What is a singular pronoun? To best understand singular pronouns, let's look at the different kinds of pronouns and their functions in a sentence.
A pronoun is, very simply, a word that takes the place of a noun. The prefix “pro” means “for,” so a pronoun is “for a noun.” This allows for the text to flow better and not be hampered with cumbersome repetitions of nouns. This will help you understand the answer to the question, “What is a singular pronoun?” Here are the main types of pronouns with examples:
Now that you know all about pronouns and their functions, it is time to direct your attention to which of these pronouns is singular. Two of the reasons that this is important are: the subject and verb in a clause have to agree, and the pronoun and its antecedent have to also agree. Here is a list of singular pronouns by function:
The word “antecedent” means something that comes before something else. A pronoun often refers back to a noun, pronoun, phrase, or clause in a sentence or sentences and that would be the pronoun’s antecedent. If the antecedent is singular, the pronoun that refers back to it must be singular. This is called pronoun antecedent agreement. Now that you know the answer to “What is a singular pronoun?” all you have to decide is if the antecedent is singular. There are certain situations and some words that can be bothersome when trying to make pronouns and their antecedents agree. Sometimes there are a lot of words and phrases between the two so you would need to ignore those extra words and focus on the words that need to agree. Other times, the subject is referring to a group of people or things. In this case, the group is treated as singular, like in: team, family, jury, herd, or gaggle. A compound subject will need a singular pronoun if the words “or” or “nor” are joining the subjects. If this is the case, the subject that is closer to the pronoun is the one the pronoun must agree with. An example is “The workers or the boss wanted his hours changed.” The following indefinite pronouns are singular and if used as antecedents, would require a singular pronoun. They are: no one, nothing, nobody, anyone, anything, anybody, someone, something, somebody, everyone, everything, everybody, one, each, either, and neither.