What is the Difference Between Nouns and Pronouns? Definition & Examples [Download PDF]

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Difference Between Noun and Pronoun: How do you generally proceed while talking about a movie with your friend? Would you say, “The movie was amazing! The movie had cool VFX as well. The movie left a lasting impression on me.” Well, don’t you think it is a bit boringly repetitive? That is why everyone must learn the difference between nouns and pronouns in English. After all, these members from the parts of speech’s family work together so that you can avoid saying the same words over and over, while your sentence formation can be as smooth as a butter bar. 

But, there is more to learn about these two than just structurisation in English grammar. Therefore, let’s hop on and go through the definitions, examples, and differences between these two units of basic grammar to be as skilled as a native English speaker in its usage.   

What is a Noun?

Before unravelling the mystery between nouns and pronouns, first, you need to learn these two as separate entities. So, when it comes to knowing what are nouns, you must have observed that they represent the name of a person, place, thing, or animal. To elaborate, if you can put a name tag in front of any living or non-living thing, like your name, what you eat, the places you visit and so on, can be a noun. 

Take a look at the examples below and you will understand it better. 

7 Common Types of Nouns in English

Next comes briefly going over the types of nouns and their examples. Take a look at the table below and try to memorise as many of them as possible for better usage. 

S.No. Types Definition Examples
1 Common Noun Refers to any person, place or thing in a general sense dog, cat, car, house, etc.
2 Proper Noun Refers to a specific person, thing, or place and is always capitalised. Fido (dog’s name), Mittens (cat’s name), Honda (car brand), etc.
3. Concrete Noun Denotes things that can be perceived by the senses (seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched) tree, apple, book, chair, door, etc.
4 Abstract Noun Refers to ideas, concepts, or qualities that senses cannot perceive  Love, freedom, hope, fear, etc.
5 Collective Noun Represents a group of people, things, or animals as a whole Team, flock, herd, pride, bunch, etc.
6 Countable Noun Nouns that can be counted individually Chair, cow, bus, house, etc.
7 Uncountable Noun Nouns that can’t be counted individually (like substances or materials) Water, sugar, milk, rice, air, etc.

Find more interesting reads on types of nouns here!

What are Singular Nouns? Plural Nouns
What are Material Nouns? Compound Nouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns What are Possessive Nouns?

What is a Pronoun?

Before formally introducing yourself with pronouns, let’s go back to the introductory paragraph above, where you briefed your friend about a movie you watched earlier. Then, you could not think of a substitute word for the subject and ended up beginning all your sentences with ‘the movie’. 

But, with the usage of a few pronouns along with the noun (movie), you can actually sound more proficient and listenable. Why? Because as per the standard definition, a pronoun stands in for a noun that you have already mentioned. 

Now, let’s frame the same example in a better way with the usage of a pronoun.

  1. “The movie was amazing! The movie had cool VFX as well.” [without pronoun]
  2. “The movie was amazing! It had cool VFX as well. [with pronoun]

6 Important Types of Pronouns

Now, make sure to go through these types of pronouns quickly to use them skillfully:

S.No. Types Definition Examples
1 Personal Pronoun Refers to specific people or things  I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, them
2 Possessive Pronoun It shows ownership mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs
3. Demonstrative Pronoun It points to specific things This, that, these, those
4 Interrogative Pronoun Used to ask questions  Who, what, which, whom, whose
5 Reflexive Pronouns Refers back to the subject myself, yourself, herself, himself, ourselves, yourselves
6 Relative Pronoun It connects clauses and modifies nouns who, which, that, whose

Noun vs. Pronoun – Definition and Usage

Although, you have probably gotten a jest of common difference between nouns and pronouns. Nonetheless, think of the table below as an epitome of information for clarity. 

Feature Noun Pronoun
Definition Identifies a person, place, thing, or ideas Replaces a noun to avoid repetition of a word
Usage Names and labels entities in a sentence Refers back to a noun
Example Catr, book, freedom, etc. He, she, it, mine, this, etc. 

Difference Between Noun and Pronoun Types 

In order to not confuse some similar-sounding yet distinct functioning types of nouns and pronouns, make sure you go through the following details to get an edge over their usage. 

  • Possessive Noun vs Pronoun
Possessive Noun Possessive Pronoun
Denotes ownership of the noun through apostrophes (’) Shows ownership without needing a noun.
Example: John’s book, cat’s tail. Example: mine, yours, his, hers, its, our, theirs. 
  • Demonstrative Noun vs.  Pronoun
Demonstrative Noun Demonstrative Pronoun
No direct equivalent, but some nouns can be used demonstratively with additional modifiers It points to specific things 
Example: this book, that house. Example: this, that, these, those.
  • Singular and Plural Noun and Pronoun
Nouns Pronouns
It has singular and plural forms to indicate one or more entities It has singular and plural forms to agree with the nouns they replace
Example: book, books Example: she, they

Noun and Pronoun Exercises for Practising

Do you know that Rome wasn’t built in a day? So to say, merely cramming the pieces of information above will not give you the confidence of a grammar nazi. Therefore, make sure to download this practice exercise and test your knowledge whenever you feel ready. 

This was all about nouns and pronouns. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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