1 Pronouns A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or of another pronoun. Pronouns provide a language "shorthand" that saves us from continually repeating nouns, as in these sentences: John saw the star. John liked the star. John told Mary about the star. Mary wanted John to tell Mary more about the star. Pronouns enable us to rephrase these sentences in a less monotonous way. John saw the star. He liked it. He told Mary about it. She wanted him to tell her more about it. The replaced noun is called the antecedent of the pronoun. Barry likes chicken. He likes it fried. In the second sentence, "he" replaces "Barry." (So "Barry" is the antecedent of "he." "It" replaces "chicken." ("Chicken" is the antecedent of "it.") Identifying Antecedents In each sentence, circle the pronoun that has an antecedent in that sentence. Underline the antecedent. Draw an arrow from the pronoun to the antecedent. Exercise 1 1. The crowd roared to show it approved. 2. The racers ran to the bikes but could not start them.
2 3. A mechanic kicked a cycle and dented it. 4. The official with the flag waved it to begin the race. 5. The cycle shook painfully when it hit the row of ruts. 6. The driver, thrown into the air, was hurt when the bike landed on him. 7. Witnesses to the accident said it was spectacular. 8. The track was filled with ruts, and they were dangerous. 9. The novice could not avoid them as he turned. 10. The window broke. Mr. Watkins fixed it. 11. Polly and Jim are here. They came by plane. It was late. 12. If Mark comes, tell him to call Sarah at the office. She is expecting him.
3 Types of Pronouns S i n g u l a r 1 st person I, me we, us 2 nd person you you 3 rd person he, she, it, they, him, her them First Person is the speaker; Second Person is the person spoken to; and Third Person is the person or thing spoken about. Circle the personal pronouns in the following sentences. Exercise 2 P l u r a l 1. John lost the ball and could not find it.
4 2. He looked everywhere for it. 3. It had rolled under the cushions. 4. They were covering it so he could not see it. 5. Eventually Alice lifted them and she found it. Possessive Pronouns show ownership or possession of something. S i n g u l a r
5 Examples: 1 st person mine ours 2 nd person yours yours 3 rd person his, hers, its theirs 1. Don t touch that book. It s mine. 2. Yours is better than theirs. Note: Possessive pronouns cannot be used before nouns. P l u r a l e.g., his horse, her pencil, their house. In these cases, the possessive words (his, her, their) are adjectives, not pronouns. In the following sentences, circle the possessive pronouns, cross out any possessive adjectives (e.g., their dog), and underline any personal pronouns. Exercise 3 1. Is this yours? Or is it mine? 2. Ours was lost, but his was found. Was theirs lost, too? 3. Their team is first in the league, and ours is last.
6 4. My doctor presented me with a book. It used to be hers. 5. The green book is missing a cover; the blue book still has its. Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that do not define or stand for a particular person or thing. Some common indefinite pronouns are all, each, neither, either, one, everyone, several, some, other, another, both, none, many, anything, nothing, few. Note: Indefinite pronouns cannot be used before nouns. e.g., many people, either boy, some houses. In these cases, the indefinite words (many, either, some) are adjectives, not pronouns. In the following sentences, circle indefinite pronouns. Cross out indefinite adjectives (some people. Underline personal pronouns. Exercise 4 1. Some of the tigers were donated by Mrs. Vanderbilt. 2. Anything you can do, I can do better. 3. Few sang on key and one missed a beat.
7 4. Someone asked if everyone had several ideas. 5. He was heartbroken to find out that she loved another. 6. Nothing has been done properly. 7. I invited both John and George, but neither came. 8. Each blamed the other. Numerical pronouns show a specific number of the antecedent noun. Common numerical pronouns are one, two, three, etc. and first, second, third, etc. e.g., Jane bought tomatoes, but two were bad. Paul was the first to finish. * The word one is a numerical pronoun if the antecedent noun has been specifically identified. If the antecedent noun is not identified, the word one is an indefinite pronoun (see above section). Note: Numerical pronouns cannot be used before nouns. Exercise 5 e.g., three people, the second day. In these cases, the numerical words (three, second) are adjectives, not pronouns.
8 In the following sentences, circle numerical pronouns, cross out numerical adjectives, (three people), and underline personal pronouns. 1. Of the ten people who were invited, only four came. 2. Three boys ran the race: the first was Paul; the second was Alan; and the third was Ricky. 3. One the tenth day of the vacation, five of them visited New York. 4. The Earth is surrounded by millions of stars. 5. The first girl in the class is Elenor; the second is Anna. Demonstrative Pronouns This group (this, that, these, and those) "demonstrate" or point out a specific person or thing. This is my oak chopping board. Those are the muxhrooms I like. Note: You must double-check all four words. If they come before nouns, they are adjectives, not pronouns: this spinach, those apples. Use this (singular) and these (plural) for things close to you and that (singular) and those (plural) for things farther away.
9 In the following sentences, circle the demonstrative pronouns, cross out demonstrative adjectives and underlinepersonal pronouns. Exercise 6 1. Give me that! 2. If you did this, you re in trouble. 3. If that is what you believe, this conversation is pointless. 4. These are a good buy; those are a waste of money. 5. This is one of those days! Interrogative Pronouns Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. Who, whose, whom, which, and what are sometimes used as interrogative pronouns. e.g., What did you say? In that sentence, what is an interrogative pronoun. Note: Interrogative pronouns cannot be used before a noun. e.g., Whose hat, which boy? In these cases the interrogative words (whose, which) are adjectives, not pronouns. In the following sentences, circle the interrogative pronouns, cross out interrogative adjectives (whose hat), and underline personal pronouns. Exercise 7
10 1. What am I supposed to do about it? 2. Who is going to be there when I arrive? 3. Which of the plants do you want me to take to them? 4. Whose work was good and whose was bad? 5. Whom did you give it to when you were through with it? 6. Who s coming to dinner? 7. Which house have you decided to buy? Reflexive Pronouns These pronouns are the personal pronouns (my, your, him, her, its, our, and them) with a -self or -selves ending. Their special use is to refer action to another noun or pronoun in the sentence. They can also be used simply to add emphasis. Peeling potatoes, I cut myself. Jack himself prepared the meal.
11 Do not use a reflexive pronoun when its "referring" quality is not needed. Example: Do not say, "Please give the money to Paul or myself." In the following sentences, circle the reflexive pronouns and underline personal pronouns. Exercise 8 1. Peter gave himself a party. 2. Gail made herself a dress out of the material you gave her. 3. The car rolled by itself down the hill. 4. We take ourselves very seriously at Plainview High School. 5. You must demand more of yourselves if you expect to be successful. Summary Table to Types of Pronouns Personal Possessive Indefinite Numerical Demonstrative Interrogative Reflexive I me mine all one this who myself you you yours some two that whom yourself he him his none three these whose himself she her hers another first those which herself what
12 it it its someone second itself we us ours anyone third ourselves you you yours everyone yourselves they them theirs nobody themselves nothing either neither much anybody everything something few many several others one Note: In the above table, the lists of indefinite and numerical pronouns do not include all of these types of pronouns. Exercise 9 In the blank table following this exercise, write all the pronouns in these sentences, placing each in its correct column according to type. e.g., Who is it? Who would be written in the Interrogative column. 1. Mary herself will prepare the food. 2. He is one of my best friends. 3. I spoke to him yesterday. 4. I believe this pen is his; it is not mine. 5. I think these are ours.
13 6. Which of these dresses do you like? 7. These flowers are more expensive than those. 8. They built this house by themselves. 9. Anybody can do that. 10. I saw something in the corner. 11. It s mine! 12. Your sister asked me which I liked better. 13. All of them came to the party. 14. Who was at the door? 15. You come to our house and then we will all go to theirs. 16. You should not blame yourself for that mistake. 17. Either of the runners is good enough to win. 18. Moira was the first to finish. 19. What would you say if I told you she made one by herself? 20. On the ninth day, the egg hatched. Personal Possessive Indefinite Numerical Demonstrative Interrogative Reflexive Ex. Who
14 Answer Key (Words that you were to circle are shown in italics) Exercise 1 1. crowd it 2. bikes them 3. cycle it
15 4. flag it 5. cycle it 6. driver him 7. accidentit 8. ruts they 9. novice he 10. window it 11. Polly & Jim they plane it 12. Mark him Sarah she Mark him Exercise 2 1. it 2. it He 3. It 4. They, it, it he 5. them, she, it Exercise 3 1. yours it mine 2. ours his theirs 3. Their ours 4. My me It hers 5. its Exercise 4 1. Some 2. Anything you I 3. Few one 4. someone everyone several 5. He she another 6. Nothing 7. I both neither 8. Each other Exercise 5 1. ten four 2. Three first second third 3. tenth five them 4. millions 5. first second Exercise 6 1. me that 2. you this you 3. that you this 4. These those 5. This those Exercise 7 1. What I it 2. Who I 3. Which you me them 4. whose whose 5. Whom it you it 6. Who
16 7. Which you Exercise 8 1. himself 2. herself you her 3. itself 4. We ourselves 5. You yourselves you Personal Possessive Indefinite Numerical Demonstrative Interrogative Reflexive 1. herself 2. one 3. I, him 4. I, it his, mine 5. I ours these 6. you which 7. those 8. they themselves 9. anybody that 10. I something 11. it mine 12. me, I which 13. them all 14. who
17 15. you, we theirs all 16. you yourself 17. either 18. first 19. you, I, you, she one what herself 20.