English Grammar

Pronouns

We have already covered the correct use of nouns, the other important topic often tested in the banking and other competitive exams are pronouns. Let us study the types and the correct use of pronouns in grammar.

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Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that can be used in the place of a noun. We do not repeat nouns in a sentence, it would get tedious and lengthy. So instead we use pronouns. Some examples of pronouns are she, her, he, his, theirs, mines, yours etc.

So any word which effectively replaces a noun is a pronoun. So instead of saying “Raj went to the market, and when Raj came back Raj was tired”, we say “Raj went to the market, and when he came back he was tired”.

 pronouns

(Source: owlcation.com)

Types of Pronouns

  • Personal Pronoun: These are the pronouns that replace people, i.e. names. Examples are I, we, he, she etc. There are two types of personal pronouns, subjective (she, he, I) and objective (her, him, me).
  • Possessive Pronouns: Pronouns that represent ownership or belonging are possessive pronouns. Examples- her, mine, his, their
  • Absolute Possessive Pronouns: Similar to possessive pronouns, the difference is that they are not an adjective to the noun. They are used individually. Example: hers, theirs, yours etc.
  • Demonstrative Pronouns: Those which are used to indicate something or someone. Example: this, that, those etc.
  • Indefinite Pronouns: Opposite to the demonstrative pronouns, indefinite pronouns refer to no particular thing or person, i.e. they talk about non-specific things. So examples will include us, them, they, all, few etc. This is the largest subcategory of pronouns.
  • Interrogative Pronouns: These are simple to spot. They are the pronouns which we generally use in questions. Examples: Who, where, whom, how etc.
  • Reflexive Pronouns: These are used to address another noun or pronoun in the sentence. They end with -self or selves. Examples are myself, themselves, herself etc.

Rules regarding Pronouns

1] A proposition will be followed by an objective pronoun. Example: The fight was between me and him. Here between is a preposition, so the following pronouns (me, him) will be objective pronouns.

2] When comparing two entities and using the word “than”, nominative pronouns will be used. Example: Alex is better than him.

3] When using a pronoun for a collective noun, the pronoun should be singular and not plural. Example: The class is quite today. Since the class is a collective noun, pronoun will be singular.

4] If we talk about two nouns using either or/neither nor, singular pronoun will be used. Example:  Neither Sam nor Dean gave his homework on time.

5] If the nouns are joined by or, the use plural pronouns. Example:  Neither Sam or Dean gave their homework on time.

6] When using reciprocal pronouns, “each other” is used when talking about two persons. “One another ” is used for more than two people. Example: “They knew each other from school” (talking about two people). “Nobody knew one another on that bus” (talking about several people).

                                                             Learn Conjunctions and Prepositions here in detail.

Solved Questions for You

Type 1

Q: If you ask me (1), the real contest is between you (2) and I (3). Which part of the sentence is incorrect?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. The sentence is correct

Ans: The correct option is “C’. If there are two pronouns separated by between, both should be objective pronouns. I is a subject pronoun. The correct sentence will be ” If you ask me, the real contest is between you and me”.

Q; My friend and myself (1) decided to visit the fair, but he (2) cancelled at the last minute (3). Which part of the sentence is incorrect?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. The sentence is correct

Ans: The correct option is “A”. Myself is a reflexive pronoun. But in the subject of the sentence, we use a subjective pronoun. The correct sentence will be “My friend and me decided to visit the fair but he cancelled at the last minute”.

Type 2

Q: Which of the following sentences is incorrect.

  1. “It is your mistake” he shouted.
  2. “It is you’re mistake” he shouted.

Ans: Option “B” is the incorrect sentence. Your is the correct pronoun in this sentence. You’re is short for ‘you are’, not the correct grammar here.

Q: Which of the following is incorrect

  1. No one liked the idea, myself included.
  2. Either Jay or Neil must make his intentions known.
  3. The herd of cows are not moving fast enough.
  4. All are correct.

Ans: Option “C” is the incorrect sentence. A herd of cows must be followed by a singular form of the pronoun. The correction will be as follows “The herd of cows is not moving fast enough”.

Practice Questions

Q: It (1) was a very confusing night, they (1) did not even know what to do with themself (3). Which part of the sentence is incorrect?

Ans: Part 3 is correct. It will be ‘themselves’.

Q: “What are (1) the chances of my (2) getting through?” she (3) asked. Which part of the sentence is incorrect?

Ans: Part 2 is correct.  It will be ‘me’.

Q: Which is the correct sentence?

  1. Both friends looked at each other nervously.
  2. Both friends looked at one another nervously.

Ans: Option “A” is correct.

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