Grammar Series, Part 1 of 5: Noun’s and Pronouns

In a series of blogs, this is part one of five. For the purpose of written communication skills, I am reviewing the rules of how words are put together. Starting with the basics- let’s review nouns and pronouns. My reference for all of the below is The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition.

Noun: A word that names something whether abstract or concrete.

Types of nouns:

  • Common Nouns: The informal name of one item in a class or group (e.g. a chemical, a river, a pineapple etc.)
  • Proper Nouns: A person’s name or the official name of a place or thing (Ayeesha S. Kanji, Los Angeles, Toronto etc.) and always capitalized.
  • Count Nouns: Singular or plural form and expresses enumerable things (e.g. newspapers (newspaper) dictionaries (dictionary) etc.)
  • Mass Nouns: Denotes something uncountable, either because it is abstract (evidence, cowardice) or refers to an indeterminate aggregation of people or things (the faculty, the bourgeoisie)

Four Properties:

  • Case Property: Denotes relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and other words in a sentence. Nouns are either nominative, objective, and possessive.
  • Gender Property: Classifies noun into masculine, feminine and neuter.
  • Number Property: Shows whether one or more object is referred to- clock (singular) versus clocks (plural)
  • Person Property: Shows whether an object is speaking (first person) spoken to (second person) or spoken about (third person).

Pronoun: A word used as a substitute for a noun or, sometimes, another pronoun.  It follows a previous mentioned word, to avoid repetition. A pronoun follows the word it refers to in a sentence.

Six Classes:

  • Personal – I, you, he, she, it, we and they
  • Demonstrative – that and this
  • Interrogative – what, which and who
  • Relative – that, what, which and who
  • Indefinite – another, any, each, either and none
  • Adjective – any, each, that, this, what and which

Personal Pronouns: Indicates first person, second person and third person

  • Nominative first person- I, you, he she, it, we, you and they
  • Objective second person- Me, you, him, her, it, us, you and them
  • Possessive third person- My, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, you, yours, their, theirs

Possessive Pronouns: Used as limiting adjectives to qualify nouns

  • My
  • Our
  • Your
  • His
  • Her
  • Its
  • There

Demonstrative Pronoun: Points directly to its antecedent.

  • This and That (singular antecedents)
  • These and Those (plural antecedents)
  • This and These (Objects in the form of time, space, or thought)
  • That and Those (Objects comparatively remote in time, space or thought)

Interrogative Pronoun: Asks a question.

  • Who (Nominative) Whom (Objective) Whose (possessive)
  • What
  • Which

Relative Pronoun: Introduces a subordinate (or relative) clause and relates in to the main clause.

  • Who (first, second and third person)
  • Which (animal or thing)
  • What (nonliving thing)
  • That (person, animal or thing and first, second or third person

Indefinite Pronoun: Generally or indefinitely represents an object, usually one that has already been identified or doesn’t need specific identification.

  • Another
  • Any (anybody, anyone, anything)
  • Both
  • Each (everybody, everyone, everything)
  • Either
  • Neither
  • None (nobody, no one)
  • One (oneself)
  • Other
  • Some (somebody, someone)
  • Such

Adjective Pronoun: Functions as a noun modifier, all pronouns other than personal pronouns, “who,” and “none” may serve as adjectives

  • Those windows (those)
  • Some coyotes (some)

5 thoughts on “Grammar Series, Part 1 of 5: Noun’s and Pronouns

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