Pronouns Explained: With Examples

Pronouns are words that replace an object, subject, or thing in a clause and are an everyday part of spoken and written English. 

In its most basic form, a pronoun is called a personal pronoun and replaces the proper name of someone or something.

The personal pronouns in English are:

In first-person :

  • I and We

Second Person:

  • You

Third person :

  • He, she, it, and they
pronouns

Personal pronouns example sentences :

  • I am going swimming tomorrow.
  • We are staying in a hotel.
  • You don’t understand!
  • He sings in the choir.
  • She is always late!
  • It hasn’t arrived yet.
  • They went for a walk.

Possessive Pronouns with Examples 

Possessive pronouns work similarly to other types of pronouns, replacing a previously mentioned noun and acting as the object or subject. They indicate ownership of another noun and are often referred to as ‘strong, or absolute pronouns.’

The indefinite pronouns in English are:

First-person:

  • Mine (I)
  • Ours (We)

Second-person:

  • Yours (You)

Third-person:

  • His (He)
  • Hers (She)
  • Its (It)
  • Theirs (They)

Possessive pronouns example sentences:

  • The book is mine
  • This apartment is ours.
  • What’s mine is yours
  • That’s his.
  • Your story doesn’t match hers
  • How is your salary compared to theirs?

Now, let’s dive into indefinite pronouns.

Indefinite Pronouns with Examples

Indefinite pronouns refer to people, things, or amounts without being specific.

  • -one and -body is used when talking about people.
  • -thing refers to objects, feelings, etc.
  •  -where is related to place or location.

The indefinite pronouns in English are:

  • Somebody, someone, something, and somewhere
  • Anybody, anyone, anything, and anywhere
  • Nobody, no one, nothing, and nowhere
  • And, everybody, everyone, everything, and everywhere

Example sentences using some- :

  • Someone has it. 
  • Something isn’t right here!
  • It’s somewhere in the house.

Example sentences using any-  :

  • Has anybody seen my car keys?
  • You can choose anything from the store!
  • I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

Example sentences using no- :

  • Nobody opened the door.
  • No one wants to go with me.
  • I have nowhere else to sleep.

Example sentences using every- :

  • Everybody went to sleep. 
  • Where is everyone?
  • Everything is falling apart!

Relative Pronouns with Examples

Relative pronouns introduce relative clauses and give essential information about the subject or object.

Common relative pronouns in English:

  • Who / Whom*
  • Whose
  • Which
  • That 
  • Whoever 
  • Whomever*

 These words are also sometimes used in relative clauses:

  • What
  • When
  • Where

Relative pronoun example sentences:

  • I hate the people with whom I study. 
  • He’s a physiologist whose opinion I highly value. 
  • They can’t work together at all, which doesn’t surprise me.
  • The bike that we bought last year is already broken and can’t be fixed.
  • You can invite whoever you like.
  • The position will go to whomever is most qualified.
  • The shirt, when it was finally given back, was dirty.
  • Do you remember the cafe we went to where we ate the most delicious cake?

Interrogative Pronouns with Examples 

Interrogative pronouns, unlike relatives, are used to ask or introduce questions.

The interrogative pronouns in English are:

  • Who
  • Whom
  • Whose
  • What
  • Which

You’ll notice that interrogative and relative pronouns are the same. However, remember that if a sentence asks for an answer or is questioning something, the pronoun works as an interrogative. For example:

  • What’s that?
  • Whose is this?
  • Which is yours?
  • Which is your favorite?
  • To whom were you talking?
  • Whose did you choose?

Demonstrative Pronouns with Examples

A demonstrative pronoun is used for an indication - to point someone or something out.

The demonstrative pronouns in English are:

  • This
  • That
  • These
  • Those

Demonstrative pronoun example sentences:

  • This is where I keep all of my belongings.
  • That’s where his auntie used to live. 
  • These are beautiful; where did you get them?
  • Those are rare types of birds.

Reciprocal Pronouns with Examples

In English, reciprocal pronouns are used when two or more subjects or objects are doing the same thing.

The reflexive pronouns in English are:

  • Each other 
  • One another*

Reciprocal pronouns example sentences:

  • David and Sally care for each other.
  • The two dogs hate each other.
  • All of the teams tried hard to beat one another.
  • We gave each other presents. 
  • We all love one another.

Reflexive Pronouns VS. Intensive Pronouns With Examples

There are 9 reflexive pronouns in the English language that refer back to the subject of the clause and are frequently used when the subject and the object are the same.

The reflexive pronouns in English are:

In the first-person:

  • Myself (I)
  • Ourselves (we)

Second-person:

  •  Yourself (you)

Third-person:

  •  Himself, herself, and itself (he, she, it, and they)

Reflexive pronoun example sentences:

  • I am here by myself.
  • We can go by ourselves.
  • Are you going to the concert by yourself?
  • My partner updated her resume by herself.
  • It reproduces by itself.

Intensive pronouns are very similar to reflexive pronouns, but instead of giving meaning, they dramatize.

Intensive pronoun example sentences:

  • I myself am here
  • We ourselves went to the concert
  • She herself went to the concert
  • My partner herself updated her resume
  • It by itself reproduces

Intensive pronouns are wordier hence why they are often used in poetry and prose.

Grammar Games and Activities to Practice Types Of Pronouns

  • Using various news sources, grab two different colored pens and highlight which types of pronouns they use. You may notice that gossip magazines use more intensive pronouns, whereas factual news sources often use reflexive pronouns. Try it out for yourself!
  • Make a pronoun Snake and Ladders game. Answer questions and win the game!
  • Pronoun cups - label each cup with a type of pronoun, get a small ball, and try to get the ball into one of the cups. Play with friends and try to recreate a sentence using that type of pronoun.

Parts of Speech Articles:

If you’re yearning to learn more, check out our other related content about Parts Of Speech.

More Pronoun Topics:

  • Personal Pronouns
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
  • Possessive Pronouns
  • Interrogative Pronouns
  • Reflexive Pronouns