Grammar: Level 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pronouns

The word “pronoun” comes from the Latin for “in place of.” A pronoun is a word that you use in place of a noun. In other words, pronouns are substitute words.

Here are some examples of pronouns:

How would the English language sound without pronouns? See for yourself:

English with Pronouns English without Pronouns

Sandy came to school today. She was wearing a red dress and her hair was bunched up in a pony tail. Before her first class, she spent a few minutes gossiping with her best friend. Then the bell rang and she ran into class, but her teacher said that she was late and she had to get a pass.

Sandy came to school today. Sandy was wearing a red dress and Sandy's hair was bunched up in a pony tail. Before Sandy's first class, Sandy spent a few minutes gossiping with Sandy's best friend. Then the bell rang and Sandy ran into class, but Sandy's teacher said that Sandy was late and Sandy had to get a pass.


Aren't you glad we have pronouns?

Case

Some pronouns change "case" depending on whether they come at the beginning of a sentence or at the end.

Consider this example:

Both "she" and "her" are pronouns that refer to the exact same thing: in this case, "my neighbor". However, when placed at the beginning of a sentence, we use the form "she", but when placed at the end of a sentence, we use the form "her".

There are many such pronouns:

If you grew up speaking English, you've probably never given these pronouns much thought. You just use whichever form of the word sounds "natural." However, for English learners, pronouns that chance case can be quite challenging. That is why it's not uncommon to hear an English learner say something like this:

Next time you hear an non-native speaker make such a mistake, perhaps you'll have a bit more sympathy for the challenges that English learners face.

Antecedents

What do we call the word for which the pronoun is “substituting”? 

Consider this example:

The word "It" that begins the second sentence is a pronoun. What does it refer to? It refers to the Christmas tree. Therefore, "the Christmas tree" is the antecedent of the pronoun "it".

Instructions for the Quiz

In each sentence, the pronoun is underlined. Your job is to determine the pronoun's antecedent. In other words, choose the "original" word for which the pronoun is substituting.

Example:

In this example, "he" is a pronoun that refers to Bill, so Bill is the antecedent of the pronoun "he."

Quiz