20 Nov

Pronouns

Pronouns are the words that replace nouns. They are the words used in place of nouns and nouns clauses. However, most candidates are unaware of the errors committed by them while using pronouns in everyday communication. Thus, a lot needs to be learnt on grammatically correct usage of pronouns from the perspective of standard written English.

Language experts teaching at the Centre for Best SSC Coaching in East Delhi have provided over here a ready reckoner that will help you understand pronouns thoroughly and spot errors pertaining to them.

Types of Pronouns

Types of Pronoun

A. Personal Pronouns

They are used to represent specific people or things. The 1st Person represents the person who speaks. The 2nd Person represents the person who is spoken to and the 3rd Person represents the person who is spoken of / about.

PersonSubjective CaseObjective CasePossessive Case
First Person (Singular)IMeMine
First Person (Plural)WeUsOurs
Second Person (Singular)YouYouYours
Second Person (Plural)YouYouYours
Third Person (Singular)He / She / ItHim / Her / ItHis / Hers / Its
Third Person (Plural)TheyThemTheirs

B. Demonstrative Pronouns

They are the pronouns that point out an intended referent. This and that are singular demonstrative pronouns, whereas these and those are plural.

C. Indefinite Pronouns

They don’t refer to any specific person or thing. Indefinite pronouns are vague and not defined. Each, every, either, neither, everybody, everyone, somebody, someone, one etc. are examples of indefinite pronouns.

D. Emphatic / Intensive Pronouns

Emphatic pronouns consist of a personal pronoun with ‘self’ or ‘selves’ as the suffix. Intensive or emphatic pronouns emphasize / highlight a noun. Myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves etc. are examples of such pronouns. These pronouns are also used as reflexive pronouns.

E. Interrogative Pronouns

These pronouns are used for asking questions (interrogation). Hence, they are known as interrogative pronouns. What, which, who, whom, and whose are examples of interrogative pronouns. But, these pronouns are also used as relative pronouns.

F. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are those that connect a clause or a phrase to a noun or a pronoun. Examples of relative pronouns include who, whom, which, that, whoever, whomever, whichever etc.

G. Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns have the same forms as emphatic pronouns. They reflect the action onto the antecedent. Thus, the action is reflected upon the subject where it starts from. Myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves etc. are examples of reflexive pronouns.

Rules

Rule – I: After the It-clause, subjective case should be given preference to objective case. It-is, It-was and It-will-be are the “It-clause” of Present, Past and Future time respectively. Subjective case can be used in place of the subject of a sentence. Similarly, objective case can substitute the object of a sentence.

Usage:

  • It was she at the window. (Grammatically Correct)
  • It was her at the window. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • It is they who are the guardians of the trust fund. (Grammatically Correct)
  • It is them who are the guardians of the trust fund. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – II: The subject of a sentence can be compared with the subjective case, not the objective case.

Usage:

  • Ramesh is as generous as she. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Ramesh is as generous as her. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • Americans are technologically more advanced than we. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Americans are technologically more advanced than us. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – III: After a preposition, preference should be given to the objective case, not the subjective case.

  • Everyone was late except her. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Everyone was late except she. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • The details of this conversation must remain between you and me. (Grammatically Correct)
  • The details of this conversation must remain between you and I. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – IV (A): The order of preference of grammatical persons is: 231 (2nd, 3rd & 1st)

  • You, he and I have grown up in this neighborhood. (Grammatically Correct)
  • I, you and he have grown up in this neighborhood. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • He and I are childhood friends. (Grammatically Correct)
  • I and He are childhood friends. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – IV (B): In case of a sentence expressing blame, responsibility or some wrongdoing, the order of grammatical persons becomes: 123 (1st, 2nd & 3rd)

  • I, you and he are responsible for our team’s failure. (Grammatically Correct)
  • You, he and I are responsible for our team’s failure. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • Of late, I, you and he have not been studying sincerely. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Of late, you, he and I have not been studying sincerely. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – V: Indefinite pronouns are singular in nature. They agree with singular forms of verbs and possessive adjectives.

  • Neither of my sisters believes in sharing her (Grammatically Correct)
  • Neither of my sisters believe in sharing their (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • Each of my business partners follows his own way of working. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Each of my business partners follow their own way of working. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – VI: In case of correlative conjunctions such as either-or, neither-nor, not only-but also etc., the verbs and possessive adjectives used must agree with the closer subject.

  • Neither Rachel nor her family members accept their mistakes easily. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Neither Rachel nor her family members accepts her mistakes easily. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • Either Saba or her siblings like their line of work. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Either Saba or her siblings likes her line of work. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – VII: Before a gerund (V1+ing form acting as a noun), preference must be given to the possessive case and not subjective or objective cases.

  • My mother does not approve of my (Grammatically Correct)
  • My mother does not approve of me (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • The Principal has warned the boys; he is against their smoking (Grammatically Correct)
  • The Principal has warned the boys; he is against them smoking (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – VIII: Each other and one another are reciprocal pronouns. Each other refers to two persons or things. However, one another must be used in the context of more than two persons or things.

  • India and Pakistan must learn to trust each other. (Grammatically Correct)
  • India and Pakistan must learn to trust one another. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • SAARC countries must cooperate with one another. (Grammatically Correct)
  • SAARC countries must cooperate with each other. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – IX: ‘Who’ and ‘whom’ must be used keeping in mind that ‘who’ is the subjective case and ‘whom’ is the objective case.

  • With whom do you share your happiness and sorrow? (Grammatically Correct)
  • With who do you share your happiness and sorrow? (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • SRK is the actor who they think will win the Filmfare award this year. (Grammatically Correct)
  • SRK is the actor whom they think will win the Filmfare award this year. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Rule – X: Objective case should be used as an object of the verb. Subjective case can’t function as the object of a verb.

  • Let you and me discuss the matter thoroughly and arrive at a compromise. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Let you and I discuss the matter thoroughly and arrive at a compromise. (Grammatically Incorrect)
  • Show me how to solve this problem. (Grammatically Correct)
  • Show I how to solve this problem. (Grammatically Incorrect)

Now that you have gone through the concepts described above, you know how to use pronouns. However, this will not be adequate in itself. What you further require is ample practice on quality study material such as that provided by the Institute for Top Bank PO Coaching in East Delhi.

Summary

Through the medium of this article experts at Vidya Guru Institute have tried to guide students on grammatical fundamentals related to pronouns. If you have any questions or queries, write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com.

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