This is Lesson 10 of our Basic English Series

Parts of Speech 2.1

Pronouns Part 1 – What are Pronouns?

In this lesson, we will start to learn one more part off speech that is closely related to noun. This is called pronouns. What are these?

Before we define pronouns and to understand its importance, let us take a look at the following examples:

Sentences without pronouns
Example 1:
Egypt was the first empire that ruled a vast part of the Earth around 4,000 years ago and Egypt was among the seven world empires that existed in human history.

Example 2:
Solomon was considered by many as among the wisest kings that existed in history, and Solomon was also counted among the wealthiest rulers of the ancient world.

In the above examples, you may have noticed that something seems to be wrong. Let us revise them and see the difference.

Sentences with pronouns
Example 1:
Egypt was the first empire that ruled a vast part of the Earth around 4,000 years ago and she was among the seven world empires that existed in human history.

Example 2:
Solomon was considered by many as among the wisest kings that existed in history, and he was also counted among the wealthiest rulers of the ancient world.

Looking at the above example 1, Egypt was the noun and was used twice in the sentence. In the second set of examples, the second usage of Egypt was replaced instead with the pronoun she.

On example 2, The noun was Solomon but the second usage in the sentence was replaced with the pronoun he instead.


With the above examples, will you be able to come up with a definition for pronouns? Here is a brief one.

Pronouns are words that are used in place of nouns, and as mentioned in the preceding lesson these are words that we use to substitute nouns when writing in, and speaking, the English Language.

The noun for which a pronoun stands is call its antecedent. In the above example 1, the pronoun she took the place of antecedent Egypt. In example 2, the pronoun he took the place of the antecedent Solomon.

Here are some examples of commonly used nouns.

As we saw on the examples and some of the common pronouns that we use and hear from everyday conversation, the topic on pronouns is simple and easy to understand. But again, just bear in mind the important word that is associated with pronouns – antecedent. This is where errors occur among non-native speakers of English in both writing and speaking. We will cover these in the next lessons. To begin with, let us first consider the different types of pronouns.

Let us move on to the next lesson.

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