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Friday, June 18, 2021

English Grammar | Pronouns in English: subject, object, possessive, reflexive and more | Online Class| English Grammar ||

 Pronouns in English: subject, object, possessive, reflexive and more

By Prabir Rai Chaudhuri-



Do you know all the pronouns in English?
It's a bit more complicated than it seems to be  ...

Because there are several types of pronouns: there are pronouns for the subject of the sentence, for the complement (object) of the sentence, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, possessive adjectives and more.

Here's a little Chart on the various types of pronouns in English.

 


Types of pronouns in English and how to use them

English has several types of pronouns that are used for specific functions.

First, what is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a grammar word that can be used to represent a noun without using the proper or specific name of the thing.

So instead of saying John, we say he .

Instead of saying Sarah, we say she.

Instead of "the tomato" we say it .

And instead of saying Tom and Mary, we say they.

Sure, you can also talk about Tom, Mary and the tomato if you want. But pronouns are used a lot, especially to avoid repetition.

Q: Where is the tomato?

A: It's in the fridge.

Q: Where is Mary?

A: She’s in bed.

We already know that we are talking about Mary, so there is no need to repeat her name.

So far so good.

Now we will talk about the various types of pronouns in English, and how to use them well.

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns are used to talk about the subject of the sentence (the part that develops the action).

So we have ...

I = I

you = you

he = he

she = she

it = to talk about objects, animals, gender-less things

we = we / we

they = them / them (also used to talk about gender-less things)

And here are some examples of sentences that use subject pronouns ...

I love chocolate.

You look great!

I ate the sandwich.

She went to work.

It’s raining.

We're waiting for the bus.

They're watching TV.

We are not always talking about physical actions, but about states, possession, etc. And remember, as we have seen in the examples, that sometimes the pronoun is combined with a short form of a verb: I'm, you're, we've, the'll, etc.

I 've got two sisters.

She’s feeling sick.

 

We continue with the next group, which are the object pronouns ...

Object Pronouns

Object pronouns are used when the noun is the object (or complement) of the sentence. That is, it receives the action of the verb instead of developing the action of the verb.

The object pronouns are ...

me = me

you = to you

him = to him

her = her

it = is used for things, animals etc.

us = to us

them = to them

Here are some examples of how object pronouns are used in sentences. Notice that the pronoun is used to represent the person (or thing) that receives the action of the verb ...

Give me the money.

I'll send the pictures to you tomorrow.

I called him an hour ago.

I looked for her at the concert.

Put it in the fridge.

If you need any help, just ask us .

Mary took them out to dinner.

As you may have noticed, two of the object pronouns are the same as the subject pronouns: you and also it . We know the usage by the position in the sentence and its relation to the verb.

Possessive adjectives in English

Possessive adjectives are not (to my knowledge) a type of pronoun, but they are usually taught together with pronouns because they are similar.

They are used like other adjectives  - to describe a noun. But they only describe one aspect of the noun: Who does it belong to?

As it speaks of possession, it is called a possessive adjective. In Spanish, it is the “my house, your house, your house”.

If you want to learn pronunciation, watch the video. Examples below ...

There in the video, the most difficult thing for many is usually the pronunciation of her , which is different from the word for hair .

Here the possessive adjectives in written English ...

my = my

your = you

his = his (his)

her = hers

its =  of something without gender

our = our

their =  of them

 In English we have different words, and you have to use them well.

Here are some examples of phrases ...

That's my bike.

You dropped your keys. (Dropped = dropped)

I have washed his hair.

She dumped her boyfriend last week. (Dumped = left)

The dog wagged its tail. (Wagged = wagged)

We sold our house last year.

The children took off their shoes.

Please don't say things like “My brother and her boss” - the word brother is clearly masculine, and that is how “his boss” would be.

 

We have more types of pronouns in English, which we will see here next ...

Possessive pronouns in English

Possessive pronouns are a bit different from possessive adjectives - adjectives come before a noun, while possessive pronouns are used in place of the noun.

They are used, then, when you already know what you are talking about. In your mother tongue , the equivalents are it's mine, it's yours, it's hers, etc.

my = mine

your = yours

his = his (his)

her = his (hers)

its own = (yours, from a gender-less thing, but not used much)

bear = bear

theirs = their (of them)

Examples of possessive pronouns ...

The bag is mine . (It's my bag.)

This towel is yours . (It's your towel.)

That's not my phone, it's his .

The dog isn't mine, it's hers .

The cat has a personality of its own .

The money is ours . We earned it.

We ate our lunches, and they ate theirs .

We continue with another type of pronouns in English, the reflexive pronouns.

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the complement of the sentence are the same. They end with -self (singular) and -selves (plural).

myself = myself

yourself = yourself

himself = himself (he)

herself = himself (she)

itself = oneself (something without gender)

ourselves = ourselves

theirselves = themselves (they, they)

Here are some examples of phrases with reflexive pronouns in English ...

I cut myself while I was cooking.

You're not acting like yourself . Is everything okay?

He looked at himself in the mirror.

She hurt herself when she was skiing.

The turtle was on its back, trying to turn itself over.

We bought ourselves a new car. Wanna see it?

They locked themselves up in the bedroom and didn't come out for more than an hour.

I took a shower. = I took a shower. (Do not say I showered myself.)

He shaved off his mustache. = He shaved his mustache.  (Do not say He shaved himself.)

We have seen some examples in the section - with clothes and body parts, the reflexive is not used but the possessive adjective: my hair, his eyes, her legs, our teeth, their shoes.

We also use an expression with by + a reflexive pronoun to say that someone does something alone , without anyone else.

He lives by himself in a small flat.

She usually has lunch by herself .

You don't need to help. We can do it by ourselves.

The kids put on their shoes all by themselves . I can't believe how much they're growing up!

And finally, we have a few more words that are also pronouns ...

Other types of pronouns in English

There are other types of pronouns in English that you should mention before finishing.

First, the demonstrative pronouns: this , these , that and those .

This and these are used for things that you have in hand or very close: this for something singular, and these for something plural.

What do you think about this film?

Do you like these shoes?

And that and those are used for more distant things: that for something in the singular, and those for something in the plural.

That house looks really expensive.

Those girls are really pretty!

The words what , which , who , whom and whose are also pronouns , but those are spoken in other articles: who, whom and whose  and also  which and what .

Indefinite pronouns include words like someone , anywhere , everything, and the like. I explain them here:

indefinite pronouns .

And we also have reciprocal pronouns, which talk about things that people do to themselves in pairs or groups. There are only two: each other  (for two people) and one another (for more than two people).

Examples ...

Tom and Mary love each other very much.

The children were in the garden, spraying one another with water.

The thing about two people and more than two there is what the official grammars say, in any case - nowadays it seems to me that we use each other more without thinking much about the number of people.

And that's it .. Follow MANUSHER BHASHA for next lesson ..

 Image credit Google


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