Education and Learning
Pronouns are one of the eight parts of speech that make up the English language. In basic terms, pronouns are simply words that can take the place of nouns in a sentence. That is, pronouns can do all the same things that nouns can do. Though they are relatively simply, it is possible to get mixed up and use them incorrectly, so it is important to understand exactly what they are and how they are meant to be used. There are several different types of pronouns, but there are only three that are the most common. These three include possessive pronouns, relative pronouns, and subject pronouns.

Subject pronouns are probably the easiest to understand. They are also the most commonly used. As the name suggests, subject pronouns are used as the subject of a sentence or clause. In other words, these pronouns let the reader or listener know who you are talking about. Subject pronouns include the words I, you, he, she, it, they, and we. Following are a few examples of subject pronouns used in sentences:

I am going to go to the store.

She likes to read.

We were supposed to go out tonight.

Possessive pronouns are also very common and relatively simple. These pronouns are used to show ownership or possession. Some of the most commonly used possessive pronouns include hers, his, mine, yours, and theirs, but there are also several others. Possessive pronouns can be used in two different ways. They can stand on their own, or they can stand before a noun. They are only true pronouns, however, when they are used on their own. When a possessive pronoun is used before a noun, they are actually serving as an adjective that modifies the noun. The following are examples of a possessive pronoun used alone:

That is mine.

The book is hers.

Here are examples of possessive pronouns used as adjectives.

That is my book.

This is her car.

The last common type of pronoun is the relative pronoun. These are a bit more advanced and more difficult to properly understand. Relative pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses. Relatively clauses are a type of dependent clause. The words that can serve as relative pronouns are which, whom, who, that, whomever, whichever, whose, and whoever. The following is an example of how a relative pronoun is used in a sentence:

She likes the dog who has black spots. (The word "who" is the relative pronoun. It introduces the relative clause "who has white spots" and replaces the noun "dog".)


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    Hi I'm Jesse, not sure what to write here ;-) but I hope to write some interesting and useful stuff on this site.


    March 2010



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