How to Use Pronouns

Learn how to use pronouns properly from Gotham Writers' Workshop instructor Stephanie Paterik in this Howcast grammar video.

Transcript

I would like to talk to you about how to use pronouns.

To start we need to understand what a pronouns is. The short answer to that is that a pronoun stand in for a noun. They follow under three categories, there's the personal pronoun, the possessive and the reflexive. To give you an example of each let's say my name is Stephanie, my personal pronoun would be I my possessive pronoun would be mine and my reflexive pronoun would be myself. And just so you know reflexive basically means like a mirror. So in a sentence reflexive pronoun like myself would reflect off another noun or pronoun that means the same thing. To give you more examples personal pronoun might be you , your, and yourself. As you can see people have pronouns but things have pronouns as well and that would be it. Like Central Park in New York City you would refer to as an it. So in the spring Central Park has beautiful flowers or it has beautiful flowers. One word of warning about using pronouns is that sometimes you can have what we call pronoun confusion in your writing. If you use too many pronouns the reader might have a hard time understanding who you are referring to. Let me give you an example.

You might see a sentence that says he bought an ice cream cone for him. In this sentence we have two pronouns he and him but it is not quite clear who he and him are? This happens a lot for writers we might introduce characters at the beginning of the chapter for a sentence and then go on to refer to them only by pronouns and our readers get confused on what are characters are doing.

So in this case you can clarify by getting rid of the pronouns and actually using the nouns. Like you might say Kyle bought an ice cream cone for his brother. Much clearer sentence now we can visualize who the characters are. One more note about pronouns they reason we use them is because they can, they can help our sentences be much more interesting. It can be cumbersome to constantly refer to people by their name or by their proper nouns. �� I have a friend who is a doctor in New Zealand and he said they tend to not us pronouns very much.

And so, when he's taking in a patient the nurse might say to the patient Matt is going to take blood pressure and Matt is going to give you some oxygen and Matt is going to leave the room and Matt is going to come back in an hour and see how you 're doing. You can see how that sentence becomes incredibly clunky. And that is why pronouns can really be our friend. They can make our sentences much more smooth , much more readable. This is a primer who to use pronouns in your writing.

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