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What is a pronoun?

A pronoun can replace a noun or another pronoun. Pronouns like "he," "which," "none," and "you" make sentences less cumbersome and less repetitive. Grammarians classify pronouns into several types, including the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun, the interrogative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun, the relative pronoun, the reflexive pronoun, and the intensive pronoun. Here are short explanations for them:

  • personal pronoun: refers to a specific person or thing and changes its form to indicate person, number, gender, and case; e.g., him, her, yours, I, she
  • demonstrative pronoun: points to or identifies a noun or pronoun, e.g., this, these, that, those
  • interrogative pronoun: asks questions, e.g., who, whom, which, what
  • indefinite pronoun: refers to an identifiable but unspecified person or thing, conveys the idea of all, any, none, some; e.g., all, another, any, everybody, everything, several
  • relative pronoun: links one phrase or clause to another phrase or clause, e.g., who, whom, that, which, whomever, whoever, whichever
  • reflexive pronoun: refers back to the subject of the clause or sentence, e.g., myself, yourself, itself, themselves
  • intensive pronoun: emphasizes its antecedent; e.g., (identical in form to reflexive pronouns) - He himself promised to write a poem.

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