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English > Pronoun > Demonstrative, Indefinite and Distributive Pronouns
Pronoun

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.

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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.

Ans:

  • 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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