pronouns should be plural and if they are singular, the pronouns have to be singular.
In this example, 'the cat' is the antecedent and the pronoun 'it' in the next statement is referring to it.
Pronouns are the substitutes for nouns. As a result, they can be used instead of nouns to avoid unnecessary repetition. Pronouns can be discussed based on:
- Pronouns: Types