The Uses of the Pronouns

Definition: Pronouns are words used to replace nouns. Pronouns are used mainly to avoid using nouns which have already been used in a sentence or paragraph.

Types or Kinds of Pronouns

  1. Personal pronouns
  2. Possessive pronouns
  3. Reflexive pronouns
  4. Indefinite pronouns
  5. Impersonal pronouns
  6. Relative pronouns
  7. Interrogative pronouns
  8. Demonstrative pronouns



  1. Personal pronouns refer to grammatical persons.
Persons Subjective Objective
1st person singular I We
1st person plural We Us
2nd person singular You You
2nd person plural You You
3rd person singular He / She / It Him / Her / It
3rd  person plural They Them


E.g: I   gave   you   a   book

Subjective Objective


You gave me  this   book

Subjective   Objective



  1. Possessive pronouns are used to show ownership.

E.g: This is my book or it is my book

This book is mine or it is mine

Ours, Yours, His, Hers, and theirs are examples of possessive pronouns. It is used as adjective only. E.g: Its cover, its shell, its back.

  1. Reflexive pronouns: refers to the subjects and end in “__ selves’’

I did it myself. You did it yourself / Ourself, Ourselves, himself, herself, themselves. It can be used emphatically as: I gave it to the principal herself. We saw the president himself.

  1. Indefinite pronouns: They refer to no particular persons or things. E.g: Someone, anyone, everyone, something, anybody, everybody, somebody, everything, anything, none, many, all, several. Most of them go with singular verbs e.g Someone / Somebody / Anybody/Everybody/ Something/ All is here/ Several / Many are here.
  2. Impersonal pronouns: refers to unspecified person or people in general. They are used consistently. E.g: One should be proud of one’s look. Note: One should be proud of his / her look.
  3. Relative pronouns: They introduce adjectival or relative clauses. They are used to join two clauses. Such as that, who, whose, whom, which. They resemble interrogative pronouns in forms but different in functions.

E.g: This is the boy who stole the book.

She gave me advice which helped me.

He is the man whose dog barks at night.

  1. Interrogative pronouns: Used in asking questions. They are what, which, who, whom, e.g: What is your name?

Whose is on the table?

Which is his book?

Who is at the door?

Note: that the interrogative pronouns are usually followed by a verb but interrogative adjectives are followed by nouns. E.g: Which book is your own? (adj)

Which is your book? (pronoun)

Whose pen is lost? (Adjectival)

Whose is lost? (pronoun)

  1. Demonstrative pronouns: They point at objects e.g: This is my bag.

These are my bags. That is my table. These are my tables.

Note: No noun is attached to Demonstrative pronouns but Demonstrative Adjective  are followed by nouns. E.g: This chair is mine, That Dictionary is mine, These books / those books are mine.


Functions of Pronouns

They perform the same functions as nouns in sentences.

  1. Subjects of Verbs

I, We, You, They, He, She, and who are used as subjects .E.g: I, ,We ,  You, They, He,   She,  worked in the farm. (Subjects of verb’’ worked’’)

Who  killed a goat? (Subject of verb’’ killed’’)


  1. Objects of Verbs / Prepositions

After action verbs or preposition, the pronouns change their forms because they have become objects. The form of pronouns change as objects. E.g: My sister praised me / us/ you /them / him / her / whom are object of the verb’’ praised’’

She came for me / us / you / them / him / her / whom are objects of the preposition ‘’for’’

There is a conflict between her  and them. ( object of the preposition ‘’between’’)

She told me a lie (object of the verb ‘’told’’)


  1. As complements

I am she that comes early everyday ( complement of the subject ‘’I’’)

It was they who packed the bags ( complement of the subject ‘’It’’)

It is I who should go (complement of the subject ‘’it’’)

respectively. This why they retain the same forms as they would take if they were used as subjects.

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