Verbal Ability - Pronouns


A pronoun takes the place of an unknown noun or repeated mention of a noun. For example, Misha wondered if she should see a doctor.

Misha is the noun of “she.” Instead of saying — Misha wondered if Misha should see a doctor, “she” appears to take the place of “Maria.”

The Nine Types of Pronouns

  • Personal
  • Possessive
  • Indefinite
  • Reflexive
  • Reciprocal
  • Intensive
  • Interrogative
  • Relative
  • Demonstrative

The pronoun must always agree with noun, so if the noun is male, the pronoun must be male, if the noun is plural, the pronoun must also be plural, etc.

For Example

Correct − When Kurien bought the car, he gave a party.

Incorrect − When Kurien bought the car, she gave a party.

Types of Pronouns

Nominative Case − It is also known as the subjective, it is the subject of the sentence. For example — I, you, he, she, it, we, they, who

For Example

  • She went to the store.
  • Who has the book?
  • I am here.

Objective Case − These are the objects of the sentence and are indirect contributors to the action. For example — me, you, him, her, it, us, them, whom

For Example

  • We gave him advice.

  • We gave advice to her.

  • I don’t know who gave advice to them.

Possessive Case − These pronouns show ownership. For example — my, mine, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs, your, yours, whose

For Example

  • That is my bag.
  • That bag is mine.
  • Her bus was late.
  • The bags are all hers.

Personal pronouns can refer to the person/people speaking (first person), spoken to (second person), or spoken about (third person).

First person subject singular — I

  • First person subject plural − We
  • First person object singular − Me
  • First person object plural − Us

Second person subject singular — You

  • Second person subject plural − You
  • Second person object singular − You
  • Second person object plural − You

Third person subject singular — He, she, it

  • Third person subject plural − They
  • Third person object singular − Him, her, it
  • Third person object plural − Them

For Example − I wanted to give them to her, but he wouldn’t let me.

I — first person singular

Them — third person plural

Her — third person singular

He — third person singular

Me — first person singular

Possessive Pronouns − Like regular nouns, personal pronouns can also be possessive. Possessive Determiners are possessive forms of personal pronouns. Possessive Determiners must have a noun associated with it.

  • First person determiner singular − my (book)
  • First person determiner plural − our (book)
  • First person pronoun singular − mine
  • First person pronoun plural − ours
  • Second person determiner singular − your (book)
  • Second person determiner plural − your (book)
  • Second person pronoun singular − yours
  • Second person pronoun plural − yours
  • Third person determiner singular − is, her, its(book)
  • Third person determiner plural − their (book)
  • Third person pronoun singular − his, hers, its
  • Third person pronoun plural − theirs

For example − They have my books but don’t know that they are mine.

Indefinite Pronouns − These have no specific antecedents. These are usually identified with general words like — all, any, some, or none.

For Example

  • Singular − both, nobody, everything, nothing, somebody, everyone, etc. (Somebody took her books.)

  • Plural − all, many, most, much, some (Everyone knows about her.)

Indefinite pronouns are only pronouns if they are used alone. If they are used with a noun, they become indefinite adjectives.

Pronoun − There are some who can't work in a team.

Adjective − There are some guavas in the cupboard.

If the subject performs actions to or for itself, the action in the sentence passes back to the subject and becomes a reflexive pronoun. For example — We asked ourselves where her bags were. Here, “we” is the doer and receiver of the action “ask.”

  • First person singular − Myself

  • First person plural − Ourselves

  • Second person singular − Yourself

  • Second person plural − Yourselves

  • Third person singular − Himself/Herself/Itself

  • Third person plural − Themselves


  • Intensive Pronouns are used to point back to the noun or pronoun for emphasis. For example — I myself knew they were Maria’s bags.

  • The intensive pronoun does not always need to directly follow the noun. For example — I prefer walking myself.

Reciprocal Pronouns − These pronouns are used to express mutual action. They use the terms “each other/ each other’s”, “one another/one another’s”.

For Example

  • Maria and Heather greeted each other.
  • All of you must respect one another.

Interrogative Pronouns − These are used to ask questions and can be personal or non-personal.

  • Personal subject − Who/Whoever

  • Personal object − Whom/Whomever

  • Personal possessive − Whose

  • Non-personal subject − Which

  • Non-personal subject − What

For Example

  • Who has the bags?
  • Which bagger has them?
  • Whose bags are these?

Demonstrative Pronouns − These substitute specific nouns, usually when someone is gesturing toward something.

  • Singular − This/That

  • Plural − These/Those

For Example

  • These are for her.
  • That is his house.
  • Those people have arrived today.