English Grammar: Pronoun

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1. Overview
In linguistics, a pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase in sentences. It normally doesn't have own particular definition but represent to a noun or noun phrase in context.

Pronouns have been regarded as one of the main parts of speech in English. However we shouldn't treat them simply as a single class, in view of the variety of functions they perform. The pronouns are usually categorized as following sub-types:
  • Personal pronouns: I, you, they, ...
  • Possessive pronouns : my, his, mine, ...
  • Reflexive pronouns : myself, yourself, itself, ...
  • Reciprocal pronouns : one another, each other
  • Demonstrative pronouns : this, that, these, those
  • Interrogative pronouns : who, whom, what, ...
  • Conjunctive pronouns : who, what, whose, ...
  • Relative pronouns : who, that, which, ...
  • Indefinite pronouns : all, some, any, ...
2. Pronouns in Sentence
In sentences a pronoun acts as noun. It may occur in any members of the sentence where a noun can take. As following examples:

The Subject
  • This is a new car.
  • Who is coming?
The Object
  • I will drive you home.
  • We should help each other.
The Complex Object
  • You can call me anytime.
  • I heard John call you.
The Predicative
  • That's not mine.
  • It's me.
The Attribute
  • Please bring my book back.
  • That house is too old.
The Appositive
  • They both are great!
  • He ate them all.
3. Determiners
Determiners are words which come at the beginning of the noun or noun phrase and act as attribute. It isn't an independent class. Articles, nouns, pronoun, and adjectives are often used as determiners. When we treat determiners as a grammar concept, its main contents are articles and parts of pronouns. (This is topic just in British English grammar; in most of America grammar books, determiners aren't discussed exclusively.)

Article: for either specific or unspecific. For example,

  • Anne is in the store.(specific )
  • Chris needs a visa to go there.(unspecific )
For uncountable nouns or plural nouns, NO article means unspecific. For example,
  • Health and education are very important.
  • Girls normally do better in school than boys.

Demonstrative pronouns: Namely this, that, these, and those, act as specific adjectives. For example,

  • We back to Canada this time.
  • Do you know those horses?

Possessive pronouns: Such as my, their, and your, act as specific adjectives. For example,

  • Don't forget your note.
  • The girls come with their mother.

Indefinite pronouns: Some of pronouns can be used as unspecific determiners, such as all, another, any, both, each, either, every, few, little, many, more, most, much, neither, no, other, several, some. For example,

  • I like beef, lamb, pork - any meat.
  • Would you like another glass of wine?