Pronouns

Definition

Generally, pronouns stand for or refer to a noun, an individual or individuals or thing or things (the pronoun’s antecedent) whose identity is made clear earlier in the text.

Examples:

In these examples, the pronouns are highlighted in pink while its antecedents are highlighted in green.

  1. My mother baked a cake today. It was delicious!
  2. My father works at a chemical factory. He likes his job.
See how in the first sentence, the pronoun It refers to cake. This means that they are the same and one thing. In the second sentence, the pronoun He refers to father. This means that they are the same and one person.

Not all pronouns will refer to an antecedent, however.

  1. Everyone here earns over a thousand dollars a day.
  2. Can everybody please stand up?

The words everyone and everybody has no antecedent. However, they both refer to the audience or listener of the sentence.

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