Defining pronouns in English

Defining pronouns

The defining pronouns are: all, each, every, everybody, everyone, everything, either, both, other, another.

The pronoun all is used before countable plural nouns or uncountable nouns; both (both) — before countable nouns:

  • All pupils are present
  • All snow melted
  • Both friends have bicycles

All is a generalizing pronoun, it takes a group of things or people as a whole.

Use of defining pronouns

All may be used as subject, predicative, object, and attribute.

  • … when all is said and done… (London) (SUBJECT) He just loved me, that is all (PREDICATIVE)
  • And Martin forgot all about it. (OBJECT)
  • … if all the doors are closed… (ATTRIBUTE)

Both points out two people, things or notions mentioned before.

  • “But there is more to be said,” he continued, after a pause painful to both
  • You can study French, or you can study German, or cut them both out and study Esperanto…

The following constructions are used with the pronoun both:

  • both friends
  • both the friends
  • both of the friends
  • both of them

Similar in meaning to both is the pronoun either (one of the two, each of the two):

  • I saw either side of the river

Like both, the pronoun either can be used independently:

  • There are two computers. Both are working
  • You can work on either

The pronoun both may be used as subject, object, and attribute.

  • Both seemed to implore something to shelter them from reality (SUBJECT)
  • The light, admitted by windows at both ends, was unfortunately not Chinese (ATTRIBUTE)

When preceded by a preposition both may be used as a prepositional indirect object.

  • He invariably paid the way for both, and it was through him that Martin learned the refinement of food

Each and every refer to all the members of the group of people, things, or notions mentioned before and taken one by one. When used as subject, each etc. require a verb in the singular. Each may be used as subject, object, and attribute.

  • The train coming in a minute later, the two brothers parted and entered their respective compartments. Each felt aggrieved that the other had not modified his habits to secure his society a little longer (SUBJECT)
  • He paid a dollar each (OBJECT)
  • It (a blackbird) started singing as I looked out of the window, end­ing each phrase abruptly as if out of breath, a curiously amateur effect (ATTRIBUTE)

When preceded by a preposition each may be used as a prepositional indirect object:

  • They began to deal swiftly with the cocoa tins, slipping a stick of dynamite in each

Every is used only as an attribute:

  • This is something more than genius. It is true, every line of it

Everybody, everyone refer to all the members of the group of people mentioned before or taken one by one.

The pronouns everybody, everyone have two cases: the common case and the genitive case.

The common case may be used as subject and object.

  • You walked into the waiting-room, into a great buzz of conversa­tion, and there was everybody; you knew almost everybody. (SUBJECT, OBJECT)

The genitive case of the pronouns everyone and everybody is used as an attribute.

  • … he almost forgot the nearly intolerable discomfort of his new clothes in the entirely intolerable discomfort of being set up as a target for everybody’s gaze and everybody’s laudations

When preceded by a preposition everyone and everybody may be used as a prepositional indirect object.

  • How know? And without knowing how give such pain to every­one

There is a tendency in Modem English to use they and their after the pronouns every, everybody and everyone.

  • Everyone thinks they have the answer.
  • Every student has to hand in their paper today.

In formal English, the tendency has been to use he and his in such cases.

Everything may be applied to things, animals and abstract notions. In the sentence it is used as subject, predicative, and object.

  • No one will see us. Pull down that veil and everything will be all right (SUBJECT)
  • Of course, class is everything, really (PREDICA­TIVE)
  • He was not long in assuming that Brissenden knew everything (OBJECT)

Either has two meanings: (a) each of the two, (b) one or the other.

  • The trail wasn’t three feet wide on the crest, and on either side the ridge fell away in precipices hundreds of feet deep
  • Then he remembered the underwriters and the owners, the two masters a captain must serve, either of which could and would break him and whose interests were diametrically opposed

Each and every are used before a singular noun, they are similar in meaning, but every is not used together with the preposition of. Each is translated as “each in particular”, every – “each (all)”:

  • Each of you can solve this problem
  • Every pupil watched the film
  • Each pupil watched the film

The pronouns other and another are used with singular nouns (the other day, another day) and as plural nouns:

  • The others are busy

Each other та one another перекладаються як «один одного», але one another вживається, коли йдеться більше ніж про 2-х осіб/ 2 предмети.

Each other and one another are translated as “one another”, but one another is used when more than 2 persons/2 objects are involved.

  • We send each other/one another Christmas cards

Other, another. Other denotes some object different from the one mentioned before.

Other has two numbers: singular — other; plural — others. It has two cases: the common case and the genitive case (other’s, others’).

  • He walked at the other’s heels with a swing to his shoulders and his legs spread unwittingly…

In the sentence it is used as subject, object, and attribute.

  • After tea the others went off to bathe… (SUB­JECT)
  • When he brought his suitcase down into the hall, Isabel left the others and went over to him (OBJECT)
  • But the circumstance was sufficient to lead him to select Tess in preference to the other pretty milkmaids (ATTRIBUTE)

When preceded by a preposition it may be used as a prepositional indirect object:

  • You are not fair to the others

Another has two meanings: (1) ‘a different one’, (2) ‘an additional one’.

  • He has learnt sheep-farming at another place, and he’s now mastering dairy work
  • Yes, thought Soames, another year of London and that sort of life, and she’ll be spoiled

Another may be used as subject, object, and attribute.

  • The lantern hanging at her wagon had gone out but another was shining in her face much brighter than her own had been (SUBJECT)
  • Often among the women he met, he would see now one, now another, looking at him, appraising him, selecting him (OBJECT)
  • Now I won’t say another word. I am overwhelmed, crushed (ATTRIBUTE)


Video (uk) – Означальні займенники в англійській мові– Defining Pronouns



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