Understanding pronouns enable us to understand pro-forms in English very well. Pro-forms are alternatives that are put in the position of words, phrases, etc.

What Are Pro-forms in English?

What Are Pro-forms?

'Pro-forms' are words, phrases, or clauses that substitute for other words or phrases in a sentence. They are used to avoid repetition and make a sentence more concise and easier to understand. Remember, these pro-forms do not have a logical meaning when used alone. They depend on another part of the sentence to make sense.

Pro-forms: Types

There are different types of pro-forms in English grammar. Follow the article to get to know each of them.


'Pronouns' replace nouns to avoid unnecessary repetition. It is important to know that a pronoun always needs an antecedent to refer back to. Here are a few examples:

Isaac and Ross hit one another on the street.

(You) look at yourself. You look sick.

Marco said he would be here in ten minutes.


Interrogative pro-forms are used in questions and stand for the word or phrase that is being questioned. There are five main interrogative pro-forms in English:

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

What is her reason?

Which one is your favorite?

Which picture seems better?

'who' acting as a pro-interrogative

Who sold the cow?

Who is that tall woman in black suit?

Whose shirt is it?

Whose mother is calling?

Whom did you go out with?

Whom have you been with in Chicago?


We can use the word 'any' as a pro-form that stands for a word, phrase, or even clause. Usually, it refers to the quantity or amount of something. Check out the examples:

They told me to take some red fresh apples with me but unfortunately I couldn't buy any.

Here the word 'any' is the substitute for the phrase 'red fresh apples.'

I wanted to drink coffee but I didn't have any.

Here the term 'any' refers back to the word 'coffee.'


'Some' is used as a pro-form that stands for a word, phrase, or clause. It usually refers back to a quantity or amount. Here are some examples:

Do you like tea? Here! Drink some.

Do we need maps? I think we may have some here.

Do So

The phrase 'do so' is used as a pro-form that stands for a clause. Here are some examples:

It said I had to add the eggs and I did so.

You told me to dedicate my life to what I love and I will do so.

Each, Some, Either, Neither, Both, None

'Each, either, neither, none' are not necessarily pronouns but when it comes to pro-forms they are usually used as pronouns in a sentence. These words are used in the sentence to represent an antecedent. For example:

We took a bar of chocolate each.

Maria and Hanna are best friends, but both want to be Jimmy's girlfriend.

There were two bars of chocolate and neither was my favorite.

The Same

The phrase 'the same' can be used as a pro-form to refer back to a phrase or clause. Usually, it is used to indicate approval. Check out the examples:

She will have salad and I'll have the same.

He loves me and I feel the same.


'Partitives' usually refer to a particular amount of something, whether they are definite or indefinite amounts. All kinds of partitives can be used on their own to stand for a phrase.

I love strawberry cakes. Can I have a slice?

The doctor said I have had too much bread in the last two years, so now I am just allowed to have a loaf per day.


'Demonstratives' can be used as pro-forms to refer to a clause, phrase, or word. But usually, they are used as a substitute for a clause. Here are the examples:

Ernest says mean things to others. That I cannot stand anymore.

You are too kind and this is what makes you different.

Too and Either

Sometimes when we want to show that a clause applies to us as well, we use 'either' or 'too'. 'Either' is used to say a negative clause is true for someone and 'too' is used to confirm an affirmative clause.

I think he was a good person, too.

+'Ah, I hate this man.' -'You know, I don't like him either.'


Pro-adverbs are used as an alternative for an adverb phrase, a word, or even a clause. Let us take a look at the examples:

I am going to the party because my girlfriend is there.

My house is warm and friendly; that's why he likes it in here.


Pro-forms are used alternatively for other words, phrases, or clauses. remember pro-forms cannot be used alone when there is not any background for the information. check out the list below to get to know different types of pro-forms.

  • pronouns
  • pro-interrogatives
  • pro-adverbs
  • pro-demonstratives
  • pro-partitives


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