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Pronouns are words that are used in place of nouns in a sentence. The noun being replaced is known as the antecedent of the pronoun.
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in English, the part of speechpart of speech,
in traditional English grammar, any one of about eight major classes of words, based on the parts of speech of ancient Greek and Latin. The parts of speech are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, interjection, preposition, conjunction, and pronoun.
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 used as a substitute for an antecedent noun that is clearly understood, and with which it agrees in person, numbernumber,
entity describing the magnitude or position of a mathematical object or extensions of these concepts. The Natural Numbers

Cardinal numbers describe the size of a collection of objects; two such collections have the same (cardinal) number of objects if their
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, and gendergender
[Lat. genus=kind], in grammar, subclassification of nouns or nounlike words in which the members of the subclass have characteristic features of agreement with other words. The term gender is not usually considered to include the classification of number.
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. In English the pronouns are classified as personal (I, we, you, thou, he, she, it, they), demonstrative (this, these, that, those), relative (who, which, that, as), indefinite (e.g., each, all, everyone, either, one, both, any, such, somebody), interrogative (who, which, what), possessive, sometimes termed possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, our, their), and reflexive (e.g., myself, herself). The casecase,
in language, one of the several possible forms of a given noun, pronoun, or adjective that indicates its grammatical function (see inflection); in inflected languages it is usually indicated by a series of suffixes attached to a stem, as in Latin amicus,
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 of the pronoun depends upon its function in the sentence structure.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a word that indicates an object or person without distinguishing any fixed characteristics of the object or person. The same pronoun may refer to any number of diverse objects and persons.

The most important pronouns refer to a speech situation or to an utterance itself: the first- and second-person pronouns (”I,” “we,” “you”) and their corresponding possessives, which refer to the speaker; deictic, or demonstrative, pronouns (”this,” “that”), which refer to a pointing gesture or sometimes only to an implied gesture by the speaker; and anaphoric pronouns (”he,” “she,” “it,” “they”), which refer to the preceding part of an utterance. In most languages, the same pronoun may be both deictic and anaphoric.

Reflexive pronouns (such as “myself,” “yourself,” “my own,” “your own”) indicate the identity of the object with the subject [”He hurt himself] or the reference of a given clause to the subject [”They have their own ideas”].

Relative pronouns (such as “which,” “who”) in a narrative sentence have an anaphoric function and also express the hypo-taxis of the subordinate to the main clause. Relative pronouns also include reciprocal pronouns (”each other,” “one another”).

Other words designating undefined objects or persons are also usually classed as pronouns; such words include indefinite pro-nouns (”someone,” “something”), negative pronouns (”nobody” and “nothing”), collective pronouns (”all”), intensive pronouns (”the very,” “another”), determinative pronouns (”each,” “any”), generic pronouns (German man, “one”), and interrogative pronouns (”who,” “what”).

The class of pronouns lacks grammatical and lexicosemantic unity but is traditionally studied separately in grammar, usually as a part of speech. The pronoun is the nucleus of the grammatical system of the noun \imia; in Russian linguistics, the general term for substantives, adjectives, and numerals]. As a rule, pro-nouns have all the grammatical categories of a noun \imia\, except for degrees of comparison. The pronoun or semantically equivalent elements exist in all languages.


Maitinskaia, K. E. Mestoimeniia v iazykakh raznykh sistem. Moscow, 1969.
Benveniste, E. “La Nature des pronoms.” In For Roman Jakobson. The Hague, 1956.
Russell, B. An Inquiry Into Meaning and Truth. New York, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sentences 1 and 2 are nearly identical except for a pair of special words or phrases; it is the choice of the special word or phrase--in this case lighter / handy --that changes the referent of the pronoun. All Winograd schemas have this property: this ensures that one cannot exploit properties of the structure of a particular sentence to guess at a pronoun's referent in the absence of commonsense knowledge.
They / them / their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy.
One example includes using proper pronouns and preferred names.
As scholars Chisato Kitagawa and Adrienne Lehrer (1990) maintain, personal pronouns do not always carry a personal meaning and may be used referentially (when personal pronoun stand for specific individuals), impersonally/generically (when pronouns stand for anyone, everyone, people in general), and vaguely (when pronouns stand for specific unidentified individuals) (Kitagawa, Lehrer 1990: 742).
Dr David Mackereth claims the Department for Work and Pensions discriminated against his religious beliefs by suspending him from his post as a disability claim assessor after he said he would not use pronouns relating to people's "chosen" sex.
The assumption here is that there is a speaker who uses the pronoun I.
How tolerant is "incredibly tolerant?" A Christian boy apologized for using the wrong pronoun on a "trans" classmate.
I have heard a priest at Mass use a non-gendered pronoun for God.
The present study consists of a description of the functions of the personal pronoun attested in the CPA Gospels.
A high school in Virginia voted to fire a teacher who refused to refer to a male transgender student by his preferred pronoun Thursday.
The gendered pronoun ban affects fewer than 1 percent of cases where Smart Compose would propose something," Lambert said.
Google is not the only tech company wrestling with the gender-based pronoun problem.