Grammar Toolbox: Pronouns

A simple explanation of a pronoun is that it stands instead of a noun. Simply speaking, a noun is a thing or a person. There are many different kinds of pronouns. 

 

Possessive pronouns:

When we talk about owning something we use possessive pronouns. In the poem “Son of Mine” we find these possessive pronouns:

 

My son, your troubled eyes search mine,

Puzzled and hurt by colour line.

Your black skin as soft as velvet shine;

What can I tell you, son of mine?

 

My, your, his, her, its, our, your, their are used in front of nouns. If a possessive pronoun stands alone, we usemine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs.

 

Some/any

We use some if the sentence is affirmative. ExampleSome people go to New Zealand.

We may also use some in questions, if we expect an affirmative answer. Example: Would you give me somepeanuts, please?

 

We use any in questions. Example: Are there any Norwegians here?

We use any in negative sentences. Example: No, I haven’t seen any Norwegians here.

We use any after if.  Example: If there had been any Norwegians here, I would have known.

 

The same rules are applied for:

somebody – anybody

someone – anyone

something – anything

somewhere – anywhere

 

 

Who, which, that

The Norwegian word “som” may be translated with who, which or that in English.

                                                             

Who can only be used about people.                   

Example: Robbie Williams, who has Moko, is very famous.

Which is used about things that are not human.            

Example: Ta moko, which is a Maori word, means tattoo.

That is can be used about both humans and non-humans. The information given is necessary to make a meaningful sentence.                          

Example: The person that I admire the most is Robbie Williams.

 

 

Reflexive pronouns

A reflexive pronoun refers to another pronoun or a noun in the text.

Examples:

He enjoyed himself.

They did it themselves

 

Subject form - Reflexive form

I - myself

You - yourself

He - himself

She - herself

It - itself

We - ourselves

You - yourselves

They - themselves

 

Sometimes a verb is reflexive in Norwegian, but not in English: Examples: feel, behave, move, hurry, marry, sit/lie down, turn,

Example: Don’t move!