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Pronoun

A pronoun is a word that usually takes the place of a noun previously mentioned.


Personal pronouns refer to things. The English personal pronouns are: First person is the speaker(s), Second is the person spoken to and third is someone else. Reflexive is when the doer of the action is the same as what the action was done to.

SingularPlural
1st nom.Iwe
2nd nom.thou(1), youyou, ye, y'all(4), youse(4), you-uns(4), you-guys5
3rd nom.he, she, it, they(3)they
1st acc.meus
2nd acc.thee(1), youyou, ye(2)
3rd acc.him, her, it, them(3)them
1st gen.myour
2nd gen.thy(1), youryour
3rd gen.his, her, its, their(3)their
1st nounmineours
2nd nounthine(1), yoursyours
3rd nounhis, hers, its, theirs(3)theirs
1st refl.myselfourselves
2nd refl.thyself(1), yourself(6)yourselves(6)
3rd refl.himself, herself, itself, themself(3)themselves

  1. Sometime between 1600 and 1800, the forms of Thou began to pass out of common usage in most places, except in poetry, archaic-style literature, and descriptions of other languages' pronouns. Thou refers to either a close friend or one person. Thou still exists in northern England and Scotland, and in some Christian religious communities.
  2. In Scotland, Ye is the plural you. In older times and in some other places, Ye is the accusative singular you.
  3. Though using They as a singular pronoun when sex is not known or is not important is often condemned by traditionalists, its often found in informal speech. It is actually a revival of an earlier usage and may one day become standard usage because it is so common.
  4. Y'all, Youse and You-uns are often used in colloquial speech as a plural you. Saying you was and You were to distinguish the same thing is also done.
  5. You-guys is the new plural you. It seems to have originated in Canada.
  6. The only common distinction between singular and plural you is in the reflexive and emphatic forms.


Most of these other pronouns can be arranged in a table of correlatives like the one conceived by L. L. Zamenhof. Many languages form these pronouns in a similar way, so it might be just as valid for, say, another language. For English, the Table of Correlatives looks like this:

QueryThisThatSomeNoEvery
Adjectivewhichthisthatsomenoevery
Personwhothisthatsomeoneno oneeveryone
Thingwhatthisthatsomethingnothingeverything
Placewhereheretheresomewherenowhereeverywhere
Timewhennowthensometimeneveralways
Wayhowthussomehow
Reasonwhy

In one of the most salient features of Indo-European languages, pronouns are ambiguous. Is 'Who' relative or interrogative? Is it true that 'that' is a relative or demonstrative? Which kind is 'which?'

Most other language families don't have this ambiguity.

French Pronouns

Personal pronouns:

SingularPlural
1st nom.jenous
1st acc.menous
1st dat.menous
1st disj.moinous
2nd nom.tuvous
2nd acc.tevous
2nd dat.tevous
2nd disj.toivous
3rd nom.ilelleilselles
3rd acc.lelalesles
3rd dat.luiluileurleur
3rd disj.luielleeuxelles

The French possessive pronouns (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes, son, sa, ses, notre, notre, nos, votre, votre, vos, leur, leur, leurs) are technically adjectives because they decline into masculine, feminine and plural forms and further agree with their heads (not their antecedents).


Many languages contain different pronouns used to show varying levels of respect. See T-V distinction.



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