Is Pronoun an Adjective?: 9 Important Facts You Should Know


A pronoun and adjective function on different spectrums of English Grammar. So, one must be wondering how they can go hand in hand. In this article we’ll take a deeper look into the pronoun-adjective connection and try to answer the question “Is Pronoun an Adjective?”

Do pronouns act as adjectives?

No, not all pronouns act as adjectives.

However, there are some pronouns that act as adjectives only in certain contexts.

Example- This is her journal and it was gifted to her by me.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘her’ describes the journal in context of belonging.
  • Hence, the pronoun ‘her’  functions as an adjective in this case.

How can a pronoun be an adjective?

A pronoun can be an adjective depending upon where it is positioned in a sentence.

If certain kinds of pronouns are placed in front of certain kinds of words, then that is how they could be considered as adjectives.

Example 1- This is his food.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘his’ describes the food in context of belonging.
  • Hence, the pronoun ‘his’  functions as an adjective in this case.

Example 2- She borrowed a sweater of his.

  • The word his’ in the above written statement, also determines a belongingness over the sweater.
  • However, in this case the pronoun ‘his’ is used as a pronoun itself and not as an adjective since it is not placed in front of a noun.

When can a pronoun be an adjective?

Only certain sub-types of pronouns can serve as adjectives.

These sub-types of pronouns may function as adjectives only in certain, if not all scenarios.

Example- Those people handed us their belongings.

  • In the above written statement, the two words ‘those’ and ‘their’ belong to two sub-types of pronouns.
  • The pronoun ‘those’ is a demonstrative pronoun, in this case acting as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘people’.
  • The pronoun ‘their’ is a possessive pronoun, in this case acting as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘belongings’.

Where can a pronoun be an adjective?

A pronoun can be an adjective when it is placed in front of a noun.

If the certain pronoun acts as a descriptor of the noun then it can be called an adjective since that is the main function of any and every adjective.

Example- Whose bottle is this?

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘whose’ is a relative pronoun.
  • However, in this case it acts as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘bottle’.

Is a possessive pronoun an adjective?

Yes, a possessive pronoun can sometimes be an adjective.

A possessive pronoun can only serve as an adjective when it is positioned in front of a noun.

Example 1- I borrowed her book for the summer.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘her’ is a possessive pronoun.
  • However, in this case it acts as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘book’.

Example 2- I borrowed this book of hers for the summer.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘hers’ remains a possessive pronoun.
  • It does not serve as an adjective in any way, shape or form since it is not placed in front of a noun.

Is relative pronoun an adjective?

Yes, a relative pronoun can sometimes be an adjective.

A relative pronoun can only serve as an adjective when it is positioned in front of a noun.

Example 1- What person does something like this?

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘what’ is a relative pronoun.
  • However, in this case it acts as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘person’.

Example 2- What do you think?

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘what’ remains a relative pronoun.
  • It does not serve as an adjective in any way, shape or form since it is not placed in front of a noun.

Is demonstrative pronoun an adjective?

Yes, a demonstrative pronoun can sometimes be an adjective.

A demonstrative pronoun can only serve as an adjective when it is positioned in front of a noun.

Example 1- This necklace belonged to my grandmother.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘this’ is a relative pronoun.
  • However, in this case it acts as an adjective since it is placed before the noun ‘necklace’.

Example 2- This is what I was talking about.

  • In the above written statement, the word ‘this’ remains a demonstrative pronoun.
  • It does not serve as an adjective in any way, shape or form since it is not placed in front of a noun.
Is Pronoun an adjective
Is Pronoun an adjective

List of adjective pronouns

Possessive Pronouns as adjectives

Relative Pronouns as adjectives

Demonstrative Pronouns as adjectives

Adjective pronoun examples

1.     My- Just give me a minute so that I can wear my shoes.

In the above written statement, the word ‘my’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘shoes’.

2.     Your- I love how clean your bathroom is.

In the above written statement, the word ‘your’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘bathroom’.

3.     Her- Everybody absolutely loved her dress as she looked gorgeous in it.

In the above written statement, the word ‘her’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘dress’.

4.     His- He hit his toe at the corner of the table and hurt himself really badly.

In the above written statement, the word ‘his’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘toe’.

5.     Its- The cat went around looking for food everywhere for its kitten.

In the above written statement, the word ‘its’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘kitten’.

6.     Our- Our friend, Julia owns a jewelry shop so you could go look for a necklace over there.

In the above written statement, the word ‘our’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘friend’.

7.     Their- They sold their house and shifted into a smaller town.

In the above written statement, the word ‘their’ is a possessive pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘house’.

8.     Whose- She is the person whose name I can’t remember?

In the above written statement, the word ‘whose’ is a relative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘name’.

9.     Which- Which country got its independence after years of struggle?

In the above written statement, the word ‘which’ is a relative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘country’.

10.  What- What type of coffee do you prefer?

In the above written statement, the word ‘what’ is a relative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘type’.

11.  This- This plate of French fries belongs to my friend over there.

In the above written statement, the word ‘this’ is a demonstrative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘plate’.

12.  That- Please do not step over that line over there.

In the above written statement, the word ‘that’ is a demonstrative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘line’.

13.  These- The colorful socks go well with these loafers that you’re wearing.

In the above written statement, the word ‘these’ is a demonstrative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘loafers’.

14.  Those- He travelled to all those countries that have been marked on the map.

In the above written statement, the word ‘those’ is a demonstrative pronoun.

However, in this case it acts as an adjective as it has been placed before the noun ‘countries’.

Conclusion

Hence, one can see that not all pronouns are adjectives. However, depending on placement they can sometime serve as adjectives, although only within some contexts.

Vriddhi Kapoor

Hi.....I’m a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. I wish to do a Masters in the same field someday and continue my career in Academia. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vriddhi-kapoor-513bb4202

Recent Posts