Do you really need to know the different types of pronouns in order to write well? Probably not, but you should at least be aware of them.
We use pronouns to stand in for nouns in parts of speech so the nouns don’t have to be repeated needlessly. But eight different types of pronouns? Let’s take a look at them.
- Demonstrative pronouns can also be adjectives – this, that, these, those.
- Interrogative pronouns introduce questions – who, whom, whose, which, what.
- Personal pronouns refer to people or things – I, me, my, mine, you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, we, us, our, ours, they, them, their, theirs.
- Possessive pronouns show ownership and are a special type of personal pronoun – mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs.
- Quantifier pronouns show number or quantity – each, either, neither, none, some, all, any, few, both, everyone, everybody, nobody, nothing, anything.
- Reciprocal pronouns show actions performed mutually – each other, one another.
- Reflexive pronouns are used after a preposition and refer to the subject – myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
- Relative pronouns introduce clauses – who, whom, whose, that, which.
But wait, there’s more (as they say). Let’s throw a ninth pronoun into the mix – the intensifier pronoun. This pronoun takes the same form as the reflexive pronoun but it emphasises a previous pronoun or noun. There are also other variations of pronouns, but we’ll save discussing those for later.
Pronouns can act as subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects and objects of prepositions. And remember, pronouns must match the gender that they are standing in for. Example: John wanted his coffee black.
So do you think you’ll remember all of that? Not likely, but don’t let that stop you from writing.
Kristy Taylor is a syndicated freelance journalist with articles and short stories strewn across all forms of media. She has written and published numerous books, and is the executive editor of KT Publishing, which encompasses several web sites. For free listings of short story competitions visit http://www.shortstorycompetitions.com
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