ATI TEAS GUIDE TO ENGLISH & LANGUAGE USAGE | UNDERSTANDING PRONOUNS

ATI TEAS ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE USAGE REVIEW – PRONOUNS

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QUIZ QUESTIONS LISTED AT END OF REVIEW

Pronouns are words used to refer to nouns. Usually a pronoun will be used after a noun has already been given in the sentence or paragraph. The noun that the pronoun refers to is called the antecedent.

For example: Jennifer is a vegetarian, so she will order a nonmeat entrée.

In this example, the pronoun she is used to refer to Jennifer. Jennifer is the antecedent of the pronoun.

Similarly, in the following sentence, the pronoun him is used to refer to Jorge. Jorge is the antecedent of the pronoun.

For example: Jorge loves all the gifts that the bowling team gave him.

In the following example, the pronoun their is used to refer to the Rudolphs. The Rudolphs is the antecedent in this sentence.

For example: The Rudolphs have an apple tree in their backyard.

UNDERSTANDING PRONOUN FORMS

When a pronoun is used, it must be in the correct form. Pronouns can act as subjects doing the action. They can also act as objects receiving the action, and they can show possession.

In the following sentence, the pronoun, the pronoun she is used as a subject. She is completing the action or ordering, so the subjective form of the pronoun is used correctly.

For example: Jennifer is a vegetarian, so she will order a nonmeat entrée. Correct.

It wouldn’t sound right to use an object form of the pronoun in this sentence.

For example: Jennifer is a vegetarian, so her will order a nonmeat entrée. Incorrect.

Instead, the object form should be used when the pronoun is receiving the action of the verb.

For example: Jennifer is a vegetarian, so the waiter brought her a nonmeat entrée. Correct.

Here is a list of subjective, objective, and possessive forms of pronouns.

Subjective Objective Possessive
First Person I

We

Me

Us

My, mine

Our, ours

Second Person You You Your, Yours
Third Person He

She

It

They

Him

Her

It

Them

His

Her

Its

Their, theirs

 

These forms of pronouns are also called cases.




 

UNDERSTANDING GENDER AND NUMBERS 

Pronouns can show both gender and number. In other words, they can be masculine or feminine, and they can be singular or plural. Pronouns should match their antecedent in both respects. If a noun is singular feminine, the pronoun should be singular feminine as well. If a noun is plural neutral, the pronoun should be plural neutral as well, and so on.

For example: Jorge loves all the gifts that the bowling team gave him.

In this sentence, the antecedent Jorge is masculine and singular. The pronoun him is also masculine and singular.

In the following example, the antecedent The Rudolphs is plural. The pronoun their is also plural.

For example: The Rudolphs have an apple tree in their backyard.

Finally, the following sentence shows an example of a gender-neutral antecedent, the table. The table has no gender, so it is referenced using the gender-neutral possessive pronoun its.

For example: The table was polished to show off the beautiful grain of its wood.

In cases where a single person is being discussed but the person’s gender has not been made clear, the singular pronoun phrase he or she should be used.

For example: Each camper must make sure that he or she packs enough warm clothes for the week. Correct.

In this example, each camper is the antecedent. This antecedent is singular, but the gender is not clear. The phrase he or she is used correct to refer back to each camper.

It may be tempting to use the pronoun they when the gender of a singular antecedent is not specified; however, this is incorrect.

The word they is a plural pronoun, so it should not be used with singular antecedents.

For example: Each camper must make sure that they pack enough warm clothes for the week. Incorrect.

It would be correct to use they if the antecedent was also plural, as in the sentence below.

For example: All campers must make sure that they pack enough warm clothes for the week. Correct.

UNDERSTANDING RELATIVE PRONOUNS

Pronoun questions on the TEAS also test relative pronouns (who, which, and that) and the correct usage of who versus. Whom. Regarding these pronouns, there are two points to keep in mind.

Important Note: The relative pronoun who is always used to refer to people, whereas which and that are used to refer to things.  

Principal Smith is the one who ordered the extra copies. Correct.

Principal Smith is the one that ordered the extra copies. Incorrect.

In these sentences, Principal Smith is the antecedent. Since Principal Smith is a person, the pronoun who should be used.

Here’s an example of a relative pronoun that refers back to a thing.

To Kill a Mocking Bird is the book that I told you about. Correct.

To Kill a Mocking Bird is the book whom I told you about. Incorrect.

Important Note: The word who is used when the pronoun is the subject completing the action, and the word whom is used when the pronoun is a direct object receiving action.

The teacher is a knowledgeable instructor who truly cares about her students. Correct.

The teacher is a knowledgeable instructor whom truly cares about her student. Incorrect.

These sentences use relative pronouns to refer back to the noun the teacher. In this case, the teacher is performing an action: she truly cares about her students. Because she is performing the action shown by the verb cares, the pronoun who should be used.

The following examples show a relative pronoun used as the direct object of an action. In this case, the pronoun whom should be used. Here, Carol performed the action of speaking. The person to whom she spoke was the recipient of her action.

Carol was not sure to whom she was speaking. Correct.

Carol was not sure to who she was speaking. Incorrect.

ATI TEAS ENGLISH & LANGUAGE USAGE Pronouns

Quiz for ATI TEAS ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE USAGE REVIEW SERIES