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 use mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs.



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 some peanuts, 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.


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!