What is a pronoun? Pronouns are used so that our language is not cumbersome with the same nouns being repeated often. Following is the definition of a pronoun and its function in a sentence, as well as some examples of the various kinds of pronouns and information on nouns.
What Is a Pronoun?
A pronoun is a very versatile type of word in that it can take the place of a noun. A noun names a person, object, place, or abstract idea. Since pronouns can be sorted into various groups in different ways, you will be given information about seven of the main categories. This will give you a very good answer to the question, “What is a pronoun?”
- PERSONAL PRONOUNS: Personal pronouns can be the subject of a clause or sentence. They are: I, he, she, it, they, we, and you. Example: “They went to the store”. Personal pronouns can also be objective, where they are the object of a verb, preposition, or infinitive phrase. They are: me, her, him, it, you, them, and us. Example: “David gave the gift to her.” Possession can be shown by personal pronouns, like: mine, his, hers, ours, yours, its, and theirs. Example: “Is this mine or yours?”
- DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS: There are five demonstrative pronouns: these, those, this, that, and such. They focus attention on the nouns that are replacing. Examples: “Such was his understanding.” “Those are totally awesome.”
- INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS: These are: who, whom, which, what, whoever, whomever, whichever, and whatever. They are used to begin a question, like “Whom will you bring to the party?”
- INDEFINITE PRONOUNS: These do not point to any particular nouns, but refer to things or people in general. Some of them are: few, everyone, all, some, anything, and nobody. EXAMPLE: “Everyone is already here.”
- RELATIVE PRONOUNS: These are used to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. These are: who, whom, which, whoever, whomever, whichever, and that. EXAMPLE: “The driver who ran the stop sign was careless.”
- INTENSIVE PRONOUNS: These are: myself, himself, herself, themselves, itself, yourself, yourselves, and ourselves. They are used to emphasize a noun or pronoun as in: “He himself is his worst critic.”
- REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS: These are the same pronouns listed under intensive pronouns and are used to reflect back the action onto the subject. EXAMPLE: “Margaret and Tony are only fooling themselves.”
Since you know the answer to the question, “What is a pronoun” you need to understand nouns and their functions in sentences and clauses. Nouns name things, people, places, and ideas. Here are the seven main classifications of nouns.
- Proper nouns refer to a specific thing, place, person, or idea. They are always capitalized so that it is obvious that they are referring to a specific noun.Examples are: Mr. Patterson, Asia, Statue of Liberty, Nile River, Earth, Avatar, The New Yorker, Gone With the Wind, Peru, Princeton, Mount Rushmore, and Dairy Queen.
- Common nouns are just that, common. They refer to everyday things and there are hundreds of them. Just a few are: tiger, photograph, computer, piano, college, lake, country, people, and cars.
- Collective nouns name a group of living or non-living things, ideas, or places. Examples include: gaggle, jury, team, family, herd, department, school, troupe, and colony.
- Countable nouns are pretty self-explanatory as they can be counted. They can be singular, plural, or indefinite. For example, there can be one dog, three dogs, or several dogs.
- Uncountable nouns are sometimes called mass nouns because they can not be counted. Examples are: water, sugar, clutter, furniture, air, luggage, intelligence, and rice.
- Nouns that can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted and felt are called concrete nouns. They are physical objects and some of them are: boat, clouds, girl, shoes, bus, farm, and incense.
- Abstract nouns are not physical and refer to such things as concepts, beliefs, traits, and feelings. Some of them are: love, peace, bigotry, tyranny, democracy, freedom, power, and curiosity.