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GRAMMAR NOTES: PRONOUNS

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Pronouns



“Pronoun” [PN] is another morphologic element from the noun cluster. Pronouns replace their corresponding nouns, meaning, they have the same number (singular or plural), the same person (first, second, or third), and the same gender (feminine, masculine, or neuter). The category of case is different, since it is dependent on the functions pronouns have within the sentence structure. The replaced noun is commonly named “the antecedent” or “the principal”.

Commonly, pronouns are discriminated into:

     A. personal pronouns:
          A1. personal pronouns per se;
          A2. possessive pronouns;
          A3. reflexive and emphatic pronouns;
          A4. reciprocal pronouns.

     B. impersonal pronouns:
          B1. demonstrative pronouns;
          B2. interrogative pronouns;
          B3. relative pronouns;
          B4. indefinite pronouns.


Personal pronouns are sufficiently detailed--well, more or less--in most grammar books. However, impersonal pronouns represent a problem; actually, a complex one. First of all, note that most determining adjectives are identical with some impersonal pronouns in form, and in meaning. Even more, there are determining adverbs that are identical with determining adjectives, and also with impersonal pronouns; however, each morphologic element needs to be properly identified.

RED LEAF RSecondly, there is the thorny aspect of understanding the "impersonal nature" pronouns have, or take. Let's put it this way: some personal pronouns (you , he, we, they) can be used impersonally, in certain contexts, therefore they become indefinite (impersonal) pronouns. In order to identify such impersonal personal pronouns, we have to understand the notorious "impersonal nature". Why so "notorious"? Well, using impersonally personal pronouns is the most refined/subtle form of social propaganda!

ATTENTION
The nagging problem when analyzing impersonal pronouns is the fact that they are frequently confused for determining adjectives (and even for determining adverbs). Best thing, study LSEG4.


LSEG4: CATEGORIES OF PRONOUNS
Syntactically, pronouns have the same functions as nouns do. Morphologically, pronouns are used to avoid the annoying repetition of some (proper) nouns, and to establish/clarify nouns’ grammatical categories of number, person, and gender.

In addition, pronouns can work as: nouns (“all”, “one”, “somebody”), adjectives (all determining adjectives are pronominal), numerals (“one”, “first”), adverbs (“this”, “that”), conjunctions (“both”, “either”, “neither”), and as prepositions (“but”).
 


LSEG4: PRONOUNS GRAMMATICAL CATEGORIES







LSEG4: grammatical categories that are pertinent to pronouns.


LSEG4: PERSONAL PRONOUN FORMS

Fragment from LSEG4: personal pronoun forms.

Note that each type/category of pronouns is presented in minute details in LSEG4, including the most frequent typical and atypical implementations.


LSEG4: PERSONAL PRONOUN CASE DECLENSIONRED LEAF L







Fragment from LSEG4: personal pronoun case declension.


Attention: personal pronouns “he”, “we”, “you”, and “they” may also be used “impersonally”! All personal pronouns used impersonally become “indefinite pronouns”.


LSEG4: SUBCATEGORIES OF DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNSSpecific to demonstrative pronouns is the fact that they set precise references to their antecedents, so that the antecedents can be correctly identified. However, when the antecedent cannot be precisely identified using one demonstrative pronoun, then that pronoun ceases to be a “demonstrative” one: it becomes an “indefinite pronoun".


RED LEAF RL4EW: EXERCISES FOR CHAPTER PRONOUNS










L4EW: fragment of an exercise from chapter Pronouns.

L4EW: EXERCISES FROM CHAPTER PRONOUNS






L4EW: fragment of an exercise from chapter Pronouns.


LSEG 4TH EDITION
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A complete grammatical reference, very easy to learn: Logically Structured English Grammar 4—as theory plus exercises!

 
 
 
 
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Page last updated on: July 10, 2017
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