The Personal Pronoun
Nominative I we
Genitive mine ours
Dative (to) me (to) us
Accusative me us
Nominative you you
Genitive yours yours
Dative (to) you (to) you
Accusative you you
Dative (to) him
Nominative she Nominative they
Genitive hers Genitive theirs
Dative (to) her Dative (to) them
Accusative her Accusative them
Dative (to) it
1.2. The Personal Pronoun is used to talk about the speaker(s), I, we, the person(s) we are speaking to, you, or the person(s) or thing(s) we are speaking about, he, she, it, they.
1.3. Uses of "it'. We use "it":
a) to talk about a thing: I lost my pen. It was red.
b) as subject in a sentence about time, weather or distance (impersonal "it")
It is raining.
c) to emphasize a word or a phrase (emphatic "it")
It was Tom who came late last night.
d) as a subject when the subject clause comes later in the sentence (introductory "it")
It is nice that you came.
1.4. Special use of "you", "we" and "they". We sometimes use "you" and "they" to speak about people in general (=everyone):
You can't do much without money.
They say he is a good doctor.
They may also be used to talk about a group of people if it is not important to say who they are:
They are building a new hospital.
We may be used by a single person. It is called "royal" we (used by rulers), or "editorial" we (used by authors, lecturers, etc.). They use it in order to avoid I, which might sound too egoistic.
We may also be employed to replace you, which might be felt too authoritative (particularly when talking to children or the sick):
How are we today?
If we take the medicine, we'll get a chocolate.
The Possessive Pronoun and the Possessive Adjective
2.1. The Possessive Pronoun
First person mine ours
Second person yours yours
Third person his
The possessive pronoun replaces both the object that is possessed and the person who possesses it. Its basic function is that of predicative.
Mother's car is new. Mine is old.
The car is mine.
2.2. The Possessive Adjective
Person/Number Singular Plural
First person my our
Second person your your
Third person his
The possessive adjective replaces the person who possesses something and determines the noun that expresses the object, which is possessed: This is her book.
The possessive adjective has the function of an attribute.
NOTE: The adjective "own" can be used after the possessive adjective to underline the idea of possession:
It was his own idea to visit them.
The Interrogative Pronoun and the Interrogative Adjective
3.1. The Interrogative Pronoun occurs in an interrogative sentence and replaces the noun in the answer:
"Who is coming?"
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing." / "I'm reading the newspaper."
The interrogative adjective determines a noun - and helps to build a sentence:
Which book did you read?
3.2. "Who", "whom" can only be pronouns. The pronoun "who" is used only for persons:
Who is your teacher?
Dative: to whom
Accusative: for whom
3.3. The interrogative pronouns and adjectives can have both a singular and a plural meaning:
Who are they?
"Whose pen is this?"
What film did you see?
Which books did you buy?
3.4. Differences between what and which
WHAT: as subject of the sentence it is followed by a verb in the singular:
What has happened?
What was going on there?
- it may be used in questions concerning descriptions or when inquiring about someone's occupation:
What do you want to become, a doctor or a nurse?
- it implies that the choice is made from an unlimited number:
What was his answer?
WHICH: - as subject of the sentence it is followed by a verb either in the singular or in the plural, depending on the situation:
I brought the test papers, see which is yours and which are theirs.
- it implies that the choice is made from a limited number:
Which shall I choose, the red pullover or the blue one?
The Demonstrative Pronoun and the Demonstrative Adjective
"near" reference THIS THESE
"distant" reference THAT THOSE
4.2. The Demonstrative Adjective determines a noun and expresses the place of the noun in time or space:
This man helped me.
4.3. Other demonstratives that can function both as pronouns and adjectives are: the former and the latter (they may have both personal and non-personal reference), the first, the last, the other (the others), the same (usually occurs with a definite article), such:
I met Tom and Jerry, the former had a black hat, the latter had a blue one.
"The same to you!"
Such is life!
We went to the cinema. The others went home.
The Reflexive Pronoun
Person/Number Singular Plural
First person myself ourselves
Second person yourself yourselves
Third person himself
5.2. We use a reflexive pronoun to talk about the same person or thing that we mentioned in the subject of the sentence:
I'm teaching myself Italian.
5.2.1. The reflexive pronouns are used in the following cases:
a) with verbs that are practically always used reflexively: absent, betake, bethink, perjure, etc.:
He betook himself to a place of safety.
b) with verbs that are reflexives in a certain sense: apply, avail, deport, behave, enjoy:
If you don't behave yourself, you 'II be punished.
c) with optionally reflexive verbs: dress, wash, adjust, prove, shave:
She proved herself to be very good at Maths.
5.3. Idiomatic phrases: to enjoy oneself = to have a good time/ to help oneself to something = to take something/ to behave oneself = not to be silly or naughty
The Emphatic Pronoun
The emphatic pronouns have the same form as the reflexive pronouns, but they have an end position in the sentence or come after the noun phrase they refer to:
we ... ourselves/we ourselves
We use an emphatic pronoun to emphasize a noun phrase:
We, the students, we ourselves helped them. = we and no one else.
The Reciprocal Pronoun
The reciprocal pronouns express reciprocal relationships between persons or things. They are each other and one another (accusative):
They love each other.
They looked at one another.
8. The Indefinite Pronoun and the Indefinite Adjective
8. I. The indefinite pronouns some, something, someone, somebody.
SOME is used:
- to substitute a plural countable noun:
I didn't have any eggs, so I went to buy some.
- to substitute an uncountable or mass noun:
"Yes, I'd like some."
- to suggest contrast:
"Did you like these books?"
"Some are interesting, some are boring."
- in questions, if the question is really a request or an invitation, or if the reply expected is "Yes":
Would you like some?
SOMEBODY and SOMEONE substitute nouns having personal reference. They have singular association and as subject take a singular verb. The lack of a common gender personal pronoun may however cause them to be replaced by they:
There is somebody at the door.
Someone has stolen his car.
"Somebody broke into Jane's house.
Somebody is often used with the indefinite article or in the plural, when signifying "a person of some importance":
Now that he did that, he is (a) somebody.
This big new house made them think they are somebodies.
SOMETHING usually has non-personal reference. It may refer to some thing, object, event of an indefinite nature:
She wants something to cut the cake with.
Something may have personal reference when it signifies a person of importance or a person who has some position or other:
Jane is something at the Foreign Affairs Department.
The indefinite pronouns any, anybody, anyone, anything. They have the same uses as the corresponding forms of some. They occur in interrogative and negative sentences, in conditional clauses, and in sentences when doubt or negation is implied.
I went to buy some eggs because I didn't have any.
I need some money. Have you got any?
ANYBODY, ANYONE are semantically and functionally similar to somebody and someone:
Is anybody there?
There isn't anyone here who can do it.
ANYTHING: Its meaning is "a thing of any sort" or, in affirmative sentences, "no matter what":
Has anything unusual happened?
I want to drink something; anything will do.
8.3. The indefinite pronouns none, nobody, no one, nothing. They occur in negative sentences when the verb is in the affirmative.
NONE may substitute countable or uncountable nouns and it may have personal or non-personal references:
"How many letters have you written?"
Of all her friends, none came to her birthday party.
NOBODY and NO ONE have personal reference and as a subject take a verb in the singular:
Nobody knows who wrote this letter.
No one has come here for two weeks.
NOTHING has non-personal reference:
Nothing can help you.
The indefinite pronouns much, many, more, most can also be noun substitutes. Much substitutes singular, uncountable nouns, while many substitutes plural nouns
We have much to do here.
Many were disappointed.
This is the most I can do for you.
There isn't much food in the house.
Many people think so.
8.5. The indefinite pronouns everybody, everyone, everything are similar in function and connotation to the other compounds with -body, -one, -thing. Everybody and everything have personal reference, while everything has non-personal reference
Is everybody here?
In small towns like this, everyone knows everyone.
Everything is all right.
8.6. The indefinite adjective some occurs in affirmative sentences:
I have some important problems to solve.
8.7. The indefinite adjective any is used in interrogative and negative sentences, in conditional clauses, and in sentences when doubt or negation is implied:
I haven't got any coffee left.
If there should be any difficulty, please call me.
8.8. The indefinite adjective no occurs in negative sentences, when the verb is in the affirmative. It is used with singular or plural countable nouns:
I have no money.
There is no more coffee.
8.9. The indefinite adjective every is used only with singular nouns:
I have every reason to be angry.
Every man must do his best.
I. Choose the correct pronoun:
1. It's John's bike. It's .
a) him; b) he's; c) his.
2. This is Helen's dress. It's .
a) hers; b) she's; c) her.
3. This is ... car. It's ours.
a) our; b) us; c) ours.
4. Those are ... trousers. They are yours.
a) yours; b) your; c) you're.
5. This is their house. It's .
a) them; b) theirs; c) theys.
6. These are ... books. They are mine.
a) mine; b) my's; c) my.
This is ... handbag. It's hers.
a) her; b) she; c) hers.
8. That's our dog. It's .
a) we; b) ours; c) our.
It's my glass. It's .
a) my; b) mine; c) mines.
10. They're your friends. They are .
a) yours; b) your; c) your's.
II. Translate the following sentences into English:
1. Serveste o prajitura.
2.- Unde sunt dansatorii?
- Jane si Tim au mers Ia biblioteca, ceiIaIti au plecat acasa.
3. Cum se traduce in engleza cuvântul "pâine"? Se spune ca va ploua saptamana viitoare. 5. Cine este tânarul acela de acolo? 6. John este medic. L-am cunoscut acum doi ani. 7. Copiii nostri au plecat intr-o excursie Ia munte. Ai lor au plecat in tabara Ia mare. 8. Vreau sa vizitez expozitia aceea. Dar tu? 9. Daca vor veni a tine încearca sa te porti cuviincios. 10. Ei se ajuta reciproc. 11. Nimeni nu a vrut sa-i spuna adevarul. 12. Te-ai simtit bine Ia petrecere? I 3. Eu însami am încercat sa vorbesc cu ea. 14. S-au uitat unul Ia celalalt de parca nu s-ar Ii întâlnit niciodata. 15. Habar nu avea cine I-a invitat. 16. Învata singura engleza. 17. Hai sa cumparam niste mere! Ce zici de cele de acolo? 18. Ale cui sunt casele acestea? 19. Mary a fost cea care nu a aparut. 20. Nu se poate face nimic in astfel de cazuri. 21. Ninge de doua zile. 22. A fost idea ta sa venim aici. 23. Cui i-ai dat-o? 24. Niciunul nu a ajuns Ia timp. 25. Nimeni nu I-a vazut pe Tom ieri.
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