People are panicking in Tennessee.
They are panicking about pronouns.
It all began when the University of Tennessee posted on its website a guide to what pronouns were acceptable at the university. This included the usual suspects of course plus a few extra pronouns which are commonly used amongst some transgender people.
(Those last ones, in case you are not familiar with them, are invented…
People often confuse Who or Which or That and when they start to talk about when to use them, grammarians and supposedly learned people often talk rubbish.
Take these sentences for example:
The guy who stole your wallet was an actor.
The guy that stole your wallet was an actor.
The wallet that you lost was empty anyway!
The wallet which you lost was empty anyway!
Depending on who…
Who vs Whom often comes up and sometimes causes confusion. This article explains the difference between these two.
Who and whom are both pronouns and while they mean the same thing (a person or group of people) they are grammatically different.
Subjects vs Objects
The subject of a sentence is the “main actor” in the sentence and normally it comes at the beginning of the sentence:
Louisa sang a…
Life would sound a bit repetitive without pronouns:
Brian got up. Brian washed Brian. Later Brian went out. Brian got in Brian’s car and drove off.
Change a person’s name into a personal pronoun and it all gets a little easier on the ear:
Brian got up. He washed himself. Later he went out. He got in his car and drove off.
This is fairly straightforward when we…
Indefinite Pronouns replace nouns or people or things that are not clearly specified.
Some like it hot.
Some who? Some what? Some people? Some animals? Some planets?
Someone knocked at the door.
We don’t know who it is. We just heard a knock and assume it is a person.
Something must have happened.
We know there is a problem but we haven’t found out yet what it is…
Pronouns are a closed group of words which can be used in place of nouns in a sentence. We replace nouns that are repeated with pronouns so instead of saying:
William took the ball and then William kicked the ball.
William took the ball and then he kicked it.
This makes the sentence less clumsy and more fluid.
Types of Pronouns
The type of pronoun we use depends…