There are 3 pronoun forms: (p. 72-78, Shawver, “The Language of Fiction”)
possessive: her, their
subjective: he she, we -- act like subjects of a clause
objective: him her me act as direct objects or objects of a preposition
· You can also refer to pronouns by whether they’re singular or plural; when pronouns replace objects they replace antecedents.
· Relative and Demonstrative forms -- ARE essential: that (has complex usage roles)
1. Possessive pronouns replace possessive adjectives.
“Barbara took Barbara’s wallet out of Barbara’s purse and Barbara gave Barbara’s check to Barbara’s landlord.” or,
“Barbara took her wallet out of her purse and she gave her check to her landlord.”
2. singular non-gendered, 3rd person pronouns: one, it
“A fan of the opera wonders if a fan of the opera will ever see Bordini.”
replace a fan of the opera with it does not work because “it” negates the humanity of the object. “It puts the lotion in the basket …” or, to the pregnant woman, “What are you going to name it?” Correct but antiquated: “One wonders if one will ever Bordini.”
· “it” can be exploited ironically by the writer
they, them, their: are plural pronouns and it is a mistake to use these options to replace a singular antecedent: “What are you going to name them?” Respecting the humanity and assuming twins is wrong, too, or, “If someone wears white gloves, they should avoid popsicles.” is wrong too -- someone is singular, they is plural.
you: a 2nd person pronoun, used often as 3rd person pronoun, is Bizzaro.
“In space, no one can hear you scream.” Read literally, “you” means “me” and one might ask, “Me? Why would I be in space?” The sentence implies a theoretical 3rd person exists. The sentence means, “In space, one’s screams will not be heard.” but using “you” sidesteps the awkward, antiquated use of “one’s”. Employing “you” in this manner is Forest Gumpy: Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Demonstrative Pronouns: “And I’m guessing that I’ll be involved in this plan that has yet to be created.”
1st that -- used as a conjunction
this -- demonstrative element (1 of 4: this that those these) that points to or replaces a noun “plan”
· a demonstrative pronoun replaces a noun, ie, pointing to a roller coaster and saying, “That looks dangerous.”
· a demonstrative adjective refers to a noun, ie, pointing to a roller coaster and saying, “That roller coaster looks dangerous.”
Use “this” if the object is close/ that otherwise.
· “This train is fast.” if you are sitting on the train, otherwise, “That train left the station an hour ago.”
Relative Pronouns: a word that connects a modifying element (a phrase that describes, modifies or intensifies, etc.) to a noun: “this plan that has yet to be created.” (p. 80)
the writer has to use “that” for 2 reasons:
1. the object being modified is not a person -- that reserved for nonhumans; “I gave the ball to my son that likes sports.” -- use “who/whom” ie “I gave the ball to my son who likes sports.”
2. the modifying phrase is restrictive, and ergo, essential, otherwise use “, which” ie., “this plan, which has yet to be created.” (p. 80)
Cruel Exception: if the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, use “which”. ie, “the throne on which he sits”, “the house in which I grew up”
Personal Relative Pronoun: who/whom
“whom” is the objective form of the subjective pronoun “who”; “him” is the objective form of the subjective pronoun “he”; “you”- objective, “me”-subjective … “between you and I” -- obj you does not jive with subj me, “her/she”
Who or Whom? Is the word being replaced subjective (who) or objective (whom)? (p. 83)
“She’s the type of girl you take home to mom.” Relative pronoun missing! Determine if it’s subj or obj!!
a. Relative clause that modifies “girl,” is “you take home to mom.”
b. say phrase like “you take her home to mom.” “Her” is an obj pronoun
c. “whom” replaces obj pronouns, so “She’s the type of girl whom you take home to mom.”
“For whom is the funhouse fun?”
a. replace obj “whom” with subj “she”; “The funhouse is fun for she.” subj NO! The funhouse is fun for her.” obj!