A pronoun is a word that stands in place of a noun or noun phrase.
I looked at Tom.
I looked at him.
‘Him’ is a pronoun which stands in place of ‘Tom’.
In Stage 1 we looked at personal pronouns.
|‘I’ and ‘we’||‘you’|
When ‘cum’ is used with a personal pronoun, it is added to the end.
|mecum||with me||tecum||with you|
|nobiscum||with us||vobiscum||with you|
Note that you may also encounter ‘-cumque’ attached to the end of a word. In this case, the meaning is ‘…ever’ or ‘…soever’.
There are several words which can be used as personal pronouns in the third person. These are called demonstrative pronouns. They are very common in documents and it is well worth spending some time studying their forms.
|Eum vidi||I saw him|
|Hunc vidi||I saw him|
|Illum vidi||I saw him|
|Eam audio||I hear her|
|Hanc audio||I hear her|
|Illam audio||I hear her|
Note that these pronouns are also used as demonstrative adjectives and are translated as ‘this’, ‘these’, ‘that’, ‘those’.
Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. In English they are translated as ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘himself’, ‘herself’, ‘itself’, ‘ourselves’, ‘yourselves’ and ‘themselves’.
For the first and second person, personal pronouns can be used reflexively.
|Me audio||I hear myself|
|Te audis||You hear yourself|
‘Me’ and ‘you’ are the objects of the verb, so appear in the accusative case.
For the third person, a different reflexive pronoun is used. This pronoun is unaffected by gender and number, but it does decline.
|Accusative||se/sese||herself, himself, itself||themselves|
|Genitive||sui||of herself, himself, itself||of themselves|
|Dative||sibi||to/for herself, himself, itself||to/for themselves|
|Ablative||se/sese||from/with/by herself, himself, itself||from/with/by themselves|
|Lucia se audit||Lucy hears herself|
|Thomas se audit||Thomas hears himself|
|Scissores se audiunt||The tailors hear themselves|
Relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns
In Beginners’ Latin we also looked at the pronouns for statements and questions, meaning ‘who’, ‘which’ and ‘that’, and ‘who?’ and ‘which?’. These are called relative and interrogative pronouns. In addition to these, it is important to also be aware of the pronoun meaning ‘a certain’. This is called an indefinite pronoun.
who, which, that
The indefinite pronoun is a compound of the relative pronoun with the ending ‘-dam’. The only difference is that the ‘-m’ of the relative pronoun may change to an ‘-n’ before the ‘-dam’ ending.
Other indefinite pronouns you may come across in documents include:
quivis, quevis, quodvis – anyone, anything
quisque, queque, quidque – each one, each thing
uterque, utraque, utrumque – each of two
quilibet, quelibit, quodlibet – anyone at all, anything at all
Further useful pronouns
Most pronouns are used simply as pronouns. However others are used as pronouns and adjectives.
These types of pronouns are frequent in documents and it is well worth taking the time to learn them and study their endings.
The majority decline in a similar way to first and second declension adjectives except in the genitive and dative singulars of all genders. The highlighted pronouns end in a variety of ways, which can all be studied in the grammar table.
|alius, alia, aliud||other, another|
|alter, altera, alterum||other (of two things)|
|idem, eadem, idem||The same (man), the same (woman), the same (thing)|
|ipse, ipsa, ipsum||he, himself; she, herself; itself|
|iste, ista, istud||this (man), this (woman), this (thing)|
|neuter, neutra, neutrum||neither (of two things)|
|nullus, nulla, nullum||no|
|solus, sola, solum||sole|
|totus, tota, totum||whole|
|ullus, ulla, ullum||any|
|unus, una, unum||one|
|uter, utra, utrum||which (of two things)|
Are you confident with
- the meanings of demonstrative pronouns?
- the different forms of demonstrative pronouns?
- the meanings of reflexive pronouns?
- the different forms of reflexive pronouns?
- the meanings of relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns?
- the different forms of relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns?
- the meanings of the further useful pronouns?
- how you would decline them?