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English definition of “pronoun”

pronoun

noun [C]     /ˈprəʊ.naʊn/ US  /ˈproʊ-/
B1 a word that is used instead of a noun or a noun phrase: Pronouns are often used to refer to a noun that has already been mentioned . 'She', 'it' and 'who' are all examples of pronouns.Parts of speech Grammar:PronounsWe use pronouns in place of nouns and noun phrases:Grammar:Pronouns: indefinite (-body, -one, -thing, -where)Somebody, anyone, everything, etc. are indefinite pronouns.Grammar:Pronouns: personal (I, me, you, him, it, they, etc.)We use personal pronouns in place of noun phrases. We often use them to refer back to people and things that we have already identified (underlined):Grammar:Subject and object pronounsPersonal subject pronouns act as the subject of a clause. We use them before a verb to show who is doing the verb. We do not usually leave out the pronoun:Grammar:I, meWe use I and me to refer to the speaker or writer. I is the subject form and me is the object form:Grammar:YouWe use you to refer to the listener or reader. It is both the subject and the object form. You can refer to one person or more than one person. It is usually clear from the context whether you is singular or plural:Grammar:He, him; she, herHe, him, she and her are singular third person pronouns. He and him are the masculine forms. She and her are the feminine forms:Grammar:ItWe use it to refer to things:Grammar:We, usWe use we and us to refer to different groups of people, but always including the speaker. We and us can refer to the speaker + the listener, or the speaker + other people but not the listener, or people in general including the speaker:Grammar:They, themWe use they and them to refer to specific groups of people, things and animals:Grammar:Pronouns: possessive (my, mine, your, yours, etc.)We use pronouns to refer to possession and ‘belonging’. There are two types: possessive pronouns and possessive determiners. We use possessive determiners before a noun. We use possessive pronouns in place of a noun:Grammar:Pronouns: reflexive (myself, themselves, etc.)Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves. They refer back to the subject forms of personal pronouns (underlined in the example below):Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for same subject and objectWe often use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of the verb refer to the same person or thing:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for emphasisWe can use reflexive pronouns for emphasis:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns + by meaning aloneWe often use reflexive pronouns with by to mean ‘alone’ or ‘without any help’:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for politenessWe sometimes use reflexive pronouns instead of personal pronouns for politeness, but not as the subject of a clause: pronominal     /prəʊˈnɒm.ɪ.nəl/ US  /proʊˈnɑː.mə-/ adjective specialized
(Definition of pronoun noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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