6. The pronouns

All pronouns substitute a noun, but most of them have a second function. In a sentence like "I want this" the demonstrative pronoun this does not only represent something, but points at it as well. There is a difference between 1) "I want this" and 2) "I want it". In 1) there are obviously several similar elements und he points to a specific one. In 2) there is no choice between different elements, there is only one. The reflexive pronouns indicates that the executor of the action described by the verb is as well the goal of this action: My dog hurt itself.

Only the personal pronouns have no second function, they only stand for someone or something. In a sentence like "We bought a car" the we only points to a group of people. The table below shows all the existing type of pronouns.

Furthermore to the possessive and demonstrative pronoun corresponds a possessive and demonstrative adjective.

personal pronoun: Monica goes to school. =>She goes to school.
possessive pronoun / possessive adjective: This is my car. => This is mine.
demonstrative pronoun / demonstrative ajective: I want this bread. => I want this one.
relative pronoun: This is the bread. I baked it yesterday. => This is the bread that I baked yesterday.
reflexive pronoun: Peter shaves himself.


Apart from the personal pronoun, that only stands for someone or something, all the other pronouns have a second function.

- The possessive pronouns indicates to whom something belongs.
- The demonstrative pronouns, see 6.2.3, points to a single element in a group of several elements.
- The relative pronouns indicates which part of the main sentence is specified by the relative clause, see chapter 10.
- The reflexive pronouns indicate the executer of the action described by the verb, in sentences in active voice, the subject is as well the goal of this action.




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