Possessive, Relative & Subject Pronouns - Learn About Them!

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Learn about possessive, relative, and subject pronouns, which are all commonly used.

If it's been awhile since your last grammar lesson, let me remind you that pronouns are one of the eight parts of speech. They are words that can take the place of nouns. That means that they can do all of the same jobs that nouns can do.

Just like nouns, there are many different types of pronouns. In this article, we're only going to focus on three.

Possessive Pronouns

These are used to show possession, or ownership. Here are some examples.

my mine your yours our theirs his hers

These guys are a little funny because you can use them either on their own (This is mine.) or before a noun (This is myblanket.).

In the truest sense of the definition, they are only pronouns when they are used alone.

When they are used before a noun, they are actually acting as adjectives telling us more about the noun they precede. Because of this, some people refer to these as "possessive adjectives." You can call them that or "possessive pronouns" -- either one is fine.

Here are the ones that are used alone:

mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs

Here are the ones that are used before nouns (and so, you may call them adjectives):

mine, your, his, her, its, our, your, their

Relative Pronouns

These are pretty advanced. They introduce relative clauses, which are a type of dependent clause.

Here they are:

that, which, who, whom, whose, whichever, whoever, whomever

Let's look at an example sentence to see how relative pronouns take the place of nouns.

I like the boy whosmiled at me.

The word, "who" is the relative pronoun. It is introducing the clause, "who smiled at me," and it is taking the place of the noun, "boy." (The boysmiled at me.)

Subject Pronouns

We use these all of the time. They are just what they sound like -- pronouns that are used as the subjects of clauses. This means that they tell whom or what the sentence is about.

Here are the subject pronouns:

I, you, she, he, it, we, you, they

Here is an example sentence:

Heate a sandwich.

"He" is the subject of this sentence. It is telling us who the sentence is about.

There are also object pronouns. Object pronouns act as objects in sentences. Some of these include: me, her, him, us, and them.

See how funny it would sound if you used one of those as the subject?

Himate a sandwich.

That is just plain wrong! So, stick to using subject pronouns for the subjects of sentences, and you'll be just fine!

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Elizabeth O'brien has 1 articles online

Elizabeth O'Brien invites you to learn more about pronouns and English grammar at her website http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com

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Possessive, Relative & Subject Pronouns - Learn About Them!

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This article was published on 2010/03/28