Pronouns “ They can because they think they can.” Virgil
What is a Pronoun?
“ A pronoun is a word used in place of one or more nouns or pronouns.” - Holt, Elements of Literature definition.
Types of pronouns:
Personal Possessive Indefinite
Why do we need to use pronouns?
To avoid repetition of nouns in sentences
Gretchen was writing a paper for a class. Gretchen did not like Gretchen’s teacher, so Gretchen did not spend much time on Gretchen’s paper. The teacher tried to help Gretchen become a better writer, but Gretchen was not willing to listen to Gretchen’s teacher. The teacher spoke to Gretchen about this, and Gretchen told the teacher that Gretchen did not think writing would matter to Gretchen. Gretchen was going to be a famous singer and would not have to write. What should the teacher tell Gretchen?
Every pronoun should have a CLEAR antecedent, the word that the pronoun stands for in the sentence .
Clear - Even when Bailey behaved badly, he was rarely punished.
Unclear – Bailey spoke to Uncle Willie. He was angry. [Who was angry]
Pronouns and their Antecedents must agree in number, gender, and person.
Number – Singular (One) or Plural (More than One)
Gender – Masculine (Male or Unknown) or Feminine (Female)
Person – First (Speaker), Second (Spoken to), or Third (Spoken About)
What is a personal pronoun?
A personal pronoun takes the place of people or things.
He, Him, She, Her, It
Find the correct antecedent for the given pronoun.
Bill reminded Susan that he wanted to meet her friend.
The car was in the garage. It had a flat tire.
UNC and West Virginia will play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. They will play in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What is a possessive pronoun?
Personal pronouns that are used to show ownership.
Her, Hers, His, Its
Its v. It’s
Means belonging to it
The car still has its lights on.
The dog ate its food.
Means it is
It’s getting late outside.
Do you think it’s too late to study?
Your v. You’re
Means belonging to you
Don’t forget your coat.
Do you have your homework.
Means you are
You’re not going over there tonight.
I can’t believe you’re not going to study.
Their v. They’re v. There
Means belonging to them
I went to their house.
Do you still have their phone number?
Means they are
They’re not here.
Means referring to a place
How did you get over there?
Choose the correct pronoun
The living room is hers to clean not (my, mine, me).
A gray wolf calls to (it, its, it’s) mother by howling.
Since (your, you’re, yours) car is in the shop, (I, me) have to drive you.
What is a reflexive pronoun?
Reflexive pronouns are pronouns that refer to the subject and direct the action of the verb back to the subject.
Himself, Herself, Itself
Make sure to match the reflexive pronoun with the proper number, person, and gender of the subject it is referring to.
We wouldn’t say:
We did the homework by myself . (We and myself doesn’t agree in number. We is plural and myself is singular.)
He did the work herself . (He and herself doesn’t agree in gender. He is masculine, while herself is feminine.)
I wrote the story herself . (I and herself doesn’t agree in person. One is first person and the other is third person.