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What is a Pronoun? Definitions, Examples, and Comprehensive List

A pronoun is a part of speech (POS), and parts of speech are incredibly important in writing. Each part of speech fulfills a purpose in a sentence, and not all parts of speech are created equal. Some parts of speech make our writing stronger while others make it weaker. So we must be careful using them.  

In this blog post, we will discuss the definition of a pronoun, provide examples, and list them so that you can start using them in your own writing.

So, what exactly is an pronoun? Let's find out!

Pronouns Definition

A pronoun is a content word that replaces a noun. We use pronouns when we've already used a noun prior in the text and don't want to repeat it. To write well, we must create variety and avoid repeating the same words unnecessarily. Pronouns help us achieve these two goals. 

Pronouns are words that function as a noun or refer to a noun in a sentence. In simpler terms, pronouns stand in for other nouns. For example, the word "I" is a pronoun that stands in for the speaker. Pronouns can also stand in for groups of people or things.

Because they replace them, pronouns play the same role as nouns in a sentence. In other words, they too refer to a person or an object. Pronouns identify the characters in the story told by the sentence. Pronouns often precede verbs, which tell the action in the sentence. 

There are many different types of pronouns, each with its own function and purpose:

  • Personal pronouns represent people (subject, object, or otherwise)
  • Demonstrative pronouns represent nouns and their position
  • Interrogative pronouns help formulate questions
  • Indefinite pronouns represent people without saying exactly who they are
  • Possessive pronouns show something that belongs to someone

This blog post will tell you all about pronouns and provide you with a definition, examples, as well as a comprehensive list of pronouns you can use for your next writing project. So, what exactly is a pronoun? Let's find out!

Why Are Pronouns Important to Understand?

Pronouns matter because they help create more variety in our writing and avoid repetition. If we didn't have pronouns, we would have to repeat nouns more often, and it would make our writing weaker and less engaging. For example, take the following sentences:


One evening, Léandre went to a Soviet-style bar with Léandre’s friends to have a few drinks. About an hour after getting in, Léandre stroke a conversation with a foreign businessman visiting Toronto. Léandre asked the businessman what the businessman did for a living and if the businessman liked it. The businessman said the businessman was a salesman for a software company and that the businessman enjoyed it.


As you see, the repetition of the words "Léandre" and "businessman" weaken the writing and make the passage difficult to read. However, if we add pronouns, we have a very different result:


One evening, Léandre went to a Soviet-style bar with his friends to have a few drinks. About an hour after getting in, he stroke a conversation with a foreign businessman visiting Toronto. Léandre asked the businessman what he did for a living and if he liked it. The businessman said he was a salesman for a software company and that he enjoyed it.


We can also use pronouns to hide a person’s identity. If we wish to write a piece in which the person’s identity is concealed, we can use pronouns to avoid divulging their name. 

Pronouns Examples

Here are some pronouns examples based on the different categories:

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns represent people (subject, object, or otherwise).

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns are pronouns that act as the subject of a sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that is doing the verb. In other words, if the sentence were a story, the subject would be the main character.

For example, ‘‘Léandre bought the penthouse.’’ becomes ‘‘I bought the penthouse.’’ In this sentence, "I" is the subject pronoun. Other subject pronouns include "you," "he," "she," "it," "we," and "they."

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 11.00.30 PMThe following pronouns are classified as subject pronouns:

  • I
  • You
  • He/She/It
  • We
  • You
  • They

Object Pronouns

Object pronouns are pronouns that act as the object of a sentence. The object is the noun or pronoun that is being acted upon by the verb. In other words, if the sentence were a story, the object would be the secondary character. 

For example, ‘‘Léandre bought the penthouse.’’ becomes ‘‘Léandre bought it.’’ In this sentence, ‘‘it’’ is the object pronoun. Other object pronouns include ‘‘you,’’ ‘‘him,’’ ‘‘her,’’ ‘‘it,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘them.’’

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 11.05.40 PMObject Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as object pronouns:

  • Me
  • You
  • Him
  • Her
  • It
  • Us
  • Them

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are pronouns that show ownership. For example, "That penthouse is his." In this sentence, ‘‘his’’ is a possessive pronoun. Other possessive pronouns include ‘‘yours,’’ ‘‘his,’’ ‘‘hers,’’ ‘‘its,’’ ‘‘ours,’’ and ‘‘theirs.’’

Possessive Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as possessive pronouns:

  • Mine
  • Yours
  • His
  • Hers
  • Its
  • Ours
  • Theirs

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are pronouns that reflect back to the subject. Reflexive pronouns end in ‘‘-self" or ‘‘-selves.’’ For example, ‘‘I did it myself.’’ In this sentence, ‘‘myself’’ is a reflexive pronoun. Other reflexive pronouns include ‘‘yourself,’’ ‘‘himself,’’ ‘‘herself,’’ ‘‘itself,’’ ‘‘ourselves.’’

Reflexive Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as reflexive pronouns:

  • Myself
  • Yourself
  • Himself
  • Herself
  • Itself
  • Ourselves

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns point to specific people or objects. Often times, nouns such as “man” or “woman” refer to multiple people. Demonstrative pronouns clarify which people or objects we are talking about.

If a sentence were a story in which nouns are characters, demonstrative pronouns would put the camera focus in front of one or many specific characters. For example, in the sentence, "Léandre bought this penthouse.’’ we are talking about a very specific penthouse.

The nuance, however, is that the demonstrative pronoun “this” implies proximity to the speaker. On the other end, the demonstrative pronoun “that” implies distance from the speaker. The same goes for the plural “these” and “those,” which refer to more than one person or object and respectively show proximity and distance.  

Demonstrative Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as demonstrative pronouns:

  • This (for one person or object close to speaker)
  • That (for one person or object far from the speaker)
  • These (for more than one person or object close to the speaker)
  • Those (for more than one person or object far from the speaker)

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that are used to ask questions. In many cases, they begin interrogative questions. The most common interrogative pronouns are “who,” “what,” and “which.” If the sentence were a story, the interrogative pronoun would be the hidden character we are looking for.

Interrogative Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as interrogative pronouns:

  • Who (used for the subject)
  • Whom (used for the object)
  • Whose
  • What
  • Which

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns do not refer to a specific person, thing, or amount. They give an idea of which nouns we are talking about, often in a numeral sense (as with “none” and “all”). Numerically, indefinite pronouns give us a vague idea of how many people or object there are.

Indefinite Pronouns List

The following pronouns are classified as indefinite pronouns:

  • None
  • Several
  • All
  • Few
  • Anything

Pronouns List (100+)

Here is a complete list of over 100 pronouns in the English language:

  • all
  • another
  • any
  • anybody
  • anyone
  • anything
  • aught
  • both
  • each
  • each other
  • either
  • enough
  • everybody
  • everyone
  • everything
  • few
  • he
  • her
  • hers
  • herself
  • him
  • himself
  • his
  • I
  • idem
  • it
  • its
  • itself
  • many
  • me
  • mine
  • most
  • my
  • myself
  • naught
  • neither
  • no one
  • nobody
  • none
  • nothing
  • one
  • one another
  • other
  • others
  • ought
  • our
  • ours
  • ourself
  • ourselves
  • several
  • she
  • some
  • somebody
  • someone
  • something
  • somewhat
  • such
  • suchlike
  • that
  • thee
  • their
  • theirs
  • theirself
  • theirselves
  • them
  • themself
  • themselves
  • there
  • these
  • they
  • thine
  • this
  • those
  • us
  • we
  • what
  • whatever
  • whatnot
  • who
  • which
  • whoever
  • whom
  • whomever
  • whomso
  • whomsoever
  • whose
  • whosever
  • whosesoever
  • whoso
  • whosoever
  • you
  • your
  • yours
  • yourself
  • yourselves

The Architecture of Grammar