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Difference Between Noun and Pronoun

Noun vs Pronoun
 

Since noun and pronoun both play an important part in English grammar, it is important to learn the difference between noun and pronoun if you have a desire to master the language. First of all, it should be said that noun and pronoun are two of the eight parts of speech. The differences between them can be seen in their usage. A noun is defined as a word that denotes a person, place or thing. A pronoun, on the other hand, is used as a substitute for a noun. Let us look at the two terms, noun and pronoun, and the difference between noun and pronoun in detail here.

What is a Noun?

According to Oxford dictionary a noun is “A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun).” Simply put it, noun is a word that is used to name a person, place or thing.

This noun has three cases. They are nominative, objective, and possessive. Nominative case deals with the subject whereas objective or accusative case deals with the object. Nouns look alike when they are used in the nominative and objective cases.

Robert ate a mango.

Here the word mango is used in the objective case.

A mango falls from the tree.

Here the word a mango is used in the nominative case. Hence, the forms look alike.

Nouns are divided into various kinds. They include proper nouns, count nouns, non-count nouns, collective nouns, plural nouns and compound nouns. New York is a proper noun, table is a count noun, a herd is a collective noun, scissors is a plural noun and blackboard is a compound noun.

What is a Pronoun?

Oxford dictionary definition for pronoun is as follows: “A word that can function as a noun phrase used by itself and that refers either to the participants in the discourse (e.g. I, you) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g.she, it, this).” In the simplest terms, a pronoun is a word that can be used as a substitute for a noun. Under pronouns there exist different types of pronouns such as personal pronouns, interrogative pronouns, relative pronouns and indefinite pronouns. From them, personal pronouns are the ones most used. Some examples for personal pronouns are I, we, you and they.

Pronouns look different when they are used in the nominative and objective cases. Look at the following examples.

I read a book.

In this sentence, I is used in the nominative case.

He beat me.

Here, the personal pronoun me is used in the objective case. You would find that the personal pronoun I has changed into me when used in the objective case. Hence, the two forms look different.

Pronouns, on the other hand, are divided as demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns, interrogative pronouns, reflexive pronouns, reciprocal pronouns and indefinite pronouns. This and that are demonstrative pronouns, who is a relative pronoun, which is an interrogative pronoun, myself is a reflexive pronoun, each other is a reciprocal pronoun and anyone is an indefinite pronoun.

Difference Between Noun and Pronoun

What is the difference between Noun and Pronoun?

Though noun and pronoun seem to have a similarity, they are actually two different terms that are used for different purposes. The difference between noun and pronoun is seen mainly in their usage.

• A noun is a word that is used to name a person, thing or place. A pronoun is a word that is used to replace a noun.

• When used in objective and nominative cases, a noun does not change its form. For example consider the following sentences.

I ate the cake (cake is the object)

The cake is beautiful (cake is the subject)

The noun cake has the same form in both nominative and objective cases.

• A pronoun changes its form in nominative and objective cases. For example,

I saw stars. (I is the subject)

My brother hit me. (Me is the object)

According to the case, the pronoun changes.

• A noun is divided into different groups as proper nouns, count nouns, non-count nouns, collective nouns, plural nouns and compound nouns.

• A pronoun too is divided into different groups as demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns, interrogative pronouns, reflexive pronouns, reciprocal pronouns and indefinite pronouns.

 

Further Reading: 

  1. Difference Between Noun and Adjective
  2. Difference Between Verbs and Nouns
  3. Difference Between Nouns and Proper Nouns


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