Pronoun - Basic Concept > Types of Pronoun and Their Uses

What is a Pronoun?

Pronouns are those words you use to replace nouns to avoid its repetition.
We use pronouns mainly as subjects and as objects.

You can classify pronouns into several kinds, such as —

  1. Personal Pronoun,
  2. Demonstrative Pronoun,
  3. Possessive Pronoun,
  4. Interrogative Pronoun,
  5. Relative Pronoun,
  6. Distributive Pronoun,
  7. Reflexive or Emphasising Pronoun,
  8. Indefinite Pronoun,
  9. Reciprocal Pronoun.

1) Personal Pronoun -

These pronouns are used in place of any person’s name, and that’s why it is so named.

E.g.- I, we, you, he, she, it, they, me, us, him, her, them.

Singular personal pronouns – I, he, she, it, one.

Plural personal pronouns – we, you, they

Cases of Personal Pronouns:

Some pronouns you use only as subjects, and never as objects. These of pronouns are said to be in subjective case.

While some you use only as objects and not as subjects. These are said to be in objective case.   

Examples are,

 Subjective Case  Objective Case 

Use  – 
"I know him." — In this sentence, the subject is ‘I’ and you can never used ‘I’ as the object, 
Similarly, the object is ‘him’, which can not be the subject.

Other examples are as follows,

He offered it to us
We respect them.
It belongs to her

2) Demonstrative Pronoun -

Demonstrative Pronouns are those pronouns, which denotes anything not by name, but by indication.

E.g. – This,  These, That, Those, It,  So, Such 

etc. are the demonstrative pronouns when used alone.

Use –
This is my pen.  That is their house.

This and That in the above sentences are pronouns and they are used as the subjects. 

But when you see the same words used before nouns, they are adjectives

As in - This pen is mine.  That house is theirs.

3) Interrogative Pronoun -

These pronouns are used while asking a question or in an interrogative sentence.
For example, Who, Whom, Which, What are some WH words that you use in place of nouns to form wh questions or interrogative sentence s.

Use –

Direct questions-

Who is the man? 
What is this? 

Indirect questions-

Tell me Who you are.
He knows who the man is. 
Tell them what you need. 

4) Possessive Pronoun -

To express one’s possession of something, Possessive Pronouns are used. This pronouns are used instead of personal pronouns.

E.g.- Mine, Ours, Yours, His, Hers, Theirs etc. 
Examples of personal pronouns and their corresponding possessive pronouns:

Personal PronounsPossessive Pronouns

Don't confuse possessive pronouns with possessive adjectives like, my, our, your, his, her, their, its. You can’t use the aforementioned words (my, our, your...) independently as the subject or as the object. 


So they are not pronouns. You use these words before nouns to show their possession.

Singular possessive pronouns – mine, his, hers, its, ones.

Plural possessive pronouns – ours, yours, theirs.

 Use –

My & mine —

This is my car. (Adjective) 
This car is mine. (Pronoun)

 – in the two sentences above, you see that they have the same sense, but in the first sentence the word my is an adjective as it qualifies the noun 'house' by denoting the owner of the house.

While in the second, a possessive pronoun 'mine' is used.
Also, ‘mine’ in the second sentence is the object.

Similar examples,

Our & ours —

This is our house. (Adjective) 
This house is ours. (Pronoun)

Your & Yours —

It is your bag. (Adjective) 
The bag is yours. (Pronoun)

Her & Hers —

This is her frock. (Adjective) 
This frock is hers. (Pronoun)

Their & theirs —

That is their house. (Adjective) 
That house is theirs. (Pronoun)

Alright. Let's move on to relative pronoun.

5) Relative Pronoun -

We use a relative pronoun to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. 
Examples of relative pronouns include –
  • Who 
  • Whom
  • What
  • Whose
  • When
  • How 
  • Where 
  • Which  
  • Why 
  • Whenever 
  • Whatever 
  • Wherever

Use –

Relative Pronouns are used in a relative clause and joins two sentences.

Who —

 The lady, who was calling me, is my mother. 

What —

I forgot what they told us.

Whom — 

I that Henry, whom you beat in a chess match a few days back?

Whose —

John, whose mother was a congresswoman, is my friend. 

My grandpa, whose left hand was broken, is now quite well.

When —

We all stopped talking with each other when the lecture began. 

How —

Everybody was amazed seeing how he performed. 

Where —

 Paris is a city, where the Eiffel Tower is situated.

Which —

The car, which I was driving, was my father’s.

Whenever —

 Whenever I start reading, I fall asleep. 

Whatever —

 I don’t care, whatever you people say. 

Wherever —

They would catch the murderer, wherever he hides. 

6) Distributive Pronoun –

 You use distributive pronouns to separate nouns, pronouns or clauses from each other.

In other words, distributive pronouns refer to persons or things taken separately from many people or things.

You got it, right?

Let's take some examples, 
If you say “Either of the students is going to be selected for the competition.” you mean, there are two students and any one of them is going to be selected.

It signifies, you are picking out one from the two, but exactly whom you're picking out is still undecided.

There are mainly three distributive pronouns –
1. ‘Either’ (any one of two.)
2. ‘Neither’ [(No + either) – none of anyone.]
3. ‘Each’ 

  • Either of them is gonna be the winner.
  • Neither of you is guilty. 
  • Each of the boys was punished.

Why are we using singular verbs with the distributive pronouns?
 As distributive pronouns are singular, we use singular verbs with them. 

7) Reflexive or Emphatic Pronoun –

We use reflexive pronouns to put emphasis on the subject.

When nobody helped you to do something, you have every right to say, “I’ve done composed the mail myself.” 

The nine reflexive pronouns are – Myself, ourselves, yourself, yourselves, himself, herself, itself, oneself, and themselves.

Singular reflexive pronouns are – myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself.

Plural reflexive pronouns are – Ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

Use —
  • I, myself didn’t see anything. But I heard.
  • You, couldn’t believe in yourself
  • She was in a hurry, so she drove the car herself
  • Peter could find no ice-cream in the fridge, so he made one himself
  • The baby hurt itself.
  • We will cook ourselves if we don’t get a cook.

8) Indefinite Pronoun –

As the very name suggests, the pronouns you use to indicate anyone or anything when you don’t know exactly who the person is or what the thing is.

Suppose, a man is hurriedly passing by your house. You don’t know who the man is. Now you’ll think in your head, “Someone is passing by.” isn't it?


The word someone is the very indefinite pronoun.

E.g. –  Everybody, everyone, everything, somebody, someone, something, anybody, anyone, anything, something, nothing, none, both etc.

Use —
  • Everybody was present at the annual meeting.
  • Somebody please help my brother.
  • I saw somebody around the corner.
  • Both of your sons are responsible for that.
  • Nothing is permanent. 
  • Something is burning outside. 

9) Reciprocal Pronoun -

We use some words/phrases to express a mutual relationship. 

When you say, “Romeo and Juliet loved each other”, you mean Romeo loved Juliet and in return, Juliet loved Romeo.  Isn't it?

“Mary and Jimmy spoke to one another” – means Mary spoke to Jimmy and Jimmy spoke to Mary.

The examples of reciprocal pronouns are:
 ‘Each other’ and ‘One another’.

Use –
  • Friends always stand by each other.
  • The girls compete with one another.
  • The players help one another.
  • Sam and Anne are blaming each other for the accident.

We've almost finished the chapter of Pronoun.
You can move on to the next topic.
  1. Noun,
  2. Pronoun,
  3. Adjective,
  4. Verb,
  5. Adverb,
  6. Preposition,
  7. Conjunction,
  8. Interjection.

Thank you...

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