A pronoun is a word that usually takes the place of a noun previously mentioned.
A Personal pronoun refer to things. The English personal pronouns are: First person is the speaker(s), Second is the person spoken to and third is someone else. Reflexive is when the doer of the action is the same as what the action was done to. Possessive pronouns are used to show ownership of something.
|2nd nom.||thou(1), you||you, ye, y'all(4), youse(4), you-uns(4), you-guys5|
|3rd nom.||he, she, it, they(3)||they|
|2nd acc.||thee(1), you||you, ye(2)|
|3rd acc.||him, her, it, them(3)||them|
|2nd gen.||thy(1), your||your|
|3rd gen.||his, her, its, their(3)||their|
|2nd noun||thine(1), yours||yours|
|3rd noun||his, hers, its, theirs(3)||theirs|
|2nd refl.||thyself(1), yourself(6)||yourselves(6)|
|3rd refl.||himself, herself, itself, themself(3)||themselves|
- Sometime between 1600 and 1800, the forms of Thou began to pass out of common usage in most places, except in poetry, archaic-style literature, and descriptions of other languages' pronouns. Thou refers to either a close friend or one person. Thou still exists in northern England and Scotland, and in some Christian religious communities.
- In Scotland, Ye is the plural you. In older times and in some other places, Ye is the accusative singular you.
- Though using They as a singular pronoun when sex is not known or is not important is often condemned by traditionalists, its often found in informal speech. It is actually a revival of an earlier usage and may one day become standard usage because it is so common.
- Y'all, Youse and You-uns are often used in colloquial speech as a plural you. Saying you was and You were to distinguish the same thing is also done.
- You-guys is the new plural you. It seems to have originated in Canada.
- The only common distinction between singular and plural you is in the reflexive and emphatic forms.
- Ana je dala Mariji njenu knjigu. - Ana gave her (Maria's) book to Maria.
- Ana je dala Mariji svoju knjigu. - Ana gave her (Ana's) book to Maria.
Most of these other pronouns can be arranged in a table of correlatives like the one conceived by L. L. Zamenhof. Many languages form these pronouns in a similar way, so it might be just as valid for, say, another language. For English, the Table of Correlatives looks like this:
In one of the most salient features of Indo-European languages, pronouns are ambiguous. Is 'Who' relative or interrogative? Is it true that 'that' is a relative or demonstrative? Which kind is 'which?'
Most other language families don't have this ambiguity.
The French possessive pronouns (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes, son, sa, ses, notre, notre, nos, votre, votre, vos, leur, leur, leurs) are technically adjectives because they decline into masculine, feminine and plural forms and further agree with their heads (not their antecedents).
Many languages contain different pronouns used to show varying levels of respect. See T-V distinction.