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A pronoun (/prəʊnaʊn/) is a word which substitutes a more precise noun or noun phrase.

In English we often use pronouns when it is not necessary to repeat or use the more exact phrase. This avoids unnecessary repetition.

Examples include she, us, their or yourself.

Pronouns can be classified into different types; personal pronouns and indefinite pronouns

A key feature of English pronouns is that they do not take determiners.

When a person who is being spoken about is present at the time of speaking, it is considered more polite to use the name or noun phrase rather than a pronoun.[1] Indeed, failure to do may result in some offence being taken by the individual referred to as they may feel they are being ignored in some way, or treated disrespectfully.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-19-431197-X