Personal Pronouns, Reflexive Pronouns, Relative Pronouns, Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives
PRONOUNS REPLACE NOUNS. They are NOT a type of noun.
1. Personal pronouns as the subject of the verb
|3rd||he, she, it||they|
Example: Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837. She reigned until 1901
To use these forms as the object of a verb (e.g. You gave Alan and I a surprise) is non-Standard.
2. Personal pronouns as the object of a verb
|2nd||you (thee)||you (ye)|
|3rd||him, her, it||them|
Example: Are you receiving me?
To use these forms as the subject of a verb (e.g. Alison and me saw it) is non-Standard.
3. Reflexive pronouns
REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS ARE USED WHEN THE OBJECT OF
THE VERB IS THE SAME AS THE SUBJECT.
IT CAN ALSO BE USED FOR EMPHASIS.
|3rd||himself, herself, itself||themselves|
Examples: John spilled coffee on himself. I wouldn't do that to myself. They had only themselves to blame.
To use these forms as the subject of a verb (e.g. David and myself will see to it. ) or as the object where the subject is different (e.g. Listen to Valerie and myself) is non-Standard.
4. Relative pronouns
RELATIVE PRONOUNS JOIN A RELATIVE CLAUSE TO THE MAIN CLAUSE.
|Indirect object||to whom|
Examples: You're the one WHO told me. That is the person WHOM I saw. Do you know WHOSE car that is? They didn't know TO WHOM it belonged.
WHICH and THAT. They always retain the same form in all cases. THAT is generally regarded as slightly less formal than WHICH.
Examples: He decided WHICH horse to back. That was the one THAT he picked.
5. Possessive pronouns
POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS REPLACE A NOUN OR NOUN PHRASE. Since they are pronouns, not nouns, they DO NOT TAKE AN APOSTROPHE!
|3rd||his, hers, its||theirs|
Examples: That folder is yours. This one is mine. Theirs is over there.
6. Possessive adjectives
POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES ALWAYS GO BEFORE NOUNS (THEY ARE NOT PRONOUNS - THEY JUST LOOK LIKE THEM!)
|3rd||his, her, its||their|
Example: They tore their hair. I put your hat
on the table. His car is in the garage.
Note: The cat had its tail docked. NOT The cat had it's tail docked. Lose the apostrophe! Possessive adjectives don't have an apostrophe in 3rd person singular form.
© CD Selwyn-Jones 2003