What is a Pronoun? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What Is a Pronoun?
  • 0:55 Subject Pronouns
  • 2:02 Object Pronouns
  • 3:03 Examples of Pronouns
  • 3:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Say you're writing a story with a main character named J. Tomas Feeblemeyer. How would you feel if you had to write J. Tomas Feeblemeyer over and over throughout your story? How would your reader feel having to read that long name each time? Learn how pronouns can help.

What Is a Pronoun?

A pronoun is not a professional noun. It is a short word that is used in place of a noun. Many times pronouns are used to prevent the writer from having to repeat the name of the noun over and over again. It is important that the noun you are replacing with a pronoun is already known to avoid confusion.

You use pronouns every day and in almost every sentence you speak. Every time you say 'I' or 'you' or 'me,' you're using a pronoun. Pronouns are so common that you probably don't even realize how many you use in a day. The role of the noun in the sentence determines what kind of a pronoun you use.

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns take the place of nouns that are the subject of the sentence. The subject is the person, place or thing that the sentence is about.

Let's look at the sentence:

  • The barn is painted red.

The subject of this sentence is 'the barn' because the sentence is about the barn.

Now let's say we want a second sentence with the barn as the subject. Instead of repeating the words 'the barn' again, we can use the subject pronoun, 'it,' to replace 'the barn.' So now we would have the following sentences:

  • The barn is painted red. It is down the street from me.

If you are replacing a person with a subject pronoun, you would use 'he' or 'she.' If you are speaking about yourself, you would use 'I.' If you are using the second person, you would use 'you.' If you are replacing a group of people, the correct pronoun would be either 'we' or 'they.'

Object Pronouns

Object pronouns take the place of the object of the sentence. The object is the noun that is acted on by the subject of the sentence.

In the sentence:

  • The boy kicks the ball.

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