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GRAMMARWAY 1-4

Can You Use All 8 Types Of Pronouns?

We talk a lot about pronouns today, especially she/hers, he/him, and of course the age-old palaver over the singular they. But, if you’re really going to dig into your pronouns, shouldn’t you know all the types that are out there? We’re here to help. Certain types of pronouns closely relate to one another, and many words can function as multiple different types of pronouns, depending how they’re used.

 

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns take the place of people or things. They can be either singular or plural, depending whether they refer to one or multiple nouns. Examples include I, me, we, and us.

Personal pronouns are usually either the subject of a sentence or an object within a sentence. Each personal pronoun has different forms depending on its function. For example, if a writer is referring to himself, he should use I if he’s the subject of a sentence, as in “I saw the dog.” If he’s the object, he should use me, as in “The dog saw me.”

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns are personal pronouns that also indicate possession of something. They have singular forms (like my), and plural forms (like our). These pronouns often appear before the possessed item, but not always. For example, both “my car” and “the car is mine” both indicate who owns the car.

Reflexive pronouns

When a subject performs an action on itself, the sentence uses a reflexive pronoun after the verb. Reflexive pronouns include myself, himselfthemselves, and herself. An example of a reflexive pronoun is the common expression “I kicked myself.”

Reciprocal pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns are similar to reflexive pronouns, but they involve groups of two or more that perform the same action with one another. There are only two reciprocal pronouns: each other (for groups of two) and one another (for larger groups).

Relative pronouns

A relative pronoun starts a clause (a group of words that refer to a noun). Who, that, and which are all relative pronouns. They can also serve as other types of pronouns, depending on the sentence. For example, in “I saw the dog that you own,” the relative pronoun that is the beginning of the clause that you own, which describes the dog.

 

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns point out or modify a person or thing. There are four demonstrative pronouns: this and that (for singular words), and these and those (for plural words).

Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns begin questions. For example, in “Who are you?”, the interrogative pronoun who starts the question. There are five interrogative pronouns: who, whom, and whose (for questions that involve people), and which and what (for questions that involve things).

Indefinite pronouns

Like personal pronouns, indefinite pronouns refer to people or things, but they don’t have a specific person or thing to reference. Examples of indefinite pronouns include some, anyone, and everything.

 

Advice vs. Advise

 

Why are advice and advise so similar?

It’s no wonder that advice and advise are often confused; they are used in similar contexts and are separated by just one letter. But, that letter signals important distinctions to keep in mind when using the terms. So, what are the differences between the two?

What are the differences between advise and advice?

Advise is a verb meaning “to give counsel to; offer an opinion or suggestion as worth following.”

Advice is a noun meaning “an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct, etc.”

The -ice ending of advice is pronounced like “ice,” while the -ise ending of advise is pronounced like the “-ize” in realize.

Some of the confusion surrounding these terms may be attributable to the subtle spelling differences, particularly when it comes to the use of the letter C versus the letter S (between British and American English).

 

  • For instance, in British English, the words practice and practise are different parts of speech (noun and verb, respectively).
  • Meanwhile, in American English, the word practice doubles as both a noun and a verb.
  • While the absence of a second spelling might lead you to believe American English prefers the -ce ending, English speakers in the United States use defense and offense where the British use defence and offence. That’s confusing!

How do you use advise and advice in a sentence?

Thankfully, regardless of the variety of English you’re dealing with, advice is always a noun and advise is always a verb.

If you have trouble remembering the difference between the two, it might help to keep in mind that advice and advise operate much like device and devise. You devise a plan, but to do so, you might use a device. Similarly, if you advise a friend, you are giving her a piece of advice.