Pronouns – Kinds of Pronouns – (Personal Pronouns)
Hello friends, today we’ll read about Pronouns. Also, we’d know how many kinds of pronouns we have in English grammar and how we can use them.
As we already know, a Pronoun is a word, one of the eight parts of speech, which is used to replace a noun. “John was absent in the school yesterday. He had a viral fever“. We could have used “John had a viral fever” instead using ‘He‘. Here, ‘He‘ replaces the noun ‘John‘ but refers to the same person with same meaning.
Kinds of Pronouns
We find eight types on Pronouns in modern English grammar. We’ll talk of all of them in details with appropriate examples. First, have a look at the below list of pronouns:
- Personal Pronouns
- Reflexive Pronouns
- Intensive or Emphatic Pronouns
- Demonstrative Pronouns
- Indefinite Pronouns
- Distributive Pronouns
- Interrogative Pronouns
- Relative Pronouns
Let’s discuss them in details.
If you remember, we’ve already talked about Case which discuss pronouns too in three different cases. Anyway, we’ll revise. As the name suggests, personal pronouns are those pronouns which stand for the three persons, first person, second person and third person.
Since a Personal Pronoun is used instead of a Noun, it must be in the same number, gender and person.
- John is a good driver. He won the last inter-schools driving race last year.
- My mother is not at home. She went to market.
- Birds are flying. They look gorgeous in the blue sky.
In the above sentences, the number, gender and person of the pronouns are similar to those of nouns. We need to maintain this.
Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives.
Most of the possessive case pronouns (my, our, your, his, her, their) also work as adjectives modifying nouns. They are called Possessive Adjectives and behave like true adjectives.The Possessive Adjectives are also called Pronominal Adjectives as they originate from Pronouns.
See a few examples of Possessive Adjectives
- This is my book [Possessive Pronoun 'my' modifies the noun 'book']
- It’s his task. ['his' modifying the noun 'task']
- I understand your problems. ['your' modifying the noun 'problems']
See a few examples of Possessive Pronouns
- This book is mine [ 'mine' is not modifying any noun here. Hence, it's just a possessive pronoun]
- This task is his [ 'his' not modifying any noun here.]
- These problems are yours.[ same as the above example]
Note: So, a possessive pronoun acts both as a pronoun and an adjective.
Use of ‘It’ as a Personal Pronoun
The third person singular personal pronoun is ‘It‘. ‘It‘ is used to replace a noun which has no life; for animals (in singular noun of course); to give emphasis to the noun or pronoun it follows; to talk about time or weather; and to act as an indefinite nominative of an impersonal verb.
- Here’s the car. Drive it home. [ 'It' replacing a lifeless object]
- The dog broke its hind legs [ 'It' referring animals]
- It is he who can do this job. [Emphatic 'It'. Only 'He' can do it and none else]
- It is 5 pm now [Indicating time]
- It is a biting winder evening. [Weather]
- It was raining heavily last night. [referring to impersonal verb]
In the last sentence from the above examples ‘It was raining heavily last night‘, we do not find any noun for which the pronoun ‘it‘ must be replaced. Right? Still we use it. In fact, there is a noun which is supposedly supplied from the verb itself. The sentence can be said, ‘The rain rained heavily last night” But, we do not use such sentences at all. To complete it, we use a pronoun ‘It‘ which is called Impersonal Pronoun as it does not replace any noun and stands independently.
Note: As ‘It‘ is used as Impersonal Pronoun, the verb ‘rain‘ is also known as Impersonal verb.
- It rains…
- It seems…
- It snows…
- It appears…
We learnt Personal Pronouns in this chapter. We’ll proceed with “Reflexive Pronouns” in the next chapter. Detailed discussion for other pronouns will be done in subsequent chapters. Until then, happy learning
Do share your points via comments below. If there is anything to add or omit, feel free to tell me.
to be continued….