9 Different Types of Pronouns With Examples

Using different types of pronouns in writing can break monotonous and boring noun repetitions and make paragraphs more pleasurable to read. A good instance would be when you are talking about a particular person, for instance, Alex. Instead of continuously using the name ‘Alex’ all over the sentence or narration, you can use ‘he’ or ‘him.’

Now that you understand how important pronouns are, let us look at the different kinds of pronouns.

Picture showing the different types of pronouns in bullet list

1. Demonstrative Pronouns

First in our list of different types of pronouns is demonstrative pronouns. This kind is mainly used to show or demonstrate the distance in metaphorical or physical contexts. Additionally, these pronouns must take the mentioned noun. Now, demonstrative pronouns exist in two categories:

Singular Demonstrative Pronouns

These are demonstrative pronouns mainly used to show singularity in the noun. They include that and this. The following are examples of these different types of pronouns in a sentence:

Examples:

  • This is my cat.
  • That is her jacket.
  • This is my car.

Plural Demonstrative Pronouns

Plural demonstrative pronouns, on the other hand, indicate the plural form of the noun. Typically, they include; those and these. Here, ‘those’ replace ‘that’ while ‘these’ replace ‘this’ in a plural context. Using our previous examples with plural demonstrative pronouns, we get:

Examples:

  • These are my cats.
  • These are my cars.
  • Those jackets are hers.

2. Indefinite Pronouns

Essentially, indefinite pronouns refer to unspecified objects, a person, or places. Normally, an indefinite pronoun can appear anywhere in a sentence. They include pronouns such as; someone, everybody, nobody, everywhere, nowhere, somebody, whichever, none, anyone, and no one.

Examples:

  • Nobody knows what happened
  • Everyone has a car
  • There are people everywhere

3. Interrogative Pronouns

As the type describes them, they are question pronouns. Essentially, they help in formulating and asking a question. They include; whom, who, whose, what, and which.

Examples:

  • Whose phone is that?
  • Who is your driver?
  • What book are you talking about?

4. Intensive Pronouns

This category of pronouns helps to add emphasis to another pronoun or noun. Though they are similar to another type of pronoun called reflexive pronouns, they have different uses. They include yourself, myself, ourselves, themselves, yourselves, herself, and himself.

Examples:

  • He talks too much about himself
  • She ate the whole cake herself
  • They went to the park themselves

5. Personal Pronouns

Typically, personal pronouns help to replace the name of a person in sentences. Personal pronouns exist in two categories:

Subjective Personal Pronouns

These are types of personal pronouns that replace subjective personal names in a sentence. They include he, she, it, they, we, I, you.

Examples:

  • Alex wants to take his breakfast.

Alex is the subject. We get a personal pronoun; He wants to take his breakfast (‘he’ becomes the subjective pronoun).

  • Alicia is cleaning the cups.

Alicia is the subject. A subjective personal pronoun becomes: She is cleaning the cups (‘She’ is the subjective personal pronoun).

  • Jane is typing.

Jane is the subject. She is typing (‘she’ becomes the subjective personal pronoun).

Objective Personal Pronouns

Normally, objective personal pronouns replace personal names used as objects in sentence context. They include them, him, her, it, us, and me.

Examples:

  • Jack caught Alice stealing.

In this sentence, Alice is the object while Jack is the subject. When we use an objective personal pronoun, we get: He caught her stealing. The term ‘her’ in this new sentence is the objective personal pronoun.

  • Wallace is talking to Kelvin and Oliver.

Here, Kelvin and Oliver are the objects. With an objective personal pronoun, the sentence becomes: “Wallace is talking to them.” The word ‘them’ is the objective personal pronoun.

  • The lion is chasing the car.

The car is the object. When an objective personal pronoun replaces the object, the sentence becomes: “The lion is chasing it.”

6. Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns normally indicate ownership. They also have two categories:

Dependent or Limiting Possessive Pronouns

Essentially, dependent or limiting possessive pronouns, when used in a sentence, they follow a dependent noun. Examples of these pronouns include its, her, his, your, our, my, and their. It is worth noting that the possessive pronoun ‘its’ does not have an apostrophe.

Examples:

  • I saw her parents
  • That is my car
  • Alvin is her husband

Independent or Absolute Possessive Pronouns

These pronouns do not trail or get followed by a noun in a sentence context. Instead, they perform the function of substituting the possession. They include theirs, its, ours, his, hers, and mine.

Examples:

  • That car is mine (the word ‘mine’ is the independent possessive pronoun).
  • The wallet is his (‘his’ is the independent possessive pronoun).
  • That house is not ours but theirs. Here, the words ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ are independent or absolute personal pronouns.

7. Reciprocal Pronouns

Though not very popular, reciprocal pronouns are constantly used in normal communication. Essentially, these pronouns indicate a mutual action or a relationship. In English, reciprocal pronouns are only two: ‘one another’ and ‘each other.

Examples:

  • They helped each other overcome the hurdles. The phrase ‘each other’ is the reciprocal pronoun and shows how the relationship developed.
  • They clapped for one another when they won. Here, the phrase ‘one another’ represents mutual actions.
  • They hurled tantrums at each other. Similarly, the phrase ‘each other’ indicates mutual actions that occurred.

8. Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are essentially pronouns that end with ‘-self’ or ‘-selves.’ Normally, these pronouns are helpful when the subject and the object refer to the same thing – or person. Moreover, they exist in two categories:

Singular Reflexive Pronouns

You can use singular reflexive pronouns when the object or subject refers to the same person or thing. Typically, these pronouns end with ‘–self.’ They include herself, himself, itself, yourself.

Examples:

  • The lecturer dictated the notes herself.
  • She read the novel herself.
  • I cleaned the drain myself.

Plural Reflexive Pronouns

Plural reflexive pronouns are mainly used when the object and subject refer to the same people or things. They also end with ‘-selves.’ These reflexive pronouns include ourselves, themselves, and yourselves.

Examples:

  • They decided among themselves to work with him.
  • We constructed the bridge ourselves.
  • They decided to vote him out themselves.

9. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are another category of pronouns that provide additional information about a particular subject in a sentence. Typically, they join clauses with a noun or pronoun to make a sentence. They include which, whom, who, what, and that. Normally, that and which help in making reference to animals or things while who refers to people.

Examples:

  • The gentleman who drove you to work is my father. The word ‘who’ is the relative pronoun while ‘drove you to work’ is the additional information.
  • The vehicle which ran over a pedestrian is hers. The phrase ‘ran over a pedestrian’ is the additional information, while ‘which’ is the relative pronoun.
  • The dog that bit him was killed. Here, ‘that bit him’ is the additional information while ‘that’ is the relative pronoun.

Conclusion

Getting yourself knowledgeable in different types of pronouns is essential in improving the general proficiency of your English language. Additionally, it helps you to weed out redundancy when writing. Consequently, you get to write and communicate more effectively and efficiently.


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