Most of us already know how to use pronouns and don’t have any problems writing other than the occasional spelling mistake or the lack of creative words, but some people have a difficult time. Grammar is not very interesting, yes I understand that, but it is what I was hired to write about so bear with me and the dry lesson. I’ll try to spice it up with interesting examples.
Last week I wrote about first person singular pronouns which are I and me, but there are other pronoun forms to use when writing so that you don’t always have to use proper names (Jim, Carol, the White House). Other first person singular pronouns are my and mine.
The pronouns my and mine are possessive pronouns.
Example: My scull is on fire. Will someone please dip my head in water before Hannibal Lecter brings his fork over.
Example: That kidney is mine (in case you couldn’t tell because it is in my torso and not meant for a Christmas gift exchange).
In both of these examples the pronouns are showing that I possess the object. Using these pronouns not only show possession, they also help you stay away from repetitive proper nouns.
There are other first person pronouns that you can use, these are first person plural pronouns: we, us, our, ours. We is always the subject of the sentence, where as us is always the object. This is the same concept as last week with I (subject) and me (object). First person plural pronouns are used when you are not the only person involved.
Example: We are going get Botox until we can no longer smile.
Example: The doctor assured us patients that leg amputation was normal when performing laser hair removal. Somehow I think he is wrong.
Our and ours show possession in the same way that my and mine did.
Example: Our cell phones are not permanently attached to our heads; Cindy is just having a melt down because she lost her texting privileges.
Example: Those 80 gig MP3 players are ours; our parents didn’t buy us two a piece for you to steal them.
(This example is not very good at all, but I couldn’t think of another teenage example reveling the ridiculousness of children and technology.)
Pronouns are also useful when speaking in second person. Second person singular and plural pronouns are: you, you, your, yours. Singular and plural forms of these pronouns are the same.
Subject Example: You are such a terrible singer that even Paula on American Idol would give you a thumbs down.
Object Example: American Idol would not allow you on the show because not only can you not sing well, you also cannot get up in front of people.
Possessive with noun: Your lobster is running away with my spoon. They are going to elope.
Possessive without a noun: That jacket is obviously yours because I would never wear a plaid velvet parka with fringe on the collar.
As you can probably now see, pronouns replace nouns which helps your writing. We have looked at first person plural and second person pronouns. Hopefully you’ve learned something, or had a mild laugh at the examples. Next week I will go over third person pronouns with more examples to break up the exciting English language.