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.
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. Example: Some 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.
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: Dont move!