English Grammar

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A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun.

Read the following sentences.
Sapna is a good student. Sapna completes her homework everyday.
Sapna has many friends. Sapna also dances well.

Here, 'Sapna' has been used over and over again. Don't you think these sentences sound awkward ? Now read the sentences given below.
Sapna is a good student. She completes her homework everyday.
She has many friends. She also dances well.

In these sentences 'Sapna' has been replaced by with 'She'. Now the sentences are perfect.

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Pronouns which are used in place of the names of persons, animals and things are called personal pronouns
The book is lying on the table. Pick it up.
Here 'it' stands in place of 'book', 'it' is a personal pronouns.
There are three forms of personal pronouns.
  • First person
  • Second person
  • Third person
Read the following conversation between Aman and Varun.

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'I' is the person speaking (Aman)
'You' is the person spoken to (Varun)
'He' is the person spoken about (Raj)

'I', 'we' are pronouns of the first person.
'You' is a pronoun of the second person.
'He', 'she', 'it', 'they' are pronouns of the third person.

Like nouns, pronouns can be singular and plural.
Examples : 1. He will go.
He- is Singular pronoun.
2. They will go.
They- is Plural pronoun.

Pronouns have genders-
  • He - masculine gender (male)
  • She - feminine gender (female)
  • It - neuter gender (non-living thing and animal)
  • I, You - common gender (both male and female)
Let us take a look at the various forms of personal pronouns.

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A. Fill in the blanks with appropriate pronouns.

1. Tushar and Anuj are friends. .................... live in Chandigarh.
2. Kavita is a good student. ...................... stands first in class.
3. We know Mr Sharma. ...................... is our neighbour.
4. Ashok is not alone. Jay and Varun are with ................... .
5. Get the file. The boss wants .................... now.

Read these sentences.
1. This is a pen.
This- It stands for 'pen'
2. Those are books.
Those- It stands for 'books'.
3. These are pencils.
These- It stands for 'pencils'.
4.That is a bag.
That- It stands for 'bag'.
'This', 'these', 'that' and 'those' are pronouns. Since they point out to object or objects that they refer to, they are called demonstrative pronouns.
A demonstrative pronouns is a pronoun that is used to point out the object or objects which it refers to.

  • 'This', 'that', 'these' and 'those' are also used as demonstrative adjectives.
Examples :
1. This pen has blue ink.
This- demonstrative adjective (since it qualifies the noun 'pen')
2. This is the pen that has blue ink.
This- demonstrative pronoun (since it stands for the noun 'pen'
  • A demonstrative adjective is placed before a noun.
  • A demonstrative pronoun is usually placed before a verb.
Read these sentences.
1. Who has come to meet me ?
2. What is the matter ?
3. Whom do you want to meet ?
4. Which is your book ?
In these sentences, the word 'who', 'what', 'whom' and 'which' are pronouns. They are used for asking questions and are known as interrogative pronouns.
An interrogative pronouns is a pronoun which is used for asking a question.

  • 'Which', 'what' are also used as interrogative adjectives.
Examples :

1. Which pen is yours ?
Which- interrogative adjective (since it qualifies the noun 'pen')
2. Which is your pen ?
Which- interrogative pronoun (since it stands for the noun 'pen')
  • An interrogative adjective is placed before a noun, an interrogative pronoun is placed before a verb.

Reflexive Pronouns are used when the object of the verb is also the subject of the verb.
Examples :
1. I helped myself.
myself- It is the object of the verb 'helped'. 'Myself' and 'I' stand for the same person. So, the object is also the subject.
2. They hurt themselves during the game.
themselves- It is the object of the verb 'hurt'. 'Themselves and 'they' stand for the same person. So, the object is also the subject.
  • 'myself', 'yourself', 'himself' and 'ourselves' are some reflexive pronouns.
An emphatic pronoun is used with a noun or pronoun to draw attention or just to emphasise.
Examples :
I myself solved the sum.
  • 'myself', 'yourself', 'himself', 'ourselves', 'herself' are some emphatic pronouns.
Reflexive and emphatic pronouns always ends in 'self or selves'.

Read the table given below to understand more about reflexive pronouns.

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Possessive pronouns show ownership.

We don't use apostrophe to show possession. The possessive pronouns are : 'mine', 'his', 'their', 'ours', 'yours' and 'hers'.

Let us learn the correct use of possessive pronouns.
correct possessive pronouns
The book belongs to me. The book is mine.
The bike belongs to you. The bike is yours.
The red handbag belongs to her. The red handbag is her.
The hotel belongs to them. The hotel is theirs.
The house belongs to us. The house is ours.
The laptop belongs to him. The laptop is his.
Possessive Pronouns

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Note : The pronoun 'it' does not have any possessive form, 'its' is always used as a possessive adjective.

'My', 'their', 'our', 'your', 'her' and 'its' are possessive adjective.
Examples :
1.This is my pencil.
2. Those are your apples.
In the sentences given above 'my' and 'your' are used before nouns.
Difference between Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives
  • A possessive adjective is always used with a noun and it also qualifies that noun.
Example :
My dress is in the cupboard.
My- noun
  • Possessive Pronoun comes after a noun.
Example :
The dress is mine.

Note : 'His' is used both as a Possessive Pronoun and Possessive Adjective.
Example :

This is his medal. (possessive adjective)
The medal is his. (possessive pronoun)

A pronoun must agree in number and gender with the noun for which it stand.
Read these sentences.
1. Jyoti is absent because she is ill.
In this sentence, she stands for Jyoti. Jyoti is of singular number and feminine gender.
'She' is also of singular number, feminine gender. So, 'she' is of the same number and gender as Jyoti.
2. Mrs and Mr Verma were happy because they bought a new house.
Mrs and Mr Verma form a plural number. So, 'they' is used.
Some more examples :
1. I did not buy the dress because it was expensive.
2. I did not buy the dresses because they were expensive.
3. The teacher is happy with Anjali because she is good in studies.

Correct use of 'I' and 'me'
At times, we are not clear whether to use 'I' and 'me' in a sentence.
Let us understand their correct usage.
Example A : Swati and 'me' (or I) are going to the market.
Solution : Divide the sentence into two parts:
Swati is going to the market.
I am going to the market.
Right Answer is the - Swati and I are going to the market.

Example B : Mother asked Sonam and I (or 'me') to bring flowers.
Solution : Divide the sentence in the following manner :
Mother asked Sonam to bring flowers.
Mother asked me to bring flowers.
Right Answer is the - Mother asked Sonam and me to bring flowers.

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