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Ory's writing notes: The Pronoun Part 2, Types of pronouns and agreements.

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 217

Okay, we've looked at personal pronouns but now let's look at fun things you can do with pronouns (I bet you didn't think you could do cool things with pronouns; I didn't either, but I was wrong.)

Reflective and Intensive pronouns.

A reflective pronoun reflects back to the subject of the sentence. It acts as a direct object, indirect object, or object of the preposition in a sentence.

Example: I gave myself a raise.

An Intensive pronoun a preceding noun.

Example: The king himself beheaded the wizard.

Reflective and intensive use the same pronouns. They are as followed.

Myself: 1st person/singular.

Ourselves: 1st person/Plural.

Yourself: 2nd person/singular.

Yourselves: 2nd person/ Plural.

Himself, Herself, Itself: 3rd person/Singular.

Themselves: 3rd person/Plural.

Thoughts: I feel that Intensive pronouns should be used sparingly in those one or two lines in your story that you really want to put a punch into.

Demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative pronouns point or show. They are as followed.

This: A singular object that is close distance to the speaker.

That: A singular object that is far distance to the speaker.

These: Plural objects that are close distance to the speaker.

Those: Plural objects that are far distance to the speaker.

Note: Never combined This and Here, or Those and There in the sentence. Those and There are implied when using the pronoun.

Thoughts: I never realized that This and That were used in relation to the object's proximity to the speaker until recently.

interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that ask questions. They are as followed.


Example: What did you do with my pizza?


Example: Which of these two pizzas should I order, cheese or sausage?

Who (always the subject of the sentence.)

Example: Who ate my pizza?

Whom (Always the object of the sentence.)

Example: You gave Whom my pizza?

Whose (always a possessive.)

Example: Whose pizza is this?

Relative pronouns.

Relative pronouns show a relationship between two clauses. They join dependent clauses to main clauses (I'll get to clauses much later in this blog.) Relative pronouns share some of the pronouns that are either Interrogative or Demonstrative. What determines if they are Relative or not is how they are used. I'll list the pronouns give examples.

Whom (Refers to a person that is the sentence object)

What is the name of the woman (Main clause) whom you slept (Dependent clause) with?

Who (Refers to a person that is the sentence subject)

Example: Katie is a woman (Main clause) who I slept with (dependent clause).

Whose (Possessive)

Katie, whose got a great body (dependent clause), is the woman I slept with (main clause).

Which (Refers to a Thing and used in a non-restrictive clause. I'll get to clauses later.)

The bed, which is fine silk (dependent clause), is what we slept on (main clause).

That (Refers to a thing and used in a restrictive clause)

Here is the bra (main clause) that you lost (dependent clause).

Indefinite pronouns.

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that are not sure (not really sure what that means, but that is the definition I was given) and here is a whole list of them. They are as followed.

Singular indefinite pronouns: Another, Each, Either, Much, Neither, One, Other, Anybody, Anyone, Anything, Everybody, Everyone, Everything, Nobody, No one, Nothing, Somebody, Someone, Something.

Plural: Both, Few, Many, Others, Several.

Singular or Plural: All, Any, More, Most, None, Some.

  • Indefinite pronouns can be used as adjectives.

  • Two indefinite pronouns can be used as reciprocal pronouns. They are Each Other and One Another. Each other is used to replace two nouns. One Another is used to replace more than two nouns.

Pronoun Agreements.

  • A pronoun much match and agree with its number, person, and gender of its antecedent (the noun it is replacing.) The Antecedent always comes before the pronoun.
  • If two nouns are joined by the conjunction And, use a plural pronoun. If two nouns are joined by the conjunction Or or Nor use a pronoun that matches the last noun.
  • If you don't know the sex of the noun use His or Her, He or She. Only use Their if the Antecedent is plural.
  • Sometimes a phrase will be placed between the antecedent and the pronoun. (We will get to phrases later.)
  • Sometimes who the pronoun is unclear. If the antecedent is unclear, use a noun instead of a pronoun. Example: Jess and Brit were there. She is hot. (incorrect, it is unclear who was hot.) Jess and Brit were there. Brit is hot.
  • Don't shift from 1st or 3rd into 2nd by mistake. Note: A direct reference to a person is not an antecedent. Bob, you go to the store. (You is the Antecedent, not Bob.)
  • Collective nouns (look at my nouns post) can be tricky. If the collective is working as a whole, the pronoun is singular. If the collective noun are working as individuals, the pronoun is plural. (I won't lie. I have the hardest time with this one.)
  • For indefinite pronouns you must pay attention to what number they fall into. Singular indefinite pronouns must be pared with singular pronouns. Plural indefinite pronouns much be pared with plural pronouns. For one that can either be singular or plural you need to look at the object of the prepositional phrase to determine if it is plural or singular (I will get to prepositional phrases later).

Here end my notes on the pronoun. Continuing my quest to be able to create imagery through beautifully crafted sentences I will give an example of good pronoun use. One of the major critiques people have had for my sex scenes is that they are too pornographic. While there is a number of reasons for this, one of the pieces of advice I gained was to use pronouns in place of clinical terms (not that clinical terms are bad and never should be used. It is all about balance.)

So here is my examples (maybe not the best, but I'm getting there.)

"He traced my stomach with his hand then he put himself inside of me. 'He feels great.' I wrapped my arms around his back and pulled down; our skin rubbed against each other and we laughed."

The above example is how I plan on using pronouns for such scene (though as I get better I will add more to it.) There are two effects I am aiming for with this. First, the above example is not pornographic. (At least not to me it isn't.) Second, notice at the end I use pronouns that reference them together. They have become 'one' is this act and I use plural pronouns to reflect this.

One final note on pronouns, DO NOT OVERUSE 1ST PERSON PRONOUNS (I,me) the reason is that overusing them can make the reader feel excluded instead of including them in the story.

As I continue on my journey to learn Grammar and apply it to creating imagery, I will return to this sentence and see how I can make this better. Next we will look at a basic sentence.
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