A pronoun is a word that substitutes a noun or noun phrase used to prevent repetition of the noun to which they refer.

A noun is a word that is person, place or thing. e.g. Peter, the bus, the cat, Prague, an opera

Pronouns are divided in the following area: Personal pronouns, Possesive pronouns, Demonstrative pronouns, Interogative pronouns, Relative pronouns, Reflexive pronouns, Reciprocal Pronouns and Double Possesive Pronouns.

1. Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns refer to a specific person or thing and change theirs forms to indicate person, number, gender and case.

Subjective pronouns
Person Singular Countable
1st person I we
2nd person you you
3rd person he, she, it they

Subject pronouns are the ’who’ or ’what’ the sentence is about.

  • I am at home.
  • You work in an office.
  • He is a businessman.
  • She has a car.
  • We live in London.
  • You are from Europe.
  • They are students.

They usually replace the proper or common nouns.

  • Peter is at work. - He is at work.
  • Sarah likes cats. - She likes cats.
  • Mark and Lucy are married. - They are married.
Objective Pronouns
Person Singular Countable
1st person me us
2nd person you you
3rd person him

Objective pronouns are used when the personal pronouns are in a different case then the first case.

  • He is waiting for me.
  • I like you.
  • I study with him at home.
  • I often write to her.
  • I bought it in the sport shop.
  • They visited us yesterday.
  • We know them from school.

2. Possesive Pronouns and Adjectives

Possesive pronouns and adjectives are words which define who owns the particular object or person.

Possesive Adjectives
Person Singular Plural
1st person I – my we – our
2nd person osoba you – your you – your
3rd person he – his
she – her
it –
they – their
  • My brother is at school.
  • Your parents are not at work.
  • His car is very fast.
  • I have her telephone number.
  • Our town is not very big.
  • They canceled their flight to Mallorca.

Note: Possesive adjectives cannot stand alone in the sentence (must be followed by a noun). A possesive adjective is usually used to describe a noun and comes before it, like other adjectives.

Possesive Pronouns
Person Singular Countable
1st person I – mine we – ours
2nd person you – yours you – yours
3rd person he – his
she – hers
it – its
they – theirs
  • The book is mine.
  • Is the coat on the chair yours?

Note: Possesive pronouns are not followed by nouns in the sentence. A possesive pronoun is used instead of a noun.

3. Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns points to and identifies a noun or a pronoun. Demonstrative pronouns this, that, these and those..

This and these refer to nouns that are nearby in time or space.

  • I like this radio station.
  • I bought these shoes in the shopping centre.

That or those refer to nouns that are further away in time or space.

  • That house is very high.
  • Those people are my friends.

Thisand that refer to singular nouns

  • I like this film.
  • That ring was a present.

These and those refer to plural nouns.

  • These gloves are not very warm.
  • Those days I feel very tired.

4. Interogative Pronouns

Interogative pronouns are used to ask questions. The interogative pronouns are : what, which, who, whom and whose.

What can be used to ask about objects or people.

  • What time is it?
  • What is your name?
  • What do you want?

Which can be used to ask about objects or people.

  • Which chair are you talking about?
  • Which jumper do you like?
  • Which is your mother?

Who can be used to ask about people

  • Who are you?
  • Who is your mother?
  • Who has been sitting in my armchair?

Whose can be used to ask about a possession relation.

  • Whose is this book?
  • Whose car did you drive here?

Whom can be used to ask about people. It is less usual and more formal than "who"

  • Whom did you phone?
  • For whom will you vote?

5. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are used to link one phrase or clause to another phrase or clause. The most common relative pronouns are who, that, which .

Which is used with things.

  • The house which is opposite our house is very old.

Who is used with people.

  • The man who came to the office yesterday was my brother.

That can be used with either people or things.

  • The man that came to the office yesterday was my brother.
  • The house that is opposite our house is very old.

Other relative pronouns are : where, whose, when, how, why.

  • The house where I live is going to be reconstructed soon.
  • The tree, whose branches were all dry, had to be cut down.
  • The weekends when I don’t have to go to work are the best.
  • That’s the reason why I do it.

6. Reflexive Pronouns

We use the reflexive pronouns to indicate that the person who realizes the action of the verb is the same person who receives the action.

Person Singular Countable
1st person I – myself we – ourselves
2nd person you – yourself you – yourselves
3rd person he – himself
she – herself
it – itself
they – themselves
  • I cut my hair myself.
  • In this example "I" does the action of cutting the hair and at the same time "I" gets the action of the hair being cut.
  • We defended ourselves brilliantly.
  • In this example the reflexive pronoun "ourselves" refers back to the subject of the sentence.
  • John talks to himself when he is nervous.
  • In this example "himself" refers to John.

Reflexive pronouns always act as objects not subjects , and they require an interaction between the subject and an object.

  • Because she was not hungry when the cake was served, Ellen saved herself a piece.
  • In the independent clause, "Ellen" is the subject and "herself" is a reflexive pronoun acting as the indirect object. This sentence is grammatically correct .
  • John and myself are going to the movie.
  • In this sentence, "John" and "myself" are the subjects. Reflexive pronouns cannot be subjects. This sentence is grammatically incorrect .

Care must be taken to identify whether the noun is singular or plural and choose the pronoun accordingly.

  • We gave ourselves a second chance to complete the course.
  • Did they lock themselves out of the house again?
  • Give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.

The reflexive pronoun can also be used to give more emphasis to the subject or object (intensive pronoun).

  • I did it myself.
  • He washed himself.
  • She looked at herself in the mirror.
  • Diabetics give themselves insulin shots several times a day.
  • After the party, I asked myself why I had faxed invitations to everyone in my office building.
  • Richard usually remembered to send a copy of his e-mail to himself.

7. Reciprocal Pronouns

We use reciprocal pronouns to indicate that two people can carry out an action and get the consequences of that action at the same time.

There are two reciprocal pronouns: each other, one another .

These pronouns enable to simplify sentences where the same general idea is expressed two or more times.

  • On their wedding day John gave Mary a gold ring and Mary gave John a gold ring.

Using the reciprocal pronoun, "each other", this could be rewritten:

  • On their wedding day Mary and John gave each other gold rings.
  • Peter and Mary kissed each other.
  • In this example "each other" indicates that both people involved in the action of "kissing" got the result, kisses, at the same time

If you need to refer to more than two people, say the students in a classroom, then we could use the reciprocal pronoun, "one another".

  • The students in this classroom cooperate with one another.
  • The teachers gathered to congratulate one another on the year’s conclusion.

8. Double Possesive Pronouns or Double Genitive.

A double genitive is a noun phrase which contains both the s-genitive (or a possessive pronoun) and the of-genitive.

Same meaning as possesive pronouns.:

  • that car of hers = her car

Or one of several or some out of many:

  • a friend of Peter’s = one of the several Peter’s friends

„Some“ and „Any“


Some and Any are from a group of words known as determiners. These words are mainly in sentences before nouns. for example - any money, some people, some money.

Some and Any is used when we want to talk about the quantity or volume of something, and either the exact number is unknown or it is unimportant or irrelevant.

1. When to use "some"

We use "some" in positive sentences. We use some for both countable and uncountable nouns.

  • I need some time.
  • I knew some people at the party.

"Some" is used in questions, which we expect a positive response (usually when we offer something, or ask for something)

  • Would you like some biscuits?
  • Shall I bring some meat for the barbecue?
  • Can I have some coffee, please?

2. When to use "any"

"Any" is used in positve questions.

  • Do you have any tissues left?
  • Are there any students in the gym?
  • Have you got any spare towels?

"Any" is used is negative questions.

  • I don’t have any money.
  • I haven’t read any books written by Charles Dickens.

"Any" is used in grammatically positive sentences after words that have a negative or restrictive meaning. ie - never, hardly, without.

  • I never do any exercise.
  • There is hardly any milk left.
  • They passed the exam without any trouble.

3. Other uses of "some" and "any"

The same rules for some and any apply for somebody / anybody, someone / anyone, somewhere / anywhere, something / anything.

  • Do you know anyone who works here?
  • It must be somewhere over here.
  • I did not do anything wrong to him.

Other important aspects of the use of some and any is with countable nouns..

The general rule is that some and any is used with uncountable nouns (money, water, food, time) and nouns in the plurals (books, cars, students).

  • I have got some money in my pocket.
  • He doesn’t want to eat any food.
  • There are some books on the table.

If we want to express a noun in the singular (book, car, student), then we must use the indefinite article „a“ or „an“.

  • There is a book on the table.
  • He bought a car yesterday.
  • He is a student.

4. Exceptions

"Some" can be used with singualr nouns when we want to emphasize that something is very vague, we do not know much about it, we do not care about it or it is not interesting for us.

  • I gave the money to some woman.
  • She lives in some village not too far from London.

"Some" can be used with singualr nouns when we want to emphasize that something is unusually good (something really great, - to show enthusiasm for something with informal speech.

  • Look! Some yacht, huh?
  • It was some film!

"Any" can be used in a positive sentence to mean that it does not matter who or what.

  • We can go to any restaurant.
  • You can buy any newspaper.

"Any" can be used with if-clauses.

  • If there is any message for me, can you call me?
  • Let me know if you need anything.