Thursday, 5 November 2015


01 My, our, your, his, her, there are possessive adjectives; they are used with nouns. Mine, ours, yours, hers, theirs are possessive pronouns; they are used in place of nouns (not with nouns).
• This is my book.
• This book is mine. (we can’t say: This is mine book.)
• My dog and yours (your dog) are both tired.

02 The apostrophe (‘) is not used with the following pronouns:
Ours, yours, hers, its, theirs (it’s = it is)
Incorrect use Correct
Your’s sincerely Yours sincerely
These ideas of our’s These ideas of ours
This action of her’s This action of hers
It’s shape and size Its shape and size
These houses of their’s These houses of theirs

03 The complement of the verb ‘to be’ (is, am, are, was, were etc) is always in the subjective form (i.e. I, we, he, she, they).
• It was he (not him)
• If I were he I wouldn’t do it.
• I am she (not her) who taught him a lesson.
• It is I (not me) that told the truth.
Note, however that It is me is used even by educated people and it is now accepted as idiomatic English.

04 The object of a verb or of a preposition should be in the objective form; as-
• There is really no difference between you and me (not I).
• Let you and him (not he) do it.
• Please let my mother and me (not I) go to the theatre.

05 The following Verbs are followed by Reflexive Pronouns ( myself, ourselves, yourself, yourselves, himself, herself, themselves, itself):
Overeat, enjoy, avail
• He overate himself and fell ill.
• We enjoyed ourselves.
• You should avail yourself of this opportunity.

06 Reflexive Pronouns are never used as Subject:
• Mr Jhon and I (not myself) saw the match.
• I myself went there (not, myself went there).
• You can do it yourself (not, Yourself went there.

07 Reflexive Pronouns are used after a verb +preposition, but not when the preposition indicates locality; as,
• He spoke to himself.
• Look after yourself.
• Did he pay for himself.
• Did you take your dog with you? (not yourself)
• They put the child between them. (not themselves)

08 A pronoun must agree with its Antecedent (the word to which it refers back) in person, number and gender; as,
* All passengers must show their tickets’
* Every man must bear his own burden.
* Each of the girls showed her homework.

09 The indefinite pronoun ‘one’ should be used throughout, if used at all.
• One must not boast of one’s (not his) own success.
• One must use one’s best efforts.
• One cannot be too careful about what one (not he) does.

10 When the subject of a verb is a relative pronoun (that/who/which) care should be taken to see that the verb agrees in number and person with the antecedent (the word to which the relative pronoun refers back):as,
• This is one of the novels that are (not is) worth reading. (Note that the antecedent of that is novels, not one)
• She is one of the girls who have been selected.
• This is the only one of his poems that was (not were) published. (Note that here the antecedent of that is one. “Of his poems, this is the only one that was published.”)

11 If different Personal Pronouns are to be used together, they are placed in the following order:
1. Second person (you)
2. Third Person (he, she, they)
3. First person (I, we)
You, he and I will accompany the girls.
But this order is reversed if there is a mention of some fault.
1. I, he and you are responsible for this loss.
2. We , they and you will be punished for it.

12 If a pronoun refers to two or more persons,
1. The first person should be used rather than the second.
2. The second person should be used rather than the third.
• He and I should do our duty.
• You and he should do your duty.
• You ,he and I should do our duty.

13 You have already learnt that-
1. Who, whom and whose are used in speaking of persons.
2. Which is used in speaking of lifeless things and lower animals.
3. That can be used of persons, animals as well as lifeless things.
4. Either and neither are used in speaking of two persons or things. They take a singular verb.
5. Any is used in speaking of more than two persons or things.
6. Each other is used in speaking of two persons or things.
7. One another is used in speaking of more than two persons or things.
• I don’t know who has done it.
• This is a problem that/which I can’t solve.
• Neither of the two sisters was invited to the party.
• Either of these two roads leads to the railway station.
• She was taller than any (not either) of her four sisters.
• When the two sisters parted they embraced each other.
• All men should love one another.

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