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.  

Choose a topic and start improving your English grammar today. 
 

Do you need to improve your English grammar?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English grammar with our online courses.

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

Submitted by uchiha itache on Fri, 25/05/2018 - 13:55

Permalink
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
Profile picture for user Kirk

Submitted by Kirk on Sat, 26/05/2018 - 10:30

In reply to by uchiha itache

Permalink

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

 

Submitted by uchiha itache on Thu, 24/05/2018 - 17:00

Permalink
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

Submitted by uchiha itache on Sun, 20/05/2018 - 20:26

Permalink
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 "
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 06:05

In reply to by uchiha itache

Permalink

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

Submitted by learning on Sat, 19/05/2018 - 11:02

Permalink
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.

Hi learning,

Option A is the only correct one here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Thu, 17/05/2018 - 15:51

Permalink
Hello . What's the difference between historic and historical? And what's the difference between a history book or historical book ? And by saying historical film..does it mean a film which shows past events or a film which was made a long time ago ?
Profile picture for user Imran 26

Submitted by Imran 26 on Mon, 07/05/2018 - 08:30

Permalink
Sir, I have noticed that native speakers use the word "would" for some thing being or happening in future. eg: I would be there. In other case they also use the word " would" for their desire or preference. eg: I would like a coffee. I would like to be a doctor. but in Pakistan I read in books some sentences like that " I want to be a Doctor. I will be there. I will buy orange shirt." Please let me know which one is the correct & natural way in above sentences?
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 08/05/2018 - 07:15

In reply to by Imran 26

Permalink

Hello Imran 26,

In general, we use will to talk about a future which we consider likely or real in some way, while we use would to talk about less likely or hypothetical futures. However, we can also use would as a polite form because it is less direct and more tentative. Some phrases, such as would like are now simply polite forms (would like describes the present and is a more polite way to say want, for example, while will like is purely about the future).

 

In many contexts both will and would are possible and which you use depends upon your intention. For example:

I will buy an orange shirt - in this sentence the speaker is sure of their decision

I would buy an orange shirt - in this sentence the speaker is not sure of their decision or sees it as purely hypothetical. You could add an if-clause to make this clearer:

I would buy an orange shirt if there was one in the shop.

 

You can read more about these forms on this page.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi pyramid,

Both are considered correct, though 'It is I' is less common because it sounds rather formal. Unless you're speaking or writing in a quite formal context, 'It's me' is probably better.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 10:29

Permalink
Hello ! I'm really confused . I don't know when to use must or have to ! I read that must is used for internal obligations and have to is used for external ( laws or rules ) but there's an example in my school book saying focus on the following: Drivers must stop when the light is red . The light is red . you have to stop ! I don't get the difference between these 2 examples. Isn't have to used for laws? Then why must here? I want u to tell me all uses of must and have to please . I know they are now almost interchangeable but I want them for my stupid education system .which teaches us things just to confuse us. There are more than 60 questions whether to choose have to or must So please I hope you explain them to me in details. By the way, I read you article about them but I still want more details and specially the 2 examples above
Profile picture for user Kirk

Submitted by Kirk on Thu, 03/05/2018 - 07:57

In reply to by uchiha itache

Permalink

Hi uchiha itache,

I'm sorry to hear about this situation. Without knowing a lot more about how the tests you have to pass are prepared, I'm afraid it's difficult to give specific advice. What I can do is recommend the Cambridge Dictionary's explanation of must, which is quite detailed and includes a section in which it is contrasted with 'have to'.

Note that the rule about 'must' being for obligations coming from the speaker and 'have to' being more for external ones is a general rule and requires some interpretation. For example, one might consider a rule or prohibition an external obligation (and this would make sense), but 'must' (and 'must not') are often used in public notices announcing rules and prohibitions. You can see examples in the Rules and laws section of the page I linked to above.

I hope this helps you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Ellenna

Submitted by Ellenna on Sat, 28/04/2018 - 13:54

Permalink
Hello. I'd be thankful if you help me. I'm confused by the use of "could" to express possibility in the present: There's a situation: I'm looking at the man and I don't know where he works, and I'm trying to guess: "Maybe, he works in the bank" = "He could work in the bank" - is that correct, or "He could work in the bank" means that I'm talking about someone who doesn't work in the bank, but it is a good idea for him to do it? Look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Ellenna,

Yes, 'He could work in the bank' can mean the same as 'Maybe he works in the bank'. It can also have the second meaning that you describe. Only context can really tell us which it is. As you can see, modal verbs can be used in different ways to mean different things.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Khadhar on Wed, 25/04/2018 - 11:19

Permalink
Evening Sir, Could you please explain the word "has to be". I am pretty not clear that exactly in which situation "has to be" used.

Hello Khadhar,

We use 'have to' with a similar meaning to 'must'. It can be followed by any verb in the infinitive form, including 'be':

I have to be at home before midnight.

I must be at home before midnight.

 

'Had to' is the past form for both 'must' and 'have to':

I had to be at home before midnight.

 

You can read more about 'have to' and how it differs from 'must' on this page.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user hawa100

Submitted by hawa100 on Tue, 17/04/2018 - 23:09

Permalink
Evening Sir! I am always confused between these two word. Hobbies and Interests. Would you clarify the difference between them please? Thanks

Hello hawa100,

I think a hobby is something a person actively does in their free time, while an interest is simply anything which we are interested in. Something can be an interest of mine in general terms, such as politics, history or fashion, but for it to be a hobby I would need to actually devote some time to doing it actively in some way. For example, I might participate in a political discussion group, or do some local history research, or write a blog on fashion trends - these would be examples of hobbies.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I really find this website interesting . Thank you a lot.
Profile picture for user Imran 26

Submitted by Imran 26 on Tue, 17/04/2018 - 12:58

Permalink
Sir, When we say "Native Speakers". We are talking about the peoples who speaks British English/American English or we are talking about the peoples who belongs to the country where national language is English?
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 18/04/2018 - 06:59

In reply to by Imran 26

Permalink

Hello Imran 26,

The term native speakers applies to people who speak any language as a mother tongue rather than having learnt it as a second language. Thus, a person can be a native speaker of English, Spanish, Chinese or Urdu. Everyone is a native speaker of at least one language, and many people are native speakers of more than one. For example, I live in Poland and my children learned both English and Polish at home. They are native speakers of two languages. In school they are learning a third language - French - but they will never be native speakers of this, even if they become very proficient.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Thu, 12/04/2018 - 13:34

Permalink
Worth and value as nouns When are they interchangeable and when they aren't ? ( only as nouns )

Hello uchiha itache,

In general, when speaking about the amount of money someone could expect to pay for something, they mean the same thing. I'd encourage you to look them up in the dictionary and to study the example sentences there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Imran 26

Submitted by Imran 26 on Fri, 06/04/2018 - 08:24

Permalink
Sir, I have read noun section in this site, there is a sentence ; 1-There are some birds in the trees. can I say this sentence like that" There are some birds on the trees. I am confuse about the preposition used "in". birds sits above the trees so why there use preposition "in".
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Sat, 07/04/2018 - 06:35

In reply to by Imran 26

Permalink

Hello Imran 26,

With trees we always say 'in' and not 'on'.

If you said 'on' then it would mean that the person is literally standing on the tree just as you might stand on a roof. It's similar to the way we say 'in the river' even if only the soles of your feel are actually touching the water. We do, however, say 'on a branch'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Imran 26

Submitted by Imran 26 on Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:12

Permalink
Hello Sir, Please let me know the sense of below sentences. 1- I am not much to help you. 2- I am not enough to help you.

Hi Imran,

I'm afraid that since neither of those sound like sentences a native speaker would use, I can't really help you with these, particularly without knowing the context.

Please remember that our main purpose is to help our users with our website. We occasionally answer questions about sentences users have found in other places, but we can't provide corrections or explanations of sentences such as these two.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Imran,

I'm afraid that since neither of those sound like sentences a native speaker would use, I can't really help you with these, particularly without knowing the context.

Please remember that our main purpose is to help our users with our website. We occasionally answer questions about sentences users have found in other places, but we can't provide corrections or explanations of sentences such as these two.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Fri, 30/03/2018 - 18:12

Permalink
I want to know how to use last and the last What I understabd is, for example, if we are in march 2018 then last year is 2017 and last month is Feb But If I say last Feb. Does this mean Feb 2017 ? Can I use the last this way : We are in may 2018 I'm saying to a friend : in 2017 I had an accident and the last year I broke up The last year refers to 2016 ..refers to last year to the one I mentioned Is this correct ?

Hello uchiha itache,

When we are talking about time we use the following:

this + day/month/year = the next one

next + day/month/year = the one after next

last + day/month/year = the most recent one in the past before the current cycle

the + day/month/year before last = the one before the most recent one in the past

 

Today is Saturday, 31st March 2018. Therefore:

this Monday = Monday, 2nd April 2018

next Monday = Monday, 9th April 2018

last Sunday = Sunday, 25th March 2018

the Sunday before last = Saturday, 18th April 2018

 

When we walk about months there is a possibility of confusion. To avoid this, we generally use 'last' to refer to the month before the current cycle. To take your example, if it is March 2018 then 'last February' would refer to February 2017. To refer to February 2018 we would simply say 'in February' with a past tense verb.

 

We use 'the last' only to mean 'the final' - the last of a sequence. Thus 'the last year' would need some context like 'the last year of my studies' or 'the last year of the century'. We do not use it in the way you suggest. Instead we say 'the year before...':

In 2017 I had an accident and the year before that I broke up.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Fri, 30/03/2018 - 00:01

Permalink
Hello! My teacher said that we can use (but for / without / in case (of) ) in conditionals But I don't know how to use them..I mean I should use them for 1st or 2nd or 3rd conditional? So which of the following is grammatically correct 1 without your help , I won't do it 2 without your help , I wouldn't do it 3 without your help, I wouldn't have done it And if 2 and 3 are correct , what Is the difference in the meaning? Is but for used only in 2nd and 3rd conditional? And in case only in the 1st ?
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 30/03/2018 - 08:23

In reply to by uchiha itache

Permalink

Hello uchiha itache,

All of those sentences are fine. The 'Without...' construction means something similar to 'If... not...':

Without your help, I won't do it = If I don't have your help, I won't do it.

Without your help, I wouldn't do it = If I didn't have your help / If I hadn't had your help, I wouldn't do it.

Without your help, I wouldn't have done it  = If I hadn't had your help, I wouldn't have done it.

The difference between the last two is the time reference of the result clause. The second example has a present or future result, depending on the context, while the third example has a past result.

 

As you say, we do not use 'but for' in the first example. We can use 'in case of' with all of these examples. For example, it is fine to say 'I'll take an umbrella in case of rain'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

So this means ( without / in case / in case of ) for all the 3 conditionals But for ..for 2nd and 3rd Without your help, I wouldn't have done it ..this means I did it cause you helped me cause it's something in the past and if I say without your help, I won't do it ans this one means if you don't help me I won't do it so..how can the 2nd one ( I wouldn't do it ) Has a present or future result ? I still don't get it.i mean 2nd condition is used to talk about improbable situations or imaginary so how could it has a different meaning than example 1 ? Last thing can you give me 1 example in which we use in case ( of ) with 3rd or 2nd condition cause I can't use it in the past

Submitted by Adya's on Thu, 29/03/2018 - 07:12

Permalink
Hi I couldn't find an appropriate section to submit this question, so I am putting it here, with the request that please respond to it. Of the following two, which one is correct? 1. Neither did he come nor sent any gifts. 2. Neither did he come nor send any gifts. Thanks Sanjay
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 29/03/2018 - 08:57

In reply to by Adya's

Permalink

Hi Adaya's,

If you want to use the inverted emphatic form then the second sentence is correct. The form 'send' is used because inversion is used in both halves but the auxiliary is omitted to avoid repetiton:

Neither did he come nor (did he) send any gifts.

 

This is a very formal structure used for rhetorical effect. A more common way to say this would be as follows:

He neither came nor sent any gifts.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by uchiha itache on Sun, 25/03/2018 - 23:44

Permalink
Electric or electrical ? I am very confused and I never know when to use any of them Why is it called and electric car and it is called electrical devices/goods/equipment?!

Hello uchiha itache,

Both words are adjectives but there is a difference in meaning.

Electric describes things that are powered by electricity, so we can talk about electric cars, electric toothbrushes, electric guitars and electric motors.

Electrical describes things that are related to electricity in some way, so we can talk about electrical engineering, electrical faults and electrical connectors.

However, note that there is a lot of overlap in how these are used. I think in modern English the distinction is eroding so you can find examples where they are used interchangeably (e.g. you can find both electric circuits and electrical circuits).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Ellenna

Submitted by Ellenna on Sat, 24/03/2018 - 15:19

Permalink
Hello. I've heard that it's not correct to use "to be going to go", but I met in some books this combination. So, is it wrong to say "Where are you going to go on your next vacation?", and I need to say "Where are you going on your next vacation?", or both are possible? Could you help me with this please. Thank you.

Hello Ellenna,

Grammatically speaking there is nothing wrong with 'going to go'. Because it repeats 'go' some people consider it to be a stylistically inelegant or clumsy and prefer to use 'going to'. However, there is nothing linguistically wrong with 'going to go'. It is purely a question of style and personal preference.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team