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Pronoun Reference and Indefinite Pronouns 

Grade 5
Aug 27, 2022

A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun to avoid the repetition of noun. 

For example: 

  1. Monica has a pet dog. She loves it a lot. 
  1. David is not well. He won’t be able to make it tonight for the party. 
  1. Richard is my friend. He is a nice guy. 

Pronouns act as body doubles for the nouns. It takes the place of a noun in a sentence.  

One thing to keep in mind is that a pronoun should clearly refer to one clear and unmistakable noun that comes before it.  

Take the sentence: 

  • Take out the book from the bag and throw it away. 

Here, in this sentence, we are not quite sure about which noun the pronoun it refers to. That is, it is unclear whether the speaker is asking to throw away the book or the bag. 

In such scenarios, the only option we have is to alter the sentence a bit so that such confusions can be avoided. 

So here, we can write the sentence as: 

  • Take out the book from the bag and throw the book away. 


  • Throw the book away after taking it out of the bag. 

When there is more than one noun in a sentence, sometimes we tend to confuse the pronoun with which of the nouns it is referring to.  


More examples: 

  • The mother asked the daughter to do her dishes. – Incorrect 

When the daughter finished her food, the mother asked her to do the dishes. – Correct 

  • Martin was speaking to Thomas, and he looked unhappy. – Incorrect 

Martin was speaking to Thomas who looked unhappy. – Correct 

  • After the owners left the cars at the workshop, the mechanics repaired them. – Incorrect 

After the owners left the cars at the workshops, the mechanics repaired the cars. – Correct 

Indefinite Pronouns: 

Pronouns such as one, none, such, many, anybody, everybody, everyone, anyone, few, others, everywhere, somewhere, etc. are used to refer to people or things in general, but they cannot refer to a specific person or thing. They are known as indefinite pronouns. 


  • Someone is knocking at the door. 
  • Did you ask anybody to come? 
  • Some say that the show won’t begin on time. 
  • Many of them wore black suits. 

Here, we do not get an exact number of the particular person/thing that is being talked about. It is simply generalized. That is what an indefinite pronoun does. 

Indefinite Pronoun


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