Pronoun – Definition, Examples, List & Rules

Let’s Welcome to the basics of Pronouns!

Pronoun – Definition, Examples, List & Rules

Pronoun is very common term in English grammar. We will learn here all the details about what is pronoun, its definition, lists, types along with a lot of examples. Let’s explore, pronouns!

What is Pronoun?

We have already learned parts of speech. A pronoun is one of the most important parts of speech which is used as the substitute for a noun.

Let’s see an example!

Monalisa is a little girl. Monalisa is so cute. Minu likes Monalisa.

Now, if you observe, all the sentence is filled with Monalisa which is not sound good. So, what we do? We write the consequence like below,

  • Monalisa is a little girl
  • She is so cute.
  • I like her.
pronouns definition
Fig. 1 What is Pronoun?

Here, we use alternatives to the noun or Monalisa to make sentences beautiful. Here, we use,

  • ‘she’ instead of Monalisa.
  • ‘her’ refers to Monalisa
  • ‘I’ refers to Minu.

Now, these ‘she’, ‘her’ ‘I’ etc. are known as pronouns.

Pronoun Definition

A pronoun is defined as a word which is used as an alternative of a noun or sometimes a noun phrase.

Pronoun Examples

Examples of Pronoun are listed for basic understanding,

  • Rahul is an efficient footballer; he is very hardworking. Here, ‘he’ is used as an alternative of the noun, Rahul.
  • This is Ritu and this article is written by me. Here, ‘me’ is the alternative of the name, Ritu.
  • The car is very costly, it has a very smart design. Here, ‘it’ is used as an alternative of the noun, car.
  • Students went to visit Museum; they were enjoyed a lot. Here, ‘they’ is used as an alternative of the noun, ‘students’.
  • Rehana, Minu, Sheela, Nita are studying in class eight. Everybody will appear final exam after 15 days. Here, ‘everybody’ is used as an alternative of the nouns.
  • Rav 4 is an excellent car which is very efficient. Here, ‘which’ is used as an alternative of the name, Rav 4.
pronoun examples
Fig. 2 Pronoun examples

From the above examples, we find the following words are pronoun,

  • She – She is beautiful.
  • He – He is in class V.
  • Me – It was done by me.
  • Yours – It yours.
  • They – They went to market.
  • It – It is hot.
  • Somebody – Somebody can come with me.
  • Himself – He bought the car by himself.
  • Ourselves – We have made this device by ourselves.
  • Many – many people
  • Few – few items
  • Everybody – everybody went there.

Apart from the above, there are many other pronouns, which we use in our daily life,

  • Each
  • Who
  • Whoever
  • That
  • Everybody
  • This
  • Whom
  • They
  • Himself
  • Anybody, and many more.

Pronoun Types with Examples

There are a few types of pronouns in English Grammar, widely used in our communication. These are,

  • Personal pronouns
  • Demonstrative pronouns
  • Interrogative pronouns
  • Indefinite pronouns
  • Distributive pronouns
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Reciprocal pronouns
  • Relative pronouns
  • Intensive pronouns
pronoun types
Fig. 3 Pronoun types

Personal Pronouns

What is Personal Pronoun?

Personal pronouns are related to the person only. When we communicate with other people, we use many pronouns related to persons.

personal pronouns
Fig. 4 Personal pronouns

Personal Pronouns Example

Few examples for personal pronouns are listed here,

  • Hey, how are you?
  • You are coming now?
  • He is so calm.
  • She is always happy.
  • We will go to the market.
  • I agree.
  • Hey, it’s Ritu!

Personal Pronouns List

From the above examples, as well as personal pronouns list is indicated below,

  • I
  • Me
  • We
  • Us
  • You
  • He
  • Him
  • She
  • Her
  • It
  • them etc. are pronouns, related to persons.

These all above tiny words are known as personal pronouns.

If we observe carefully, we understand, these personal pronouns are classified into two types.

  • Subject pronouns
  • Object pronouns

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns are used when the person or the object is used as noun.

For example

  • I have written a book
  • She has crossed the benchmark
  • He went to London
  • They are studying well.
  • It is used to cure patients

Here, I, she, he, they, it, etc. are used as subject, hence, these are subject pronouns.

Object Pronouns

If the person or objects are used as the object in a sentence, object pronouns are used.

For example

  • Muna loves me.
  • It was driven by him.
  • The contribution to the operation was managed by us.
  • The entire students are managed by them.
  • Is this a beautiful letter written by you?

Here, me, him, us, them, you, it, etc. are used as the subject, hence, these are subject pronouns.

Refer subject pronouns and object pronouns list in a table,

subject pronouns object pronouns
Fig. 5 Subject Pronouns and Object Pronouns

Check out an ANIMATED video from 7ESL,

Demonstrative Pronouns 

Demonstrative Pronouns Definition

Demonstrative pronouns are used at the place of nouns when the nouns are already mentioned. There are only a few demonstrative pronouns in English Grammar, as follows.

  • This
  • That
  • These
  • Those
  • Such

In the above list,

‘This’ and ‘that’ are used in singular nouns and ‘these’ and ‘those’ are used in plural nouns.

Demonstrative Pronouns with Examples

This: pointing singular noun or nearby to the singular noun.

These: pointing plural nouns or nearby to it.

That: pointing singular noun or far way to the singular noun.

Those: pointing plural noun or far way to the plural noun.

Demonstrative pronoun examples in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.

  • I like to have this. Here, demonstrative pronoun ‘this’ refers only one number.
  • Have you heard that? Here, demonstrative pronoun ‘that’ refers only one.
  • Those roses are really beautiful. Here, ‘those’ refers more than one.
  • These are awesome. Here, ‘those’ refers multiple numbers.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative Pronoun Definition

We have already learned, interrogative related to question. When pronouns are used to ask question, that will be called as interrogative pronouns.

What can I do for our nation? It’s a question and here pronoun ‘what’ is used to ask a question. Hence, ‘what’ is nothing but an interrogative pronoun.

what interrogative pronouns
Fig. 6 What is interrogative pronouns

Interrogative Pronouns List

Examples of interrogative pronouns are as follows,

  • who,
  • when,
  • whom,
  • which,
  • why,
  • how
  • whose,
  • what,
interrogative pronouns
Fig. 7 Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative Pronouns Examples

There are few sentence examples are captured for interrogative pronoun,

  • What do you do? Here, ‘what’ is used to interrogate a question, so, it is interrogative pronoun.
  • Who is your role model? Here, ‘who’ is used to ask question.
  • How to educate the poor people? Here, ‘how’ is used to ask about the serving people.
  • What is your most favorite village? ‘What’ is used to ask about favorite color.
  • How to make your mother and father happy? ‘How’ is used to ask about happiness of other people.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns Definition

We know indefinite means not definite, or very generic. If we talk about one or more unspecified things, people or places, this indefinite pronoun comes into the picture.

Indefinite pronouns are defined as the pronouns which refer to general or unspecified people, place or things.

Somebody is coming to Kolkata today. Here, somebody is used to refer general person, instead of any specific person.

indefinite pronouns
Fig. 8 Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns List

A list of indefinite pronouns is as follows:

  • Somebody
  • Someone
  • Anyone
  • Everyone
  • Nobody
  • Many
  • None
  • Few
  • Something
  • Everything
  • Other
  • Whichever
  • Anything
  • Several
  • No one
  • Whoever
  • One
  • All
  • some

Indefinite Pronouns Examples

Indefinite pronouns with examples & explanation are as follows

  • Anyone can read this full article. Here, anyone means no specific person.
  • Nobody likes to leave the country. Here, nobody means no specific person, it is generic.
  • Would somebody like to have a cup of tea at Café Coffee Day?
  • I cooked vegetables whatever I get in the fridge. Here, whatever implies unspecified things only. Not any specific things.
  • Whoever touches the line fast, will be the winner. Here, ‘whoever’ means anyone, it is not specified by any specific person.

Distributive Pronouns

Distributive Pronoun Definition

The pronoun which describes or states about a member of a group individually from the group is called a distributive pronoun.

distributive pronoun
Fig. 9 Distributive pronoun
  • This pronoun doesn’t describe a group or collection.
  • Always describe separate members.
  • This kind of pronoun is normally used with singular verb & plural nouns.

Distributive Pronoun List

Normally distributive pronouns are, as follows,

  • Everyone
  • Every
  • None
  • Either
  • Neither
  • Any

Distributive Pronoun Examples

There are so many examples of distributive pronouns. Few of them, are as follows:

  • Each of the shirts is black. Here, the pronoun ‘each’ is used to specify an individual shirt.
  • Everyone on our team is excellent. Here, everyone specifies an individual member.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronoun Definition

When pronouns are used to indicate possession, these pronouns are called possessive pronouns. Possessive means simply ownership.

Possessive Pronoun Examples

The man has a bookstore. His behavior is so nice. Here, the pronoun ‘his’ is used to state the ownership of the man.

This is my pen, not yours. Here, ‘yours’ is used to state the ownership.

This is not his mobile. It’s mine. Here, the pronoun ‘mine’ is used for ownership.

Possessive Pronoun List

Most commonly used possessive nouns are listed below,

  • mine,
  • yours,
  • his,
  • hers,
  • ours,
possessive pronouns
Fig. 10 Possessive pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns

Reciprocal Pronoun Definition

The word reciprocal based on reciprocated actions. When a pronoun is used to describe the reciprocating action among two or more numbers, it is called a reciprocal pronoun.

In case of something is done or return or reciprocated, we use reciprocal pronouns.

Reciprocal Pronoun List

Normally the most used reciprocal pronouns are,

  • Each other, used for two persons or things
  • One another, used for more than two.
reciprocal pronouns
Fig. 11 Reciprocal pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns are used for two or more persons, things, or groups.

Reciprocal Pronoun Examples

Examples of reciprocal pronouns are as follows,

  • They like each other.
  • Roman and Nimi always help each other.
  • All members of a team give respect to one another.

Note: Always use each other when two persons or things and use one another when more than two.

Relative Pronouns

What are Relative Pronouns or Definition

From the name itself, it is clear the relative pronouns are related to the relative use of pronouns. If a noun is already used and it is further required to specify with any adjectives or any clause, the relative pronouns are used.

Since noun is already introduced earlier, these relative pronouns are used to further relate the nouns or provide additional information.

Consider the following sentence:

I like the ball which is blue. Here, the ball is a noun, and the pronoun ‘which’ is used to provide additional information about its color. Hence, ‘which’ is a relative pronoun.

Relative Pronouns List

The most common relative pronouns are listed below,

  • who,
  • which,
  • whom,
  • that,

Relative Pronouns Examples

Few sentence examples for relative pronouns are, as follows:

  • The house, which is the sky blue in color, is ours. Here, ‘which’ is giving the extra information about the house.
  • This is the biker, who got selected. Here, the relative pronoun ‘who’ gives information about the selection.
  • The man who has a red cap helped the students. Here, the relative pronoun ‘who’ is giving information about the red cap.
  • Somi is a person, who loves to read. Here, the relative pronoun ‘who’ is used to provide additional information about Somi, that is Somi love to read.

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronoun Definition

When a pronoun is used to reflect or refer to another pronoun, then it will be called as reflexive pronouns. It makes sense to the sentence and without it, the meaning may be different.

Runa has painted her house. Here, it is not clear whether Runa has done it or she hired a painter. If we say, Runa has painted her house herself, then it means Runa has done it instead of a painter.

‘Self’ or ‘selves’ are used at the end of reflexive pronouns.

Examples for Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronoun examples along with explanations are captured for easy understanding,

  • She can control herself better.
  • He finished the painting work by himself.
  • You can easily learn this game by yourself.
  • I have completed the task by myself.
  • They have executed the work by themselves.

In the above examples, we observe

  • Herself, himself are used as reflexive pronoun
  • Yourself, yourselves etc. are these kinds of pronoun
  • In the same way, myself, itself or themselves, etc. are also in the same category.

Intensive Pronouns

Intensive Pronoun Definition

Many times nouns or sometimes pronouns also are required in intensify or emphasize. This is done by introducing another type of pronouns, which are called intensive pronouns.

These kinds of pronouns consist of ‘self’ or ‘selves’ at the end.

Intensive Pronoun List

They are:

  • myself
  • himself
  • herself
  • themselves
  • itself
  • yourself
  • yourselves
  • ourselves

Intensive Pronoun Examples

Examples of intensive pronouns are, as follows,

  • She herself loves to visit jungles.
  • I myself love to sing songs.
  • Rima herself worked in a company.
  • He himself break the record.
  • Simi went to the hospital herself.

List of Pronouns

We have already discussed, various pronouns in our previous examples. Here, we will make a list of pronouns so that it will be easy to remember.

The list of pronouns are as follows,

  • Anybody can come with me.
  • Anyone can attend the program.
  • Anything can happen.
  • Any chocolate
  • All around the house
  • Both the end is nice
  • Each bird is beautiful
  • Either I or you should be done
  • Everyone is student here.
  • Everybody can enjoy at the party
  • Everything cannot be bought by money
  • He is a famous person.
  • Few people only famous
  • Her patience is really awesome
  • The work is done by him
  • That was done by herself
  • He has done it by himself
  • I love the blue sky
  • It gives happiness to me
  • The machine can do it by itself.
  • I broke the glass by myself
  • Many parrots
  • Me to go
  • Nobody will be sleeping tonight.
  • Neither
  • No one goes to the sea beach today.
  • Nothing is impossible
  • None of us are sad.
  • One can take it.
  • This oil painting has been done by ourselves
  • The team formed by us
  • She helps people
  • Somebody can come
  • Someone has to write
  • Something to be done
  • Some water to be added
  • Several people went there
  • They are poor but rich in heart
  • Done by my father
  • That
  • This should be 500 instead of 5
  • These people are nice
  • Those people
  • Themselves
  • Which one are you talking about?
  • Who is the author?
  • Whom to give a bar of chocolate?
  • Whose umbrella is this?
  • Whichever is higher needs to be taken?
  • Whoever
  • Whomever
  • Who is Minara?
  • What to do with this pen?
  • Whose
  • We should read storybooks?
  • You
  • Yourself
  • Yourselves


We have learned the basics of pronouns, its definition, list, along with a lot of examples. Any questions, please write to us.

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