How are pronouns used?


Quick Answer

Pronouns are used to replace nouns that have already been mentioned in a sentence to avoid repeating the noun. They also replace other pronouns and noun phrases. Pronouns are used to make sentences less repetitive and unwieldy.

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Full Answer

Examples of pronouns include "he," "she," "they," "none" and "which." The most common pronouns are personal pronouns, which replace nouns that refer to people or things. Types of personal pronouns include subjective, objective, possessive and reflexive.

Subjective personal pronouns act as the subjects of verbs. These include "I," "we," "they," "he" and "she." Objective personal pronouns act as the objects of verbs and prepositions. These include "me," "them," "us," "him" and "her." "You" and "it" function in both subjective and objective pronoun roles.

Possessive pronouns refer to something owned by the speaker or someone previously mentioned; examples include "mine," "yours," "hers," "his" and "ours."

Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject of the clause. "Myself," "himself," "herself" and "itself" are examples of reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns function as the object of a reflexive verb, not the subject. Reflexive pronouns also emphasize a noun, proper noun or other pronoun for cases in which they are one and the same: "I myself forgot about the bad news."

While personal pronouns refer to specific people or things, indefinite pronouns refer to non-specific people or things. Common indefinite pronouns include "anyone," "anything," "everybody," "nobody" and "someone."

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