pronouns

Pronouns are words such as `it', `this', and `nobody' which are used in a sentence like noun groups containing a noun. Some pronouns are used in order to avoid repeating nouns. For example, you would not say `My mother said my mother would phone me this evening'. You would say `My mother said she would phone me this evening'.
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You use a pronoun instead of a noun group containing a noun, not in addition to a noun group. For example, you do not say `My mother she wants to see you'. You say either `My mother wants to see you' or `She wants to see you'.
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In this entry, information is given on personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, and indefinite pronouns.
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For information on demonstrative pronouns, see entry at ↑ this - that. For information on reciprocal pronouns, see entry at ↑ each other - one another. Some `wh'-words are pronouns; see entry at ↑ 'Wh'-words.
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Words such as `many' and `some' which are used to refer to quantities of people or things can also be used as pronouns. See section on pronoun use in entry at ↑ Quantity.
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`One' can be used to replace a noun group, but can also be used to replace a noun within a noun group. See entry at ↑ one.
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personal pronouns
Personal pronouns are used to refer to something or someone that has already been mentioned, or to the speaker or hearer. There are two sets of personal pronouns: subject pronouns and object pronouns.
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Subject pronouns are used as the subject of a verb. The subject pronouns are:

I do the washing; he does the cooking; we share the washing-up.

My father is fat — he weighs over fifteen stone.

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Object pronouns are used as the direct or indirect object of a verb, or after a preposition. The object pronouns are:

The nurse washed me with cold water.

I'm going to read him some of my poems.

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Note that you do not use an object pronoun as the indirect object of a verb when you are referring to the same person as the subject. Instead you use a reflexive pronoun.

He cooked himself an omelette.

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Note that `me', not `I', is used after `it's' in modern English.

`Who is it?' —-`It's me.'

See entry at ↑ me.
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`We' and `us' can be used either to include the person you are talking to or not to include the person you are talking to. For example, you can say `We must meet more often', meaning that you and the person you are talking to must meet each other more often. You can also say `We don't meet very often now', meaning that you and someone else do not meet very often.
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`You' and `they' can be used to refer to people in general.

You have to drive on the other side of the road on the continent.

They say she's very clever.

For more information about this, see entry at ↑ one.
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`They' and `them' are sometimes used to refer back to indefinite pronouns referring to people. For more information, see entry at ↑ he - they.
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`It' is used as an impersonal pronoun in general statements about the time, the date, the weather, or a situation. See entry at ↑ it.
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possessive pronouns
Possessive pronouns show who the person or thing you are referring to belongs to or is connected with. The possessive pronouns are:

Is that coffee yours or mine?

It was his fault, not theirs.

`What's your name?' —-`Frank.' —-`Mine's Laura.'

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There is no possessive pronoun `its'.
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Possessive pronouns are sometimes confused with possessive determiners, which are quite similar in form. See entry at ↑ Possessive determiners.
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Possessive pronouns can be used after `of'. See entry at ↑ of.

He was an old friend of mine.

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reflexive pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are used as the object of a verb or preposition when the person or thing affected by an action is the same as the person or thing doing it. The reflexive pronouns are:

She stretched herself out on the sofa.

The men formed themselves into a line.

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For more information about this use of reflexive pronouns, see section on reflexive verbs in entry at ↑ Verbs.
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Reflexive pronouns are also used after nouns or pronouns to emphasize them.

I myself have never read the book.

The town itself was so small that it didn't have a bank.

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They are also used at the end of a clause to emphasize the subject.

I find it a bit odd myself.

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Reflexive pronouns are also used at the end of a clause to say that someone did something without any help from anyone else.

Did you make those yourself?

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You can also indicate that someone did something without any help, or that someone was alone, by using a reflexive pronoun after `by' at the end of a clause.

Did you put those shelves up all by yourself?

He went off to sit by himself.

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indefinite pronouns
Indefinite pronouns are used to refer to people or things without indicating exactly who or what they are.
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The indefinite pronouns are:
anybody, anyone, anything, everybody, everyone, everything, nobody, no-one, nothing, somebody, someone, something

Everyone knows that.

Jane said nothing for a moment.

Is anybody there?

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You always use singular verbs with indefinite pronouns.

Is anyone here?

Everything was ready.

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However, the plural pronouns `they', `them', or `themselves' are often used to refer back to an indefinite pronoun referring to a person. See entry at ↑ he - they.
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You can use adjectives immediately after indefinite pronouns.

Choose someone quiet.

There is nothing extraordinary about this.

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Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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