English Language Blog

Parts of Speech in English – Pronouns and Prepositions Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 in English Grammar

Today we continue with our review of the different parts of speech in the English language.  The two parts of speech that I will review today are pronouns and prepositions.

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. You use a pronoun instead of a noun, that is, the pronoun replaces the noun. Pronouns are words like: he, she, you, ours, themselves, some, and each.  If we didn’t have pronouns to use when speaking and writing, we would have to repeat the same noun over and over again, which is not an ideal way to communicate. The following is an example of how to use pronouns to replace nouns.

Example paragraph without pronouns:
James went to Paris. James visited Jerry. Jerry is James’ friend.  James and Jerry went to the Eiffel Tower and James and Jerry took pictures there.  James took pictures of Jerry and the city and Jerry took pictures of James and the city.

Example paragraph with pronouns (pronouns are in bold):
James went to Paris.  He visited his friend Jerry. They went to the Eiffel Tower and they took pictures there.  They took pictures of each other and the city.

There are a number of different types of pronouns.  I have listed these different types below with some examples.

Personal Pronouns: I, me, you, he, him, she, they

Demonstrative Pronouns:  this, that, these, those

Possessive Pronouns: yours, mine, his, hers

Interrogative Pronouns
: who, what, which

Reflexive Pronouns
: myself, yourself, himself, herself

Reciprocal Pronouns
: each other, one another

Indefinite Pronouns
: another, much, nobody, few, such

Relative Pronouns
: who, whom, which

A preposition is a word in control of, and usually in front of, a noun or pronoun.  A preposition expresses a relationship between the noun and another word in the sentence.  In the following examples the prepositions are in brackets [ ] and the nouns that are being controlled are in italics.

Carol ate a snack [before] lunch.
The children studied [at] school.

There is one very simple rule about prepositions in English. And, unlike most rules in English, this rule has no exceptions.  Here is the rule: A preposition is always followed by a noun.

Although this rule is very simple it does not make selecting the right preposition to use in the right situation any easier.  Learning which preposition to use in the right situation takes practice!  Here is a list of very common prepositions you are likely to use regularly in English.


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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.


  1. zouina amrani:

    so useful..thanks