Intensive Pronouns | Examples, Definition & List

An intensive pronoun (sometimes called an emphatic pronoun) is a word that’s used to place special emphasis on another noun or pronoun (e.g. “the man himself”). It can indicate something special or unexpected or distinguish the person or thing in question from others.

In English, intensive pronouns are identical to reflexive pronouns—both always end in -self or -selves—but their grammatical functions are different. There are intensive forms of all the personal pronouns and of the impersonal pronoun “one.”

Intensive pronouns
First-person Singular I myself had no involvement in the project.
Plural We ought to handle it ourselves.
Second-person Singular Have you forgotten? You yourself told me that last week!
Plural Well, if nobody wants my help, you can do it yourselves.




Masculine singular I told the student to try fixing the error himself before asking me for help.
Feminine singular The president herself attended a performance of the play.
Neuter / inanimate singular The building itself is a beautiful sight to behold.
Gender-neutral singular (epicene) The principal themself is not responsible for setting the curriculum.
Plural My parents homeschooled me themselves.
Impersonal One ought to handle problems oneself when possible, rather than relying on others.

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Reflexive Pronouns | Examples, Definition & List

A reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that’s used in the object position when the subject and object of the sentence are the same (i.e., to show someone acting on themselves). For example, “himself” is a reflexive pronoun in the sentence “He hurt himself while cooking.”

Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves depending on whether they’re singular or plural. Each of the personal pronouns, along with the impersonal pronoun “one,” has a reflexive form. They are listed in the table below.

Reflexive pronouns
First-person Singular I am teaching myself how to play the piano.
Plural We can entertain ourselves.
Second-person Singular Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Plural Dust yourselves off and get back to work.



Masculine singular John talks to himself sometimes.
Feminine singular She was proud of herself for finishing the marathon.
Neuter / inanimate singular My cat’s litter box cleans itself.
Gender-neutral singular (epicene) Makoto taught themself to read at a young age.
Plural They blamed themselves for what happened.
Impersonal It is important to trust oneself and rely on one’s own judgment.

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Indefinite Pronouns | Definition, Examples & List

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that are used to refer to someone or something in a general way, without being specific about whom or what you’re referring to.

The main group of indefinite pronouns is formed by various combinations of no-, any-, some-, and every- with -thing, -one, and -body (e.g., “anything”). The same prefixes combined with -where form indefinite adverbs (e.g., “somewhere”), which work similarly but are not technically pronouns.

There are also other indefinite pronouns that aren’t formed in this way, such as “many” and “little.”

Indefinite pronouns and adverbs
-one and -body refer to people. -thing refers to things. -where (or occasionally -place) refers to places.
every- indicates all of something or some group. Tell everyone I said hi!

Everybody else is here already.

Everything looks brighter after a good night’s sleep. Humans can be found just about everywhere on earth.
any- indicates a wide or infinite range of possibilities. It’s also used in negative statements to mean the opposite. Who’s that knocking at the door? It could be anybody!

I don’t think anyone is interested.

You can do anything you set your mind to. I’ve never visited anywhere like that.
some- normally indicates one person or thing. I’m sure somebody will help us out.

Someone told me you like to play chess.

I get bored if I don’t have something to do. I want to find somewhere nice to go on holiday this summer.
no- indicates absence. Nobody wants to go to the party anymore.

No one knows what the future may hold.

There’s nothing better than a good meal. My keys were nowhere to be found.

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Possessive Pronouns | Examples, Definition & List

Possessive pronouns are pronouns that are used to indicate the ownership (possession) of something or someone by something or someone else. The English possessive pronouns are mine, ours, yours, his, hers, theirs, and whose.

Possessive pronouns are closely related to possessive determiners, which are used differently since they appear before a noun instead of replacing it. The possessive determiners are my, our, your, his, her, its, their, and whose.

Possessive pronouns and determiners
Possessive pronouns Possessive determiners
I don’t think this one is mine. This is my dog, Fido.
Do you know which table is ours? At our house, we have some special Christmas traditions.
Yours is the nicest living room I’ve ever been in. I’d love to get your feedback.
Those books are his. I don’t know; I’ve never met his family.
The problem is hers to deal with; I’m not getting involved. What are her hobbies?
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is best remembered for its final movement.
You haven’t had real chocolate until you’ve tried theirs. If they want to get worked up about it, that’s their prerogative.
Whose are these papers? The house, whose windows were still open, had been abandoned weeks ago.
Its can technically be used as a possessive pronoun (i.e., standing on its own in a statement like “the toys are its”), but this usage is very rare in modern English and best avoided if you want your writing to read smoothly. Its is normally only used as a possessive determiner (e.g., “its toys”).

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Subject & Object Pronouns | Definition & Examples

Subject and object pronouns are two different kinds of pronouns (words that replace nouns) that play different grammatical roles in sentences:

  • A subject pronoun (I, we, he, she, they, or who) refers to the person or thing that performs an action. It normally appears at the start of a sentence, before the verb.
  • An object pronoun (me, us, him, her, them, or whom) refers to the person or thing affected by an action. It normally comes after a verb or preposition.
  • All other pronouns (e.g., “you,” “it,” “this,” “one,” “what”) and nouns (e.g., “dog”) have only one form, which is used for both cases.
Examples of subject and object pronouns
Subject pronouns Object pronouns
I go to the library regularly. Jana told me about it.
We haven’t met before. There’s a letter thanking us for our hospitality.
You should visit Paris. Everyone’s waiting for you outside.
He said that John would handle it. Don’t tell him; it’s a surprise!
She has applied for several jobs. Lots of people admire her.
It looks like a tiger. Somebody ought to look into it.
They are arriving tomorrow. Let’s stick them up on the fridge.
Who wants to go first? Whom are you looking for?
The only pronouns with different subject and object forms are the personal pronouns (except for “you” and “it”) and the relative or interrogative pronouns who and whom. With other pronouns (and nouns), you don’t need to worry about case.

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Interrogative Pronouns | Definition, Examples & List

Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that are used to ask questions. The main English interrogative pronouns are what, which, who, whom, and whose.

An interrogative pronoun normally appears at the start of a question, but it may instead appear in the middle or at the end, depending on the phrasing. A question can also include more than one interrogative pronoun.

Like other pronouns, interrogative pronouns are said to have an antecedent. This is the noun or noun phrase that they stand for. The antecedent of an interrogative pronoun is the answer to the question.

Pronoun Asks about … Question Answer
Interrogative pronouns
What An animal or thing from a large or unspecified number of options What is the country with the highest proportion of vegetarians? India is the country with the highest proportion of vegetarians.
Which An animal or thing from a limited number of options Which is your favorite flavor, vanilla or strawberry? Strawberry is my favorite flavor.
Who A person who is the subject of the sentence (person performing an action) Who made this mess? Danny made this mess.
Whom A person who is the object of the sentence (person acted upon) To whom did you speak? I spoke to Jennifer.
Whose The owner of something (possessive pronoun) Whose is that handbag? That handbag is Natalie’s.

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Relative Pronouns | Definition, List & Examples

A relative pronoun is a pronoun that’s used to introduce a relative clause. The main English relative pronouns are which, that, who, and whom. These words can also function as other parts of speech—they aren’t exclusively used as relative pronouns.

A relative clause introduces further information about the preceding noun or noun phrase, either helping to identify what it refers to (in a restrictive clause) or just providing extra details (in a nonrestrictive clause).

The relative clause comes after a noun or noun phrase (called the antecedent) and gives some additional information about the thing or person in question. The relative pronoun represents the antecedent.

Pronoun Usage Example
  • Refers to things
  • Used in nonrestrictive clauses
My bike, which I’ve owned for three years, is in need of some maintenance.
  • Refers to things
  • Used in restrictive clauses
The last bike that I owned wasn’t very resilient.
Who The man who lives next door to me is called Jamil.
Whom I don’t know the names of my other neighbors, whom I’ve never met.

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Demonstrative Pronouns | Definition, List & Examples

The four English demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these, and those. They are used to highlight something that was previously mentioned or that is clear from the context.

Demonstrative pronouns “demonstrate” something; using them is the verbal equivalent of pointing at something or someone. They draw attention to the thing or person you’re referring to.

Demonstrative pronouns indicate number (singular or plural) and the relative distance of the thing being referred to.

Examples of the demonstrative pronouns
Near (proximal) Far (distal)
Singular This is my friend Jamie. I don’t know about that. Let’s discuss it tomorrow.
Plural I like all kinds of chocolates, but these are my favorites. Those are my notebooks on the desk.

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How to End an Email | 10 Closing Lines & Sign-Offs

Sending good emails is an essential professional skill. In addition to knowing how to start an email, you should understand how to end one, with an engaging closing line, an appropriate sign-off, and a proper email signature.

Below, we provide you with five strong closing lines and five professional sign-offs to use in your correspondence. We also discuss what information you should include in your signature.

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How to Start an Email | 10 Greetings & Opening Lines

Sending good emails is an important skill in academic and professional contexts. It’s essential to start your emails on the right foot with an appropriate greeting and an engaging opening line.

Below, we explore how to start an email, providing five professional greetings and five strong opening lines that you can use in your correspondence. We also explain the contexts where each one would be an appropriate choice.

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