CLAT Gurukul

Concept of Pronoun – English Grammar

Concept of Pronoun – English Grammar


Pronoun Types

A pronoun is a part of speech that is typically used as a substitute for a noun or noun phrase. There are eight sub-classes of pronouns, although some forms belong to more than one group:

1. personal pronouns (I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they)

Make sure sentences use them consistently

2. possessive pronouns (my/mine, his/her/its/hers, their/theirs, our/ours, etc.)

Do not change the gender of noun as in French

3. reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, him/herself, ourselves, themselves, etc.)

No reflexive verbs in English

4. demonstrative pronouns (this/these, that/those)

Nearness in location

That (pronoun) vs. That (conjunction)

5. reciprocal pronouns (each other, one another)

6. interrogative pronouns (who, what, when, where, why etc.

Five w�s of a journalist�s first paragraph

7. relative pronouns (who, that, what, which etc.)

Related different clauses in a sentence to each other

That vs. Which: restrictive vs. non-restrictive clause

Who vs. Whom: take subject vs. take object (Please see explanation later.)

8. indefinite pronouns (any, none, somebody, nobody, anyone, etc.)

none = singular (when it means �not one�); all = plural (if countable);

much = can�t be counted; many = can be counted

less = can�t be counted; fewer = can be counted

Nominative and Objective Cases

There are two pronominal cases: nominative (subject) and objective

(object). Subject: I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they.

Object: me, you, him/her/it, us, you, them.

Notice that the second person (both singular and plural) has only one form, you. The object case is used after verbs and prepositions:

We met her in a bookstore. She went to school with us.

Be careful of objects that consist of a proper noun (name) + a pronoun:

The puppy looked across the table at Sarah and me.

These situations can seem confusing, but there is an easy method to tell which pronoun (nominative or objective) is required. Just remove the noun from the sentence to see if it still makes sense. If it does (as in �The puppy looked across the table at me�), then you have selected the correct pronoun. If it does not (as in �The puppy looked across the table at I�), then you should go back and check whether you selected the correct case for the pronoun (in this case it is the object of a preposition, at, so it should be in the objective case).

The relative pronoun who also has an objective case form, whom:

I kicked the girl who tried to steal my coat.

(I kicked the girl. She tried to steal my coat.)

I smiled at the girl whom I had kicked.

(I smiled at the girl. I had kicked her.)

Possessive Forms

All these pronouns have possessive forms that do not have apostrophes:

my, your, his/her/its, our, your, their

These act as adjectives, and are followed by nouns. If there is no noun and the possessive form is used by itself, this form is said to be disjunctive:

mine, yours, his/hers/its, ours, yours, theirs.

Again, there is no apostrophe. The relative pronoun who has the possessive form whose:

I comforted the dog whose tail had been stepped on.

One is used as a supplementary pronoun; it does have an apostrophe in the possessive:

One can only do one�s best.

Note that one�s is used only if the subject one is present; following with his would not be acceptable.

Agreement & Reference

There are several pronominal forms which seem to be plural but act as singular, taking singular verbs and singular pronouns if they act as antecedents. The most common of these words are another, any, anybody, anything, each, either, every, everybody, neither, no one, nobody, none (not one), etc.; they must be followed by a singular verb, whatever the meaning might indicate:

Not one of the bananas was ripe.

Everybody wanted his or her own way.

Always look back to see what the pronoun refers to; where there is a generalization, it is sometimes tempting to treat a singular as a plural:

Man, in all his glory, has ascended to the top of the food chain.

Thank you for a patient reading!!!! More topics to follow!! Keep visiting CLAT Gurukul.


Questions on Grammar constitute an important part of English section which carries a weightage of 40 marks in CLAT.

Questions in the form of English usage come from Grammar, the other two areas under English being Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary. Being Grammatically correct is the most important thing in English.You can’t learn grammar in a day or within a forthnight. For this, you need constant reading and referring to some good standard grammar books. We will also be guiding you time to time with our write-ups on Grammar every week.

The above topic has been contributed by The Knowledge Tree ( Patna’s premier coaching institute for CLAT and other law entrance exams like AILET, SET,LSAT etc) with the help of Manhattan Review.

For Crash Course for CLAT 2015 and Test Series for CLAT 2015, please call us on +91 82943 94519.




CLAT Gurukul is contributing to the Law Entrance Test form a long time and achieved a great rank in terms of Law Entrance Exam Preparation Institutes. Every Competitive exam needs Speed And Accuracy and these are what exactly matters in these kind of exam.



CLAT Gurukul is contributing to the Law Entrance Test form a long time and achieved a great rank in terms of Law Entrance Exam Preparation Institutes. Every Competitive exam needs Speed And Accuracy and these are what exactly matters in these kind of exam.

Scroll to Top