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Lesson 1.7a Pronouns Compared to Determiners

downloadable worksheet


Pronouns actually don’t just stand in for nouns, they stand in for whole noun phrases. They should actually, then, be called proNPs. What’s the evidence for this?


I saw the girl with the red hat.

I saw her.


Her stands in for the whole phrase, the girl with the red hat.


Try some more. Make up some long, descriptive noun phrases, and then substitute a pronoun. Underline the part that the pronoun replaces.


The boy who I met last week at camp goes to my school.

He                                                           goes to my school.


This pronoun substitution test will give us a handy way to find noun phrases, the noun plus all of the stuff that goes with it.


Notice that the possessive pronouns look a lot like the possessive determiners, but only the pronouns replace or refer to a whole noun phrase. The determiners precede nouns.


possessive pronoun          possessive determiner

mine                                    my

yours                                   your

his, hers, its                        his, her, its

ours                                     our

yours                                   your

theirs                                   their


That book is mine.            (mine = that book)

That is my book.           


Use the pronoun substitution test to identify the noun phrases in the following sentences. For example,


            My mom saw the mouse with the crooked tail again.

            She saw it again.


1. What time do you think my aunt will arrive?

2. Our friends from Bremerton are supposed to arrive in time for the party.

3. My sisters and I love to eat brownies.


key words: pronouns, case, subject, nouns, determiners (articles)


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1a Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1a Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why). 


Here is this lesson as a pdf.


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