Demonstrative, Indefinite and Distributive Pronouns

Pronouns are one of the most basic parts of English grammar. Do you know what are the various types of pronoun? And what exactly is a pronoun? Let’s find out more about demonstrative, indefinite, distributive, and other types of pronoun.

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Introduction to Pronoun

A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun or noun-equivalent, where, pronoun = pro (instead of) + noun. Pronoun means for a noun.

Browse more Topics under Pronoun

Types of Pronoun

There are ten different types of Pronoun:

Demonstrative Pronouns

We use demonstrative pronouns to point out the objects to which they refer. For example,

  • This is a present from my elder brother.
  • These are merely excuses.
  • Darjeeling tea is better than that of Assam.
  • These mangoes are not as sour as those mangoes.

Types of Pronoun

Indefinite Pronouns

We use Indefinite Pronouns in order to refer to persons or things in a general way, not to refer to any particular person or thing. Some examples are:

  • Anybody can do this easy task.
  • One must not praise oneself.
  • None of the boys is (are) wicked.
  • None but the brave deserves the fair.
  • Many of them were injured but a few escaped unhurt.
  • None of them has (have) come back yet. (‘None’ is a shortened form of not one, yet it is commonly used with plural verbs)
  • What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business?

In referring to anybody, everybody, everyone, anyone, each, etc. the Pronoun he or she, his or her is used according to the context.

  • I shall be glad to help every one of the boys in his studies.
  • I shall be glad to help every one of the girls in her studies.

But when the sex is not determined from the context, we use pronouns of the masculine gender.

  • Each must do his best.
  • Everyone likes to have his way.
  • Anyone can do this if he tries.

But we cannot use his or her in case of ‘one’:

  • One must do one’s duty (not, his)

Distributive Pronouns

We use distributive pronouns in order to refer to persons or things one at a time. For this reason, they are always singular –

Note 1: Either means the one or the other of the two. Neither is the negative of either.

  • Each of the boys is healthy.
  • Either of the roads leads to the market.
  • Neither of the girls was late.

Note 2: The pronoun each may have three positions:

  • Each of the boys received a prize.
  • These boys each received a prize.
  • These boys received ten rupees.

The third order is usually placed after a numeral.

Note 3: In the following sentence each, either, and neither are adjectives, not pronouns.

  • Each boy got a prize. (each boy separately)
  • There are trees on either side of the river. (either side = on both the sides)
  • Neither accusation is true. (neither = bit any one of the two)

Question For You

Q: Fill in the distributive pronouns and demonstrative pronoun and Indefinite Pronoun in the following:

  • ____ of these answers is correct.
  • ____ of these roads leads to the airport.
  • ____ are my books.
  • ____ are the boys who bullied my friend.
  • ____ individual is different.
  • ____ of the keys opens the door.
  • ____ answer is correct.
  • ____ is the boy who got the first prize.
  • ____ is my house.
  • ____ can take me home.
  • ____ of us are out.
  • ____ might come for help.


  • Each of these answers is correct.
  • Each of these roads leads to the airport.
  • These are my books.
  • Those are the boys who bullied my friend.
  • Each individual is different.
  • Neither of the keys opens the door.
  • Either answer is correct.
  • This is the boy who got the first prize.
  • This is my house.
  • Anybody can take me home.
  • None of us is out.
  • Someone might come for help.
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