Section 1.2

Pronouns

A pronoun usually refers back to or replaces a noun or another pronoun. In the following sentence, for instance, the pronoun it refers back to the noun report.

Rochelle gave the report to Joe, who read it during our lunch break.

The word report is called the antecedent for it. You can think of the pronoun in part as a tool for convenience; after all, without it we would have to write:

Rochelle gave the report to Joe, who read the report during our lunch break.

Pronouns don’t always act as surrogates for other words, however. If you think of pronouns as vague versions of nouns, that may help you recognize them. Listed here are some common pronouns:

I we you
they he which
it these those
some each everyone
who anybody one
whom neither that