A pronoun is a word we use to take the place of a noun, which can be a person, place or thing. We use it (pronoun) to avoid repeating a noun that had already been mentioned.
We can write or say, “Jim has a bicycle. Jim rides his bicycle every day.” But there’s a better way of putting it using pronouns: Jim has a bicycle. He rides it every day. The words he and it are pronouns used to replace the nouns Jim and bicycle.
Examples of pronoun are I, you, he, she, it, we, they, anyone, everyone, himself, myself, nobody, yourself, who.
Other examples include this, that, all, any, each, none, some, that, what, which, etc. These pronouns can also be determiners, so how can we tell whether they are pronouns or determiners. It all depends on how they are used. As pronouns, they are used independently, that is without a noun following them.
- This is a big house. (This is a pronoun as it occurs independently.)
- This house is big. (This comes after the noun house, so it is not a pronoun.)
Here, this is a determiner. A determiner modifies a noun, which a pronoun does not do.
- Some of the students were rather skinny. (Pronoun)
- Some students were rather skinny. (Determiner)