A pronoun is a word used to take the place of a noun, which can be a person, place, animal, or thing. We use a pronoun to avoid repeating a noun that has already been mentioned. A pronoun usually comes after the noun it replaces.

 

Jim has a toothbrush. He uses it every day.

He and it in the second sentence are pronouns used to replace Jim and toothbrush: He is for Jim and it is for toothbrush. By using pronouns, we don’t have to write or say Jim and toothbrush again.

 

A pronoun may come before a noun that it replaces. In such an order, it has to be made clear so that a reader or listener knows which noun the pronoun takes the place of.

 

She, Jenny, is my only sister.

(She is a pronoun that replaces the noun Jenny, which in fact is an appositive.)

The only millionaire in the village, he is also the oldest.

 

There are different types of pronouns:

Subsections:

How to identify a pronoun in a sentence

A pronoun can also be a determiner, so how can we tell whether it is a pronoun or a determiner? It all depends on how it is used. As a pronoun, it is used independently, that is on its own without a noun following it.

 

Examples:

  • This is a big house.

    (This is a pronoun. It is not followed by a noun.)

  • This house is big.

    (This is no longer a pronoun as it is followed by the noun house. It is a determiner that describes or modifies the noun house, which a pronoun does not do.)