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Parts of Speech
Chapter 6  - Pronouns

A pronoun is often defined as a word which can be used instead of a noun.  For example, instead of saying John is a student, the pronoun he can be used in place of the noun John and the sentence becomes He is a student.  We use pronouns very often, especially so that we do not have to keep on repeating a noun.  This chapter is about the kind of pronoun called a personal pronoun because it often refers to a person.  Like nouns, personal pronouns sometimes have singular and plural forms (I-we, he-they).

Unlike nouns, personal pronouns sometimes have different forms for masculine/male, feminine/female and neuter  (he-she-it).  Also unlike nouns, personal pronouns have different forms depending on if  they act as subjects or objects (he-him, she-her).  A subject is a word which does an action and usually comes before the verb, and an object is a word that receives an action and usually comes after the verb.  For example, in the sentence Yesterday Susan called her mother, Susan is the subject and mother is the object.  The pronoun she can be used instead of Susan and the pronoun her can be used instead of mother.  The form of a personal pronoun also changes according to what person is referred to.  Person is used here as a grammar word and means:
1st person or the self (I, me, we),
2nd person or the person spoken to (you),
3rd person or the person spoken about (he, she, him, her, they, them).

There is also a possessive form of the pronoun.  Just as we can make a noun possessive as in the sentence That is my father's book to mean That is the book of my father, we can make the pronoun possessive and say That book is his.  There are possessive adjective forms (such as my, your, his, her etc.) that are discussed with other adjectives in chapter 4.  Possessive pronouns can stand by themselves without nouns, but possessive adjectives, like other adjectives, are used together with nouns.

There is also an intensive form of the pronoun which intensifies or emphasizes the noun that it comes after as in the sentence I myself saw him.  The reflexive form of the pronoun looks exactly like the intensive form but is used when the subject and object of a verb refers to the same person as in the sentence I saw myself in the mirror.

All of this may sound confusing, but if you study the chart below, it will be clearer:

Notice that the form you is the same for subject and object, singular and plural and that there is no neuter singular possessive form.

There are also interrogative pronouns (who, which, what) used for asking questions and relative pronouns (who, which, what, that) used in complex sentences which will be discussed in another place.  Some grammar books also talk about demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) and indefinite pronouns (some, all, both, each, etc.) which are very similar to adjectives and do not need to be discussed here.

Review this lesson as many times as you want, and when you are ready, take the pop quiz on this chapter.


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©2002 INTERLINK LanguageCenters - Created by Mark Feder


Pop Quiz for Chapter 6


1)  A pronoun takes the place of

a noun a preposition an adjective a verb a conjunction

2)  Which is not a subject pronoun?
we it they her you

3)  Which is not a plural pronoun?
you us themselves it we

4)  Which is not a possessive pronoun?
her his yours mine theirs

5) The form of the intensifying pronoun is the same as the _______ pronoun.
object possessive reflexive subject interrogative

6)  Which is not a 3rd person pronoun?

themselves it his they you

7)  What is the form of  the 1st person plural object pronoun?
my ours us we I

8)  What is the form of  the 3rd person singular feminine subject pronoun?

they mine she her it

9)  What is the form of  the 2nd person singular possessive pronoun?
she ours we his yours

10)  What is the form of  the 1st person singular reflexive pronoun?

they myself hers itself our 

End of Pop Quiz for Chapter 6

Table of ContentsQuitGo to Chapter 7

©2002 INTERLINK LanguageCenters - Created by Mark Feder