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Using Pronouns as Subjects

The traditional definition of the noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. A noun phrase is a phrase consisting of a noun including a pronoun and any modifiers, complements, or determiners. Pronouns are a subcategory of nouns that take the place of nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, and other forms. Pronouns may be modified including by adjective phrases and verb phrases.

In grammar, a subject is a word, phrase, or clause that performs the action of or acts upon the verb. In addition to nouns, pronouns also perform the grammatical function of subject. Examples of pronouns as subjects include the following:

  • He is my son. (personal pronoun)
  • I have worked in the library for over seven years. (personal pronoun)
  • Nobody claimed the prize. (indefinite pronoun)
  • That is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? (interrogative pronoun)
  • Somebody special sent you flowers. (indefinite pronoun)
  • Someone sad to see the show end called the station to protest the cancellation yesterday. (indefinite pronoun)
  • The blue one is my favorite. (indefinite pronoun)

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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