Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Behavior of Pronouns


Please study the following observations carefully:

1. If three pronouns (of different persons) are used together in the same sentence they are arranged in the following order:



Example :

(a) I, you and he must help that poor man. (Incorrect)
You, he and I must help that poor man. (Correct)

(b) I, you and he are friends. (Incorrect)
You, he and I are friends. (Correct)



2. When two or more singular nouns are joined by and, the pronoun used for them should be plural.


(a) Mohan and Sohan are friends. They play football.
     They live at Lajpat Nagar.
(b) Mala and Sangita are class-fellows. They are good friends.

3. But if these nouns joined by and refer to the same person or thing, the pronoun used should be singular.



Example :
(a) Mr. Keshwani, my friend and principal of the college, is known for his good behavior.
(b) Delhi, the beautiful city and the Capital of India, is famous for its historical monuments.



4. When two singular nouns joined by and refer to the same person, or thing, the pronoun used should be singular.


The manager and owner of the firm expressed his views on the demands of the workers. (One person – Two portfolios).

5. When two singular nouns joined by and refer to two different persons the pronoun used for them should also be plural.


Example :
The party chief and the Prime Minister expressed their views on the topic.
Two persons – The party chief and the Prime Minster.


Note: An easy way to understand points 5 and 6.


6. If both nouns are preceded by ‘the’, the pronoun used should be plural and if only the first noun is preceded by ‘the’, the pronoun used will be singular.

7. When two nouns are used with as well as, the pronouns agrees with first subject.


Example :
(a) Mohan as well as his friends is doing his work.
(b) The students as well as their teachers are doing their work.



8. When two singular nouns joined by ‘and’ are preceded by each or every, the pronoun used must be singular and should agree in gender with the second noun.


(a) Every man and every woman will do her best for the nation.
(b) Each boy and each girl went to her house.


9. When two nouns are joined by using ‘with’, the pronoun agrees with the noun coming before ‘with’.


Example :
(a) The boy with his parents has gone to see a movie.
(b) The children with their parents have gone to picnic.



10. When two different nouns are joined by either … or; neither … nor, the pronoun is used according to the noun and gender of the second noun.

(a) Either your sister or you have done your work.

(b) Neither the students nor the teacher was in his class.

11. The pronoun coming after ‘than’ must be in the same case as that coming before ‘than’.


Example :
(a) She plays better than me. (Incorrect)
      She plays better than I. (Correct)
(b) His elder brother is more intelligent than him. (Incorrect)
      His elder brother is more intelligent than he. (Correct)



12. ‘Many a’ always takes a singular pronoun and singular verb.


Many a soldier has met his death in the battlefield.


13. Use of “it”

‘it’ is used for


1. Lifeless things

He gave me a book, it was old.

2. Animals

My horse gives me good service. I don’t want to sell it.

3. Children, when sex is not mentioned

I saw a child. It was playing

4. Speaking of the weather, the season, the time.

(a) It is spring
(b) It is half past ten by my watch.

5. Stress over a noun or a pronoun that follows.

It was in Delhi that I was cheated by a young man.

6. Refers to a phrase or a clause that goes before.

‘Look before you leap’ is an apt saying. It teachers us the way of the world.


Note: It is also used as an introductory subject of (is/am/are/was/were) when the actual subject follows.

Example :
It is our duty to serve our aged parents.



14. Pronouns like mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs are used to replace possessive adjectives + noun.


I shall bring my scooter, you will bring yours. (your scooter).


15. If a pronoun stands for collective noun, being treated as a whole, the pronoun should be placed in singular number and neuter gender.


Example :
(a) The Jury was unanimous in its decision. (Jury is a collective noun)
(b) The army decided to disobey its commander. (Army is a collective noun)


16. Use of “that”

‘That’ is used


1. After the words – are, the same, none, nothing, any, only, the few, the little, etc.

(a) All that glitters is not gold.
(b) Ram is the only person that can help you in this work.
(c) He is the same person that had gone on hunger strike.
(d) You may take any book that you like.
(e) I have spent the few rupees that I had.

2. After adjective in a ‘superlative degree’

Mr. Keshwani is the most learned man that I have ever met.

3. In speaking of persons, animals and lifeless things.

(a) This is the same person that had abused me.
(b) The Gita is the book that has impressed me the most.

4. After an interrogative Pronoun

(a) What is the subject that interests you the most?
(b) What is that plagues you?

5. As a substitute for a single noun already mentioned.

The climate of Shimla is cooler than that of Delhi.

6. In an adverbial sense when that implied – when, on which etc.

We shall start the work the day that you decide. (That = on which)


17. If the collective noun conveys the feelings of separateness or division, the pronoun placed should be in the plural sense.


Example :
(a) The jury were divided in its decision.
(b) The Committee were divided in its opinion.



18. Reflexive Pronoun: Reflexive Pronouns are obtained by adding ‘self’ to the pronouns of the singular number and ‘selves’ to ‘Personal Pronouns’ of the ‘Plural Number’.


My + self = Myself (Reflexive Pronoun)
Her + self = Herself (Reflexive Pronoun)
Your + self = Yourself (Reflexive Pronoun)
Our + selves = Ourselves (Reflexive Pronoun)
Remember three things about the ‘Reflexive Pronouns’:
I. The Reflexive Pronoun tells us that the doer does something to himself.
II. They are also used to lay emphasis on the pronouns.
III. In a sentence, a Reflexive Pronoun should not be used as a subject. For example:
My father and myself went to see the Minister. (Incorrect)
My father and I went to see the Minister. (Correct)
Some examples of the use of the Reflexive Pronoun:
(a) We went there and enjoyed. (Incorrect)
      We went there and enjoyed ourselves. (Correct)
(b) You should avail of the opportunity. (Incorrect)
      You should avail yourself of the opportunity. (Correct)
(c) He has raised in the eyes of his teachers. (Incorrect)
      He has raised himself in the eyes of his teachers. (Correct)


19. Interrogative Pronouns:

(A) ‘Who’, ‘Whose’, ‘Whom’, ‘Which’, ‘What’ are known as Interrogative pronouns. Any sentence starting with these pronouns will be an ‘interrogative sentence’. That is why they are called the ‘Interrogative Pronouns’.


Example : 
I. Who is knocking at the door? (Some person)
II. Whose pen is this? (The pen belonging to some person)
III. Whom do you want? (Reference to a person)


(B) ‘Which’ is used for things.


Example : I. Which is your book?
II. Which game do you like?


Note: When selection is implied, ‘which’ can be used for persons also, e.g.

ix. Which is your brother among them? (Selection)

(ii) Of Ram and Shyam which is more intelligent. (Selection)


(C) ‘What’ is used for things and occupation.


Example :I. What is your brother? (Occupation)
II. What is in your bag?  (Thing)


Now mark the difference:

I. Who is she? (What is her name?)

II. What is she? (What is her occupation?)

III. Which is she? (Reference to a particular lady from among a group)

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name