pronouns


pronouns
pronouns
1. A pronoun is a word used to refer to (and instead of) a noun or noun phrase that has already been mentioned or is known, especially in order to avoid repetition, e.g. We invited the Jones family to our party because we like them and When Jane saw what had happened she laughed. Pronouns include the familiar forms I, we, he, she, it, they, you (plus their object forms me, us, him, her, it, them, you); the possessive pronouns (also now called possessive adjectives or possessive determiners) my, your, his, her, its, our, their (and the group mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs, which are normally used predicatively, i.e. after a verb as in The responsibility is ours); the reflexive pronouns myself, yourself, etc.; the demonstrative pronouns this, that, these, those, the relative pronouns that, which, who, whom, whose; the interrogative pronouns what, which, who, whom, whose; the indefinite pronouns all, any, both, each, either, none, one, everybody, everyone, nobody, no one, somebody, someone; and the so-called ‘extended’ pronouns whatever, whichever, whoever, whosoever, each other, one another.
2. When a pronoun refers back to a person or thing previously named, it is important that the gap is not so large that the reader (or hearer) might have difficulty relating the two, and that ambiguity is avoided when more than one person might be the antecedent, as in the following exchange in a play (where the ambiguity is deliberate):

• Septimus: Geometry, Hobbes assures us in the Leviathan, is the only science God has been pleased to bestow on mankind. Lady Croom: And what does he mean by it? Septimus: Mr Hobbes or God? —Tom Stoppard, 1993.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pronouns — ◊ GRAMMAR Pronouns are words such as it , this , and nobody which are used in a sentence like noun groups containing a noun. Some pronouns are used in order to avoid repeating nouns. For example, you would not say My mother said my mother would… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pronouns — ◊ GRAMMAR Pronouns are words such as it , this , and nobody which are used in a sentence like noun groups containing a noun. Some pronouns are used in order to avoid repeating nouns. For example, you would not say My mother said my mother would… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pronouns — pro·noun || prəʊnaÊŠn n. (Grammar) word used to replace nouns and noun phrases (she, we, this, etc.) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Pronouns in Tagalog — ▪ Table Pronouns in Tagalog first person (exclusive) first person (inclusive) second person third person singular akó – ikáw/ka siyá dual – katá – – plural kamí tayó kayó silá See as table: * * * …   Universalium

  • Pronouns in Fijian — ▪ Table Pronouns in Fijian first person (exclusive) first person (inclusive) second person third person singular au – o e dual keirau (e)daru (o)drau (e)rau paucal keitou ([e]da)tou (o)dou (e)ratou plural keimami (e)da (o)nī (e)ra See as table: * …   Universalium

  • Japanese pronouns — Pronouns in the Japanese language are used less frequently than they would be in many other languages [Maynard, Senko K: An Introduction to Japanese Grammar and Communication Strategies , page 45. The Japan Times, 4th edition, 1993. ISBN 4 7890… …   Wikipedia

  • Portuguese personal pronouns — The Portuguese personal pronouns and possessives display a higher degree of inflection than other parts of speech. Personal pronouns have distinct forms according to whether they stand for a subject (nominative), a direct object (accusative), an… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish pronouns — Spanish language …   Wikipedia

  • English personal pronouns — For further archaic forms, and information on the evolution of the personal pronouns of English, see Old English pronouns. English grammar series English grammar Contraction Disputes in English grammar English compound English honorifics English… …   Wikipedia

  • Catalan personal pronouns — This article discusses the forms and functions of the personal pronouns in Catalan grammar. Contents 1 Strong pronouns 2 Weak pronouns 2.1 Forms 2.2 Uses …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.