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Personal pronouns Possessive pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Interrogative pronouns Relative pronouns Defining pronouns Indefinite pronouns Negative pronouns Classification of Pronouns
The personal pronouns are: I, he, she, it, we, you, they. The personal pronouns have the grammatical categories of person, case, number and (in the third person singular) gender. The personal pronouns have two cases: the nominative case and the objective case. The nominative case: I, he, she, it, we, you, they. The objective case: me, him, her, it, us, you, them. In colloquial speech me, not I is commonly used as a predicative: Who is there? – It’s me. Personal Pronouns
Possessive pronouns have the same distinctions of person, number, and gender as personal pronouns. Possessive pronouns have two forms, namely the dependent (or conjoint) form and the independent (or absolute) form. Conjoint forms of possessive pronouns Possessive Pronouns 1stperson 2ndperson 3rdperson SINGULAR my your his, her, its PLURAL our your their
The personal pronouns have two numbers, singular (I, he, she, it) and plural (we, they). The second-person pronoun you is both singular and plural. The pronouns of the third person he, she, it distinguish gender. Male beings (man, father, uncle, boy, etc.) are referred to as he; female beings (woman, mother, aunt, girl, etc.) are referred to as she; inanimate things (house, tree, cap, etc.) are referred to as it. He saw a girl. She was pale. As some nouns denote animate beings of either sex, masculine or feminine (friend, teacher, servant, cousin, etc.), personal pronouns are often used to specify them.
Reflexive pronouns have the categories of person, number, and gender in the third person singular. Reflexive pronouns refer to the subject of the sentence in which they are used, indicating that the action performed by the doer passes back to him or is associated with him. In the sentence they are usually used as direct objects. He hurt himself. Reflexive pronouns may be used as predicatives. When she came back she was herself again. Reflexive Pronouns 1stperson 2ndperson 3rdperson SINGULAR myself yourself himself, herself, itself PLURAL ourselves yourselves themselves
The conjoint form is used when the possessive pronoun comes before the noun it modifies. The conjoint form of the possessive pronoun is used as an attribute. The absolute form is used when the possessive pronoun does not modify any noun. Possessive pronouns are often used before the names of the parts of the body, clothing, things belonging to a person, etc. in that case they are not translated into Russian. The girl dropped her handkerchief and he picked it up. – Девушка уронила платок, а он поднял его. Absolute forms of possessive pronouns 1stperson 2ndperson 3rdperson SINGULAR mine yours his, hers PLURAL ours yours theirs
The demonstrative pronouns are this, that, such, (the) same. The demonstrative pronouns this and that have two numbers: this – these; that – those. This is used to point at what is nearer in time or space; that points at what is farther away in time or space. This boy might do. I like that fellow. This and that may be applied both to persons and things. This girl was French. What do you think of that house? Demonstrative Pronouns
Interrogative pronouns are used in inquiry, to form special questions. They are: who, whose, what, which. The interrogative pronoun who has the category of case: the nominative case is who, the objective case whom. Who refers to human beings. Who was that? What when not attributive usually refers to things but it may be applied to people when one inquires about their occupation. What was he? – A painter. Which has a selective meaning: it corresponds to the Russian ‘который из’ ( an individual of the group). It may refer to people and things. Which of us does he mean? Interrogative Pronouns
Relative pronouns (who, whose, which, that, as) not only point back to a noun or a pronoun mentioned before but also have conjunctive power. They introduce attributive clauses. The word they refer to is called their antecendent. It may be a noun or a pronoun. Who is used in reference to human beings or animals. In his voice was a strange note of fear that frightened the animal, who had never known the man speak in such way before. Relative Pronouns
The defining pronouns are: all, each, every, everybody, everyone, everything, either, both, other, another. All may be used as subject, predicative, object, and attribute. When all is said and done…(subject) He just loved me, that is all.(predicative) And he forgot all about it. (object) …if all the doors are closed…(attribute) Both points out two people, things or notions mentioned before. You can study French, or you can study German, or cut them both out and study Esperanto… Defining Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns point out some person or thing indefinitely. The indefinite pronouns are: some, any, somebody, anybody, someone, anyone, something, anything, one. The pronouns somebody, anybody, someone, anyone, one have two cases: the common case and the genitive case. Some is chiefly used in affirmative sentences while any is used in negative and interrogative sentences and in conditional clauses. We spread down some white blankets. Do you see any sign of his appreciating beauty? When used with nouns of material some and any have the meaning of indefinite quantity. Now run along and get some candy. Indefinite Pronouns
Most of the indefinite pronouns correspond to negative pronouns: some – no, none; something – nothing, none; somebody, someone – nobody, no one, none. Some defining pronouns also correspond to negative pronouns: everything – nothing; all, everybody, every, each – no, none, nobody; both, either – neither. The negative pronoun no is used only before a noun as its attribute. No dreams were possible in Dufton. The negative pronoun none may be applied both to human beings and things. None of us can hold on for ever. After the combination ‘none of + a word in the plural’ it is possible to use a verb both in the singular or in the plural. The plural form is more usual None of the people I met were English. Negative Pronouns
The questions Who is he? What is he? Which is he? differ in their meaning. The first question inquires about the name or parentage of some person. The second inquires about the occupation of the person spoken about. The third question inquires about some particular person out of a definite group of people.
Whose is mainly used in reference to human beings or animals but it may be applied to things. Then there was the proud Rychie Korbes, whose father, Mynheer van Korbes, was one of the leading men of Amsterdam. Which is used in reference to things and animals. Here was her own style – a bed which did not look like one and many mirrors. That is mainly used in reference to animals and things. It may also be used in reference to human beings. This…gave him much the same feeling a man has when a dog that he owns wriggles and looks at him. As is normally used with the demonstrative pronoun such. As may refer to living beings and things. Perhaps the books were right and there were many such as she in the upper walks of life.
Each, every, everybody, everyone, everything. Each and every refer to all the members of the group of people, things, or notions mentioned before and taken one by one. When used as subject, each etc. require a verb in the singular. He paid a dollar each. Everybody, everyone refer to all the members of the group of people mentioned before or taken one by one. The pronouns everybody, everyone have two cases: the common case and the genitive case. There is a tendency in Modern English to use they and their after the pronouns every, everybody and everyone. Everyone thinks they have the answer. In formal English, the tendency has been to use he and his in such cases.
Everything may be applied to things, animals and abstract notions. Of course, class is everything, really. Either has two meanings: (a) each of the two, (b) one or the other. The trail wasn’t three feet wide on the crest, and on either side the ridge fell away in precipices hundreds of feet deep. Other, another. Other denotes some object different from the one mentioned before. Other has two numbers: singular – other; plural – others. It has two cases: the common case and the genitive case (other’s, others’). He walked at the other’s heels with a swing to his shoulders and his legs spread unwittingly… Another has two meanings: (1) ‘a different one’. (2) ‘an additional one’. He has learnt sheep-farming at another place.
Some, not any, is used in special and general questions expressing some request or proposal. Do you want some water? – No, I don’t want any water. Some may have the meaning of ‘certain’(некоторые) before a noun in the plural. You have some queer customers. Any may be used in affirmative sentences with the meaning of ‘every’(любой). Above a square-domed forehead he saw a mop of hair…nut-brown, with a wave to it and hints of curls that were a delight to any woman… Somebody, someone, something are chiefly used in affirmative sentences. I want to say something. Anybody, anyone, anything are used in negative and interrogative sentences and in conditional clauses. I don’t want anything.
Somebody, someone, something are used in special and general questions expressing some request or proposal. Will someone help me? Anyone, anybody, anything may be used in affirmative sentences. Anyone, anybody are used with the meaning of ‘everyone’(любой); anything is used with the meaning of ‘everything’(что угодно). There is a limit to what anyone can bear. Though somebody, someone, anybody, anyone are used with the verb in the singular pronouns they, them, their are often used after them. Someone has split their coffee on the carpet.
The indefinite-personal pronoun one is often used in the sense of any person or every person. The indefinite pronoun one is often used in general sense. …only one with constitution of iron could have held himself down, as he did. The pronoun one may be used in genitive case. I know exactly what feels like to be held down on one’s back. One may be used as word-substitute. As a word-substitute one may be used in the plural.
The negative pronouns nobody, no one refer to human beings. The negative pronoun nobody may be used in the genitive case: nobody’s. After the pronouns nobody, no one the pronouns they, their, them are often used in Modern English. Nobody phoned, did they? The negative pronoun nothing refers to things. And nothing of vital importance had happened after that till the year turned. The negative pronoun neither is used when people are talking about two things. Neither of them answered.
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