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Introduction to Pronouns

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Introduction to pronouns. In this lesson, we will take a brief look at pronouns. Kind of an overview. Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns or represent nouns. There are several different kinds of pronouns that play several different kinds of roles.

The most common pronouns on the GMAT are personal pronouns. Personal pronouns always represent a very specific person, or group of people, or object. Personal pronouns are what we've been using in all the previous videos on subject-verb agreement. The person or group of people or object represented by a personal pronoun is called the antecedent.

Pronouns and their antecedents must agree. This will be the subject of later videos in this module. So after we're done talking about subject-verb agreement, we will have some lessons on pronoun agreement, a different topic. So first of all, what are the personal pronouns?

Here are the basic personal pronouns. First person, second person, and third person. This means the speaker, the person spoken to, and the person spoken about. That's what it means, first person, second person, and third person. So these are the, what's called the subjective forms. These are the objective forms.

And these are the possessive forms. All of these are personal pronouns. The subjective forms, I, he, she, they, are used as subjects of verbs. The objective forms, me, him, her, them, are used as direct and indirect objects, objects of prepositional phrases, and subjects of infinitives. So personal pronouns are unique insofar as they have these many different forms, depending on their use in the sentence.

That's all I'm gonna say about personal pronouns right now. Another category of pronouns are the demonstrative pronouns. This, that, these, those. These are relatively simple. Like personal pronouns, these require an antecedent. And, of course, this and that are singular, so they take a singular verb.

These and those are plural, they take a plural verb. This is interesting, these are interesting, that sort of thing. Relative and interrogative pronouns. Interrogative means used in a question. So those first five, who, whom, whose, what, which, we could ask a question with any of those words.

There are also relative pronouns. And that is also a relative pronoun. What does it mean to be a relative pronoun? Relative pronouns begin noun-modifying clauses. The hand that signed the paper. The man to whom the keys to the city were given.

So here, it's very clear, the relative pronoun represents the noun that is being modified by the noun-modifying clause. The final category are indefinite pronouns, and here are some indefinite pronouns. Unlike the other pronouns, these represent something that is not well specified.

When I'm talking about somebody, I don't know who that is. When I talk about he or that person, I know exactly who I'm talking about. So, this, these are pronouns that represent something that is undefined or unclear. Some of these raise very tricky issues for subject verb agreement.

We will discuss that in the next lesson. So, after this whirlwind tour of pronouns, we talked about personal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, interrogative and relative pronouns, and the indefinite pronouns.

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