Pronouns are words that stand in for nouns. In order to use a pronoun correctly, you need to have a clear antecedent, i.e. a word which the pronoun stands in for.
- Although Paul liked to play basketball, he was also good at football.
In this sentence, the pronoun is the word "he". The antecedent is "Paul" – the word to which "he" refers.
There are a few different kinds of personal pronouns.
Personal pronouns are words like she, her, I, me, you, we, and us.
A relative pronoun connects a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. Relative pronouns are placed right after the noun or pronoun they modify.
- I have a friend whose house is a mess.
- That is the television that everyone is talking about.
Each personal pronoun has its own reflexive form:
- I — myself
- you — yourself/yourselves
- he — himself
- she — herself
- one — oneself
- it — itself
- we — ourselves
- they — themselves
Possessive pronouns are pronouns that help us show possession or ownership in a sentence. There are two types of possessive pronouns:
Absolute possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours, and theirs. Absolute possessive pronouns refer back to an already used noun or noun phrase: I said that food was mine.
Weak possessive pronouns: my, your, his, her, its, our, your, and their. Weak possessive pronouns function as determiners in front of a noun to describe who something belongs to: I said that's my food.
The five interrogative pronouns are what, which, who, whom, and whose. An interrogative pronoun is a pronoun that makes asking questions easy.