Pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. We often use them to avoid repeating the nouns that they refer to. Pronouns have different forms for the different ways we use them. 

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how pronouns are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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Hello In the direct speech, if the statement is: She said, "Our brother has left", what "our" will be changed into in the indirect reporting? Will it be "their brother..." or "her brother...? Please also explain the reason therefor. Thanks

Hello Adya's,

If the person reporting is a brother or sister then they can still use 'our'. If the person is not a brother or sister of the person who left then 'their' would be the best choice, since 'our' tells us that there are at least three brothers and sisters in the original group. 'Her' would be grammatically correct and would only tell the listener about the speaker and the brother's relationship, not that there are more of them.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello magdy,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers for tasks from elsewhere. We're happy to explain our own tasks and answer questions about the language as best as we can, but we don't provide help with tests or homework from elsewhere, or exercises someone else has written.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for reply I just needed help,because I am a non-native speaker of English ...I only teach English as a second language and I think there is no correct answer among the choices.
Hi Sir, would you let me know when I learn English Grammar, should I learn active/passive first or I learn Direct/Indirect nerations ?

Hello Imran 26,

There is no correct order for this. I suggest you choose whichever seems most useful or interesting to you.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir, 1- Two and Two make four. 2-Two and Two makes four. please could you let me know which one of the above sounds in correct way.

Hello Imran,

Usually native speakers say 'two plus two equals four' or 'two and two make four'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

A pronoun is a word that is used for a noun. For examples: I,we,you,they,she,he,it etc..
Sir, I want to know when we use the word 'Any' with Singular countable noun and when with plural countable noun. It's a little confusing for me while writing. I don't have any problem. (any with singular countable noun) Do you have any chocolates ? (any with plural countable noun) why is that so that both noun 'Problem and Chocolate are countable still one with any is in singular form while other in plural ?

Hello SonuKumar,

It is unusual to use 'any' with singular count nouns, but it does happen when the noun has a general meaning. There is some debate whether this is actually a case of the singular count noun being used as a synonym of a non-count noun (any problem as a synonym for any trouble, for example, or any idea as a synonym for any notion).

You can find a discussion of the topic on this page.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Which case of pronoun should I use after preposition? For example : No one but him / he was present in the meeting. Which pronoun shall I use? Regards

Hello amol,

We use an object pronoun after a preposition, so the correct phrase would be 'no-one but him...'

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, The idea is to tell one that things are possible but Everything is not possible or Not everything is possible. Which one is right 'Everything is not possible or Not everything is possible' ? If both are right, is there a difference between these two ?

Hi SonuKumar,

I'm not sure about the metaphysical side of this question, but 'Not everything is possible' is what I would say. There is nothing grammatically incorrect with the other phrase, but it's not one that people use in speaking or writing. It would also have a different meaning -- it would mean something like 'Everything is impossible' (whereas the other one says that some things are possible and some are not).

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir Please let me know Whether it is all right to write this sentence without a comma or a comma is a must before 'but' e.g. I went to the supermarket to buy vegetables, but I couldn't not buy them. The second sentence is: I went to the supermarket to to buy vegetables but could not buy them. Is the second sentence correct without a comma.? Please let me know. Thank you. Regards Lal

Hi Lal,

This really depends on the particular style that a writer follows, but in general in British English I believe the comma is used less often than in American English. Some say that the general rule is that a comma can precede 'but' when 'but' is connecting two independent clauses, e.g. see this BBC page, but not everyone agrees about this. You can find lots of opinions about this by doing an internet search for 'comma before but'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Is it correct to omit pronouns and say : Today I woke up at 6.00a.m., ran with my dog for an hour, returned to my house, fed my dog, had breakfast, took a shower and practiced my English?

Hi David,

Yes, it is, especially in informal speaking and writing. This is called ellipsis, which you can read a little more about by following the link if you're interested.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a problem with negation . Do we say : he isn't a fool or he is no fool ? It's no secret that..or its not a secret that ..? What's the difference ? When to use each ?

Hello uchiha itache,

Both forms are correct. The only difference is that the form with 'no' is rather stronger in a rhetorical sense, I would say.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Surely we often use the present simple for habits . but what about the future simple with ( will ) I read it can also be used to describe habits . so what's the diffrrence ?

Hello uchiha itache,

We use the present simple to describe habitual behaviour, as you say. 'Will' can be used to describe the behaviour which we expect. It is a form of prediction about the present. For example:

He goes to the shop every morning. [habitual behaviour]

He'll go to the shop every morning. [this is what I expect based on what I know]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, As you said, "He goes to the shop every morning, shows habitual behaviour." and "He will go to the shop every morning, shows this is what I expect based on what I know." Then I think the same applies for the situation below. He went to the shop every morning. (Habitual action) He would go to the shop every morning. (This is what I expect based on what I know) Right ?

Hi SonuKumar,

Both of your sentences refer to habitual past actions. 'would' isn't used to refer to past expected actions but rather for past repeated actions. You can read more about this use of 'would' on our Past habits page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! I am so confused whether I have to use above or over JUST to say in a higher postition . please explain it . and do we really use above for things on the same flat plane? And If so, why don't we use over? Cause it means directly above . Please tell me when they're interchangeable and give exactly the same meaning and when they aren't .

Hi uchiha itache,

In general, 'above' is used to speak about a higher level, though it's important to know what specific context or contexts you have in mind.

I don't see how one object could be 'above' or 'over' another if they are both on the same flat plane – could you give a specific example? The proximity of one object to the other is also an important factor.

In any case, I'd recommend look at this Cambridge Dictionary entry on just this question. If you have any further questions, you're welcome to ask them but please provide a specific sentence in context.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, She acts like ( in a manner that ) any other girl would not do. I think in this sentence it wouldn't be right to use the word 'Another' which means one more rather than Any other which, in this sentence, means No other girl, right ?

Hello SonuKumar,

In this sentence 'any other girl' does not mean 'no other girl'. Rather, 'any other girl' means the opposite - it means 'every girl - it doesn't matter which one you choose'.

If I understand your intention correctly and you wish to say that her behaviour is different from every other girl's, then the best way to phrase the sentence would be as follows:

She acts like no other girl would

or

She acts in a way that no other girl would

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, Can we also say " She acts as no other girl would do" and "She acts the way no other girl would do" I mean Can we use 'As and The way' rather than 'Like or In a way or manner' In this sentence ?

Hi SonuKumar,

Yes, you could use 'as' to express the same idea. You could also use 'the way', but it isn't very natural-sounding, so I'd recommend using 'as' or one of Peter phrasings.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello the learn English team. I can't understand this point : We can also use for to refer to public holidays and seasons: For example : He always goes to his mother’s house for New Year. What does this example mean ? And whats the difference between these two sentences ? 1 I have met him since last year 2 I have met him for the last year And what would be the difference if the 2 sentences were negative, too?

Hello uchiha itache,

Could you please ask these questions on appropriate pages on our site? I'm not sure where you found that statement about 'for', for example, but please ask your question about it on that page.

The same is true for your question about 'since' and 'for'. This topic is covered to some degree, for example, on our present perfect page.

In any case, I'm afraid that neither of the sentences you ask about is grammatically correct; they could be if you changed the verb to 'know', but I'm not sure if that changes the meaning to something other than what you mean.

Thanks in advance.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hi bedour1414,

There is only one way to improve and that is to learn and practise. Do this and you will make progress.

You can find materials for different levels by using the search section on our content page, and you can also use it to find different topics and types of practice. Remember that levels are descriptive and very general approximations. Everyone is on a spectrum and has different strengths. For example, a person may be very accurate and use a wide range of structures when they write but find it very hard to understand when they listen or be very slow and lacking in fluency when they speak. Identifying and working on your weaknesses is important, I think.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I read in practical English usage that we can report questions starting with ( who / which / what ) + be in 2 ways depending on whether they ask for a subject or complement. For example, Direct : who is the best player Reported : - he asked who was the best player or who the best player was . But if I'm asking for a complement I only can use 1 way Direct : what is the time Reported : he asked what the time was ( not usually what was the time ) I don't understand what a complement is . I read in some sites and I couldn't still get it . I hope you explain it to me

Hello uchiha itache,

When we report a question we use normal (not question) word order. Thus if the question is 

Who is the best player?

then we report it as follows:

He asked who the best player is / He asked who the best player was

 

It is incorrect to use the word order of the question:

He asked who was the best player [incorrect]

 

Complement is a term used in linguistics. It describes a linguistic unit (a word, phrase or clause) which completes the meaning of an expression. The wikipedia page on complements gives clear definitions and many examples. You can find it here.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! What does this sentence mean? You needn't worry about anything except having a good time . Is It a good think or a bad thing ? Should I worry that I won't have a good time or what ? I don't get it at all

Hi uchiha itache,

In most cases this sentence would be used to communicate the idea that the listener can relax. The idea is that there's no need for them to worry about anything and that the only thing that they could possibly worry about is having a good time because everything else is taken care of. Although it literally seems to doubt whether the listener will have fun, in the way we use it, it isn't meant to cast doubt on the idea that the person can have a good time -- it's just a way of saying that everything is taken care of so they can focus on enjoying themselves.

I hope that helps clarify it.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Please help me with these words, occasion and opportunity. I read tips on a lot of dictionaries to distinguish between them but I couldn't cause both of them are translated the same way in my language. And im not talking about the meaning of ( occasion ) generally . it has a lot of definition and just one of them is similar to ( opportunity ), on most dictionaries the definition is : a favourable opportunity or time so what is more accurate ? Time or opportunity ? And are threse sentences correct : I couldn't have the opportunity to talk to him . And there was no occasion for talking to him . ( can't I have an occasion ? ) Are both the same ?

Hello uchiha itache,

Generally speaking, in modern English (the use of occasion has changed over time) an opportunity is a chance to do something positive, while an occasion is a particular instance. I might meet someone on a particular occasion (a party or a chance meeting) and that meeting is an opportunity for me to learn something new. However, words are used in particular contexts and structures which may not entirely fit this general definition.

In terms of your context, I think opportunity to talk is the best phrase in both sentences.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I'd like to know how we report conditionals. I know that the 3rd conditional stays the same with no change . so what about the zero, 2nd and 1st conditionals? To make the question clearer , i'll give some if-sentences and please, just report them . 1- he said " if I am tired, I go to sleep " 2 - he said, " if I had money, i'd buy a car " 3- he said " if I won a lottery I would be happy " 4 he said " if I eat chicken I will be happy "

Hello uchiha itache,

Conditional forms are reported in the same way any other forms are reported:

See here for reporting structures.

See here for reporting structures with that, wh- and if-clauses.

Note that there is often a choice with the verb forms, depending on the context and the intended meaning (if the action is still true or is no longer true, for example).

 

Your examples could be reported as follows:

He said (that) if he is tired, he goes to sleep / He said (that) if he was tired, he went to sleep

He said (that) if he had money, he'd buy a car / He said (that) if he had had money, he'd have bought a car

He said (that) if he won the lottery he would be happy / He said (that) if he had won the lottery he would have been happy

He said (that) if he eats chicken he will be happy / He said (that) if he ate chicken he would be happy

 

In each pair, the first sentence tells us that the original speaker's words are still true. The second sentence tells us that the speaker's words were true when he said them but may or may not be true now.

For example, imagine I am reporting the sentence I love you. I can say either of these:

She said she loves me. [she loved me then and she still loves me]

She said she loved me. [she loved me then; there is no information about whether or not she still loves me]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Staff, Could you please let me know which of the following is correct? Thank you so much. 【A】If I so much as look at a cake, I gain weight. 【B】If I so much as to look at a cake, I gain weight. 【C】If I so much as looking at a cake, I gain weight.