Pronouns

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Pronouns are words used to replace noun or noun groups. There are many times of pronouns and a list will make you faint. But wait! CLAT is going to test you only on the usage. So, CHILL!!

But a broad knowledge about the types of pronouns will make life simpler. So, here we go..

1. Personal pronouns– These refer to a specific thing or person. They are used in the following ways-

    • Number- singular (I) or plural (we)
    • Person: first person (I), second person (you) or third person ( he)
    • Gender: male (he), female (she) or neuter (it)
    • Case: subject (we) or object (us)

    These are further divided into two

    i. Subjective Personal pronoun– These types of pronouns act as the subject of the sentence. The subjective personal pronouns are “I,” “you,” “she,” “he,” “it,” “we,” “you,” “they.”

    Eg- a. We will meet at the mess during dinner.

    b. You are truly talented.

    ii. Objective Personal pronoun– Pronoun here acts as an object of a verb or preposition. The objective personal pronouns are: “me,” “you,” “her,” “him,” “it,” “us,” “you,” and “them.”

    Eg- a. Give the phone to me. [ “me” is an object to the preposition “to”]

    b. After using the pen, John threw it in a fit of rage. [“it” is an object to the verb “threw”]

    iii. Possessive Personal pronoun– It refers to who owns or rather “possesses”

    the thing being spoken about. “Possessive” pronouns are “mine,” “yours,”

    “hers,” “his,” “its,” “ours,” and “theirs.”

    Eg- a. This parcel is yours.

    b. This bag is mine.

    2. Demonstrative Pronouns– These identify and specify a noun. In all there are four demonstrative pronouns viz., “this”, “that”, “these” and “those”. This and these are used for nearby things ( time or space) and those and that are for far off reference.

    Eg- a. This is yummy

    b. That programme is for duration of one hour.

    c. These flowers look beautiful.

    d. Those books belong to Krishna.

    3. Interrogative Pronouns– as the word suggests it is used to interrogate i.e. to ask questions. “Who”, “whom”, “which” and “what” are the interrogative pronouns. Who and whom are generally for persons and which and what are for things and animals.

    Eg- a. To whom do you want to speak?

    b. Who is the author of this book?

    c. What did your dad say?

    4. Relative Pronouns– These are used to link two phrases or clauses. “who”, “whom”, “which” and “that” are the relative pronouns.

    Eg- a. The can which was found a corner has been moved to the kitchen now.

    b. The student who scores well in exams is not necessarily intelligent.

    5. Indefinite Pronouns– Used to refer to something that is not certain. These are “all,” “another,” “any,” “anybody,” “anyone,” “anything,” “each,” “everybody,” “everyone,” “everything,” “few,” “many,” “nobody,” “none,” “one,” “several,” “some,” “somebody,” and “someone.”

    Eg- a. Very few people are expected to turn up for this event.

    b. Please ensure that everyone gets a copy of this book.

    c. Many are unaware of the consequences.

    6. Reflexive Pronouns– used to refer back to the subject of the sentence. The reflexive pronouns are “myself,” “yourself,” “herself,” “himself,” “itself,” “ourselves,” “yourselves,” and “themselves.”

    Eg- a. At this juncture, I ask myself if it was worth all the effort.

    b. Although we entrusted the work to the cleaners, we had to do it ourselves.

    c. The thing speaks for itself.

    7. Intensive Pronouns– These are used to lay emphasis.

    Eg- a. The minister himself is confused about the issue.

    b. The workers themselves have pledged support for the management.

    Done! It might all seem too elementary. But you can go wrong really really easily. Firstly, because it can be overlooked. Secondly, the usage is not clear. So, here are a few tips.

    1. Did you know there is a specific order that is followed when first, second and third person singular pronouns are used together, they are placed in the order: You, he and I.
    2. Usage of ‘who’ and ‘whom’ is simple. ‘Who’ denotes subject and ‘whom’ denotes the object.
    Eg- Who do you think is responsible for this?
    Whom did you accuse?
    3. ‘Everyone’ or ‘everybody’ must be followed by ‘his’ and not ‘their’.
    Eg- Everyone should respect his neighbours.
    4. ‘Each other’ is used for two; ‘one another’ for more than two.
    Eg- Rohith and Shiney love each other.
    They aid one another.
    5. Verbs like ‘enjoy’, ‘resign’, absent’ etc are followed by reflexive pronouns.
    Eg- He resigned himself from all the joys of life.
    6. When the person is both the subject and the object, it is necessary to use Reflexive pronouns.
    Eg- It is wrong to say “I cut me shaving this morning”. It should rather be said “ I cut myself shaving this morning”.
    7. ‘Which’ is used to add more information and ‘that’ to explain something.
    Eg- I am talking about morals that form an essential part of any human being.
    I will provide you with information which will help you take your
    research further.
    8. Ok this is where people usually go wrong. Usage of who whom and that!
    Eg- Ram is the only man that can do it. (you would be inclined to use who. But it’s wrong.)
    This applies only for the following expressions-
    All, it is, any and superlatives.
    9. As already said, ‘whose’ is for persons and ‘which’ for everything else!
    10. ‘But’ and ‘except’ are followed by objective personal pronouns.
    Eg- Everyone attended the meeting except him. (and not ‘he’)
    11. Similarly, subjective personal pronoun follows ‘such as’.
    Eg- I have no respect for such a man as he.
    12. Only subjective personal pronouns are used with verbs like ‘keep’, ‘conceal’,
    ‘stay’, ‘ rest’ and never reflexive pronouns.

    Before I end it, let me tell you what happened in CLAT 2010. We got three questions about what are adverbs, pronouns and prepositions or something like that. And half of us were left clueless! Call it over confidence or whatever. But the point is we didn’t know. Those 3 marks could have as well changed our fate. So, don’t push aside anything that it is not important. Small things make a BIG difference.

    Good Luck!,
    Varsha Deiveegan

    11 COMMENTS

    1. i dint understand the diffrence b/w who and whom plz can u explain in some other words!!
      and thnq so much it was a great article …:D

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