A pronoun is a word that represents a noun. It’s a stand-in. Some nouns are very long, like hippopotamus. Consider the following example:
The hippopotamus lumbered down the bank into the water. The hippopotamus was hungry so the hippopotamus ate some water lilies and then, because the hippopotamus was tired, the hippopotamus lay down in the mud to sleep.
Even though hippopotamus is a lovely word, so much repetition of it becomes tiresome. That’s where pronouns come to the rescue:
The hippopotamus lumbered down the bank into the water. It was hungry so it ate some some water lilies and then, because it was tired, it lay down in the mud to sleep.
In the second group of sentences the pronoun it takes the place of the noun hippopotamus.
NOTE: The word that a pronoun stands for is its antecedent. [AN tuh SEE dent] In the examples above, hippopotamus is the antecedent of it.
There are several kinds of pronoun:
The personal pronouns are I, me, thou, thee, he, him, she, her, it, we, us, you, they, and them.
The indefinite pronouns includeÂ another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, enough, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something,Â both, few, many, and others.
The interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. The interrogative pronouns are who, whom, what, which, and whose.
The relative pronouns are that, which, who, whom, whoever, whomever, and whichever.
The demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these, and those.
The reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.
The emphatic pronouns have the same forms as the reflexive pronouns:Â myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.
REMEMBER: A word does not become a “part of speech” until it is used in a sentence. For example, who can be an interrogative pronoun or a relative pronoun. That can be a relative pronoun or a demonstrative pronoun. It all depends upon how the word is used in a sentence.
Take your time learning how to use the different kinds of pronoun. Study them carefully. About half the grammatical errors people make are with the use of these words.