Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Sentence Correction : Clarifications and Tips - Chapter Three : Different types of Pronouns and Rules to use Pronouns



Types of Pronouns

Reflexive Personal 


A Pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. Or a noun-equivalent.

(Pronoun means – for a noun.) e.g. I, He, She, They & we etc.

Pronouns are of five kinds.  

  1. Personal  Pronouns
  2. Reflexive Personal Pronouns
  3. Demonstrative Pronouns
  4. Relative Pronouns
  5. Interrogative Pronouns

1. PERSONAL  PRONOUN:  stands for three persons:

1. First Person :-
  • Singular -     I,    My,   Me,  Mine.
  • Plural  -     We, Our, Us,  Ours. 
2. Second Person :-
  • Singular & Plural  - You, Your, You, Yours.
3. Third Person :-
  • Singular - He His Him , She Her Her.
  • Plural -    They, Their, Them,  Theirs.

Personal Pronouns of:
  •      First Person refer to the speaker of the sentence. e.g. I know him
  •      Second Person to the person spoken to. e.g. You are my friend.
  •     Third Person to the person or thing spoken of. e.gHe is my cousin.

The Use of ‘We’ :-

1. When a speaker while speaking of himself, is also pointing to some other person. ‘We’ is used & not ‘I’ is used.

2. In speaking of mankind, a single person uses ‘We’ instead of ‘I’.
Example : We are the children of God.

A Pronoun agrees with its antecedent in person number and gender; as
  • Every man must suffer for his sins.
  • All the candidates must hand over their answer sheets.

Personal Pronouns have the same difference of gender, number and case that nouns have.

1. A personal pronoun standing for a Collective Noun must be in singular numberExample:
  • The fleet is reaching its destination. 
  • The class is busy with its work.

2. But Collective noun referring to individuals…..must be in plural form; 

  • The jury were divided  in their opinion.

3. When two or more singular nouns are joined by   or, either..…or, neither……..nor Pronoun is generally Singular.

  • John or Smith must do his duty.
  • Either John or Smith forgot to take his share.
  • Neither Bob nor Peter learnt his lesson.

4. When a Plural noun and a Singular  noun are joined by Or, or Nor, the pronoun must be in plural Example:

  • Either the manager or his assistants failed in their duty.

5.When two Singular nouns joined by ‘and’ are preceded by ‘each’ and ‘every’, the pronoun must be singular.

  • Each girl and each woman was busy with her work.
  • Every teacher and every student was in his place.


I and Me are used according their  Nominative  and objective positions.
  • These gifts are for you and me (Not I).
  • My uncle invited my friends and me (Not I)  to dinner.
  • My brother and I (not myself or me) are going to Shimla.


1. First Person :-   Myself, Ourselves, My own, Mine own. Our own.
2. Second Person :- Yourself, Yourselves, Your own.
3. Third Person :- Himself, Herself, Itself,Themselves,
                            His own, Her own, Its own.Their own.
Reflexive Pronoun indicates that the subject and the object is the same person or thing ;


  • I myself am at fault.  
  • He should thank himself for this. 
  • A cheater cheats himself.

Sometimes Reflexive pronouns are used in emphatic sense.

  • You yourself gave this book to him. 
  • It is my own, my native land.


Points out to some noun already used. e.g. : This, These, That, Those, One, Ones, None, Such, Some.
  • When two things  are  referred to ‘this’ is used for the nearer one and ‘that’ for farther one. 
  • This That for singular & These and Those for plural. 
  • One’ is used for singular and ‘Ones’ for plural.
  • ‘Such’ can be used  for a noun in either number.

  • He won a prize last year but he did not win one this year.
  • There are five old houses and three new ones in this colony.
  • He is the head of the family as such is responsible  for all  the acts.
  • Many persons were there but there was none to help him.

Rules :

1. One should  be followed by one. It is wrong to use he or she after it.

  • One should do one’s  duty. 
  • One must mind one’s own business. 

2. Each, Either and neither when used as noun are followed by  Singular verb.

  • Each of these boys is a brilliant student. 

  • Each of the worker was paid a rupee.
  • Either of the roads leads to Bombay. 
  • Neither of us is attending the meeting.

3. Anyone refers to more than two persons or things; 

  • She is more beautiful than any one of her four sisters.
  • Did you buy any mangoes?  There were none in the market.
  • None but the honest deserve the fair.
  • None but fools have faith in such a rogue.
        None is also used as singular ;


  • Have you brought me a letter? There was none for you.

4. Each Other is used for two persons & One another is for more than two;as

  • John and Smith are talking with each other.
  • Boys are playing with one another.


Does double function, stands  for a noun and also joins a sentence like a conjunction. e.g. who,whom,which,whose,what, whichever, that, but,as etc.
The noun for which a relative pronoun stands for is called its antecedent.

1. Who : is used in the nominative case and indicates person or persons ; as

The man who came to see me is my brother.

The men who came to see me were my friends.

A. When the subject of a verb is a Relative Pronoun, the verb agrees in number and person with the antecedent of the relative; as

1. I who am your friend will stand by you through thick and thin.

2. The student who stands first gets a prize.

3.The time which is lost is lost for ever.

4. This is one of the most interesting books that have (not has) ever appeared.


Nominative Case :

 1. It is John who won the race.

2. There are some people who do not think before they speak.

Objective Case: 

1. Whom do you want to see?

 2. To whom did you give my book?

2. Whom:  is used in the objective case and indicates a person or persons; as

  • The boy whom you met in the market is my friend.
  • The children whom  you see in the garden are very naughty.

3. Which: is used in both the nominative and the objective case and refers a person or persons; as

  • He gave me a book which is of much help to me.
  • He gave me books which he bought from the market.

4. Whose:  is used in the possessive case and refers to persons.

5. Of which : is used in the possessive case and refers to things ; 

  • This is the boy whose watch was stolen.
  • The car  the colour of which is white is mine.

6. That: as relative pronoun is used both in nominative and the objective case for persons or things & is often used for who, whom or which but it is never used for whose  ; 

  • This is the boy that (who) came to see me.
  • This is the house that (which) I purchased last year.
  • The book that (which) you  are looking for is here.

7. But: 

as a relative pronoun is used meaning thereby ‘who not’  and ‘which not’;

  • There was none but praised him.
  • There is no problem but he can solve.

Interrogative Pronoun is used in asking questions. ‘who’ refers to persons only, 'which' to both persons and things and 'what' is neuter and applies to things only.



  • Who is he?  (person). 
  • Which is your table? (thing). 
  • Which is John? (person).(out of many persons)  
  • What does he want? (thing).

Who and what are used in indefinite sense i.e. without any reference to any class.

Which is used with a particular reference to a particular class and implies selection out of the class;

  • Which  of  you is leaving for Delhi?
  • Which book do you like?

Distinction between : Who is he? Which is he? What is he?

1.Who is he?  : 

Who inquires for the  name and parentage of  a person.

                                   He is Smith, a renowned doctor of the town.

2.Which is he? 

Which inquires about a particular person out of a definite group.

                                     He is standing second  in the fourth row.

3. What is he? 

What  inquires about profession and position of a person in a society.

                                                   He is a merchant.


The Pronoun ‘It’ is used:

1. For things without life;

Example: There is a book on the table. Give it to me.

2. For animals;

Example:   He has a pet cow. He loves it very much.

3. For a young child;

Example:    I saw the child in the market. It was weeping bitterly.

4. To refer to a statement going before

Example:    He told a lie and he knows it. He will not win the match and he knows it.

5. As a subject before the verb to be

  • It is sure that he will win the match.( He will win the match is sure).
  • It  is easy to find fault with others.

6. To emphasize the noun or pronoun that follows

  • It was he who brought this to my notice.
  • It is he who is at fault. 
  • It was he who helped me. 
  • It is a fool who does not learn from past follies.

7. As an impersonal pronoun;

Example:    It is raining. It snows.  It thunders.

8. In Indefinite sense; 

Example:   It is very hot. It is clear today. It is close today.

Use of My, Mine, Your, Yours, Her, Hers, their, Theirs;

..are called possessive pronouns. 

Mine, yours, hers, theirs are not followed by any noun whereas My, your, his, her there are followed by a noun ; 

  • This is my book and that is yours. (your book)
  • This is his box. Where is hers?
  • It is my fault and not theirs. He lost his purse and stole mine.(my purse)

Numerical adjectives are often used as a pronoun; as:

The underlined words  are pronouns.
  • Either of the teams can win the match.
  • Neither of the two brothers is at fault.
  • Some of the boys are brilliant, others are dull.
  • Both of the girls are beautiful.
  • John has done much but more is expected from him.
  • Be fair in your dealings that is all I need from you.
  • They came by threes and fours.
  • There are two dogs in the  house one is white, the other black.
  • Each has natural talents, only if each will develop it.
  • There are nine plants in the garden, two are small, three are of medium size and four are tall. 


There is often a great confusion about use of ‘than’ & ‘but’  But if we use the complete clause in the sentence it  can be avoided; as:

  • Her sister is more beautiful than she (is).
  • I love her more than he (loves her).
  • She loves you more than (she loves) me.


But  is used as a preposition in a sentences.
  • Nobody  will help you but me.(not I)
  • None but him was present. (not he)

  • What is used for things only.
  • What is lying there? …… a thing.
  • What  does he want?
  • What did you get?
  • What is this table made of?
But what also refers to profession when used with a noun or pronoun.

  • What is your father? He is a doctor.  
  • What is your mother? She is a teacher.

USE OF ‘HE’ ‘YOU’ & ‘I’

For good acts the order of use is :

Second person, third person and first person.

You, he and I ,         You and I,      He and I,

For bad acts it is:

First person, third person and second personI, he and you,      I and you,       I and he.

  • You, he and I are good friends.
  • I, he and you are at fault.

  1. Use of  Singular & Plural numbers
  1. Use of Nouns , Use of Apostrophe-s
  1. Commonly used Adverbial Phrases 

Read More on Sentence Correction Rules :

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