Saturday, July 9, 2011


A pronoun is a word used for a noun or a clause.

*A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun or noun-equivalent. --> J. C. Nesfield.

Classification- Pronouns may be divided into the following eight classes:
a. Personal including possessive- I, thou, ye, you, he, she, hers, ours, etc.
b. Demonstrative- This, that, such, so, etc.
c. Relative- Who, which, what, as, whoever, whatever, whichever, etc.
d. Interrogative- Who, which, what.
e. Distributive- Each, either, neither.
f. Reflexive- Myself, thyself, himself, etc.
g. Indefinite- One, any, some, they, etc.
h. Reciprocal- Each, other, one another.

Personal pronouns are so called because they stand for persons:
a. The First Person which denotes the person or persons spoken: A, my, me, we, our, etc.
b. The Second Person which denotes the person or persons spoken to: You, thou, your, etc.
c. The Third Person which denotes the person or persons spoken of: He, she, it, they, their, etc.
1st Person
My, mine
Our, ours
2nd Person
Ye, you
Thy, thine
Your, yours
3rd Person
Her, hers
Their, theirs

The words this, that, these, such, so, the same one when used alone, are Demonstrative Pronouns. When used with nouns, they are Adjective.
The uses of this and that as pronouns:
a. When two nouns have been mentioned in a previous clause or sentence this refers to the latter and that to the former: Work and play are both necessary, this gives us rest and that (=work) gives energy. Dogs are more faithful than Cats, these (=Cats) attach themselves to places and those (=Dogs) to person.
b. They are often used for preceding nouns or clauses: This book is better than that (book) of Akon. I have read Latin, and that (I have read Latin) at Oxford. He went there and this (=the fact that he went there) proves his courage.

A Relative Pronoun not only refers to some nouns or pronouns previously mentioned but also joins two sentences. The principal Relative Pronouns are who which, that, what; as and but are also used as Relatives.
**NOTE: As a Relative Pronoun joins sentences, like conjunction, it is also called a conjunctive pronoun.
Use of relative Pronouns.
a. Who refers only to persons: I know the man who came here.
b. Which refers only to things, animals and children: This is the book which he brought. This is the dog which I saw. Which is also used for a preceding clause: He passed the examination, which (=the fact that he passed) pleased everybody.
c. That refers to pronoun, animals and things: This is the man or dog or book that I saw.
d. What refers only to things: there is a great difference of opinion about its proper nature.
01. According to some, its antecedent that is almost always understood: I know (that) what you say. (That) what you say is true.
02. Some call it a Condensed Relative or Antecedent Relative, I, e. a pronoun that unites in itself both the relative and the antecedent. According to them, there are no words understood in sentences like I mean what I say: What is done cannot be undone.
03. Some call it a Compound Relative because the antecedent is said to be contained in it, the word being equivalent to that which.
*But this is not correct, for the antecedent is sometimes expressed, either (a) in subsequent clause, or (b) immediately after the relative itself: What I tell you in darkness, that I spoke in the light. Take what help you can get. --> J. C. Nesfield.
a. No comma is generally placed before the Relative pronoun when it is used in the restrictive sense; but, when it is used in the continuative sense, it generally takes a comma before it.
b. A Defining or Restrictive clause may be distinguished from a Non-Defining or Continuative one by the fact that if the former is removed, the antecedent is left without any meaning or at best a wrong one: but the latter may always be detached from antecedent without disturbing the meaning of the main sentence.-Fowler
c. Another distinction is that who and which in the latter may be replaced by a conjunction and a pronoun.

An Interrogative Pronoun is a pronoun which asks a question. Examples: Who, which, what whose and whom.
Who are you? What do you want?
What do you want? Which is the house?
Interrogative Pronouns are also used to ask indirect questions: Tell me what you want. I asked who he was.
Difference in use:
a. Who is a applied to persons and is indefinite: Who goes there (I. e...........the person is not known)?
b. Which is applied to both persons and things, and refers to one out of group: Which of these books do you want?
c. What is applied to persons and things: What do you want? What is he?

01. Each, either and neither are called Distributive Pronouns, because they separate one person or things from a group.
Either and neither are always used of two persons or things, either means (i) one or the other; (ii) each of two; and neither-not either.
a. Either of you may go. Either will do.
b. Neither of them was present.
c. When more than two are spoken of, use any, no one, and none.
02. Each is used of any number, say two or fifty, Each of the two or ten boys was fined,
03. Distributive Pronouns take singular verbs and pronouns: Neither of them is ill, each of the girls has done her work.

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns are formed by adding self to my, your, him, her, it and selves to our, your, them: myself, herself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
**NOTE: The word self may be used alone as a Noun or Adjective: To thane own self be true (Noun). He knows nothing but self (Noun). Self-help is the best help (Adj).
i. They are called Reflexive when the doer is both the subject and object of the action expressed by the verb: I hurt myself. He lost himself. They hurt themselves.
ii. They are Emphatic when used with nouns or pronouns for the sake of emphasis: "I myself saw the man" and " I saw the man himself" are more emphatic than "I saw the man."
iii. Sometimes the Emphatic pronoun is separated from the preceding noun or pronoun: He wants a pen for himself. I did it for myself.
**NOTE: Emphatic Pronouns can never stand alone as subject. Hence it is incorrect to write: "His brother and myself were present.” Myself will do it" But we can write “His brother and I myself went there". I myself will do it."

The Indefinite Pronoun does not point out any particular person or thing, like the Demonstrative, but refers to persons or things in a general manner. They are any, one, none, ought, naught, other, another, several, few, all, some, they.
a. Most of these are also used as adjectives, as any man can do it, some men came to me. I saw another boy.
b. One, body and thing are sometimes compounded with indefinite pronouns, which are then called Compound Indefinite Pronoun, as, anyone, nothing, anybody, etc. In any one, any is an adjective, and one is the numeral. Any one of them will do.
Any as a pronoun, is used only in interrogative and negative sentences. It may be both singular and plural, and may refer to both persons and things.
Have you seen any man (or men), or dog (or dogs) there? No, I have not seen any. I want a few chairs; can you give me any.
Some, as a pronoun, is plural and may be used for both person and things: Some say he will come. He has many books; some are sew, some old.

We use Reciprocal Pronouns in order to refer reciprocal relation.
01. The two boys hate each other.
02. They loved one another.
03. The brothers quarreled with each another.
04. They stood against one another.

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