Is Who a Personal Pronoun: 5 Facts You Should Know


Personal Pronouns as a topic has a pretty wide scope. There are many types and sub-types of pronouns that sometimes may or may not even be viewed pronouns depending on the context, placement and type of sentence they’re used in. In this article we’re going to try and answer the question “Is Who a Personal Pronoun?”

What type of pronoun is “who”?

“Who” is an interrogative pronoun as well as personal pronoun.

  • It’s a pronoun since it used in reference to a person.
  • It can be viewed an interrogative or a personal pronoun depending on its placement in a sentence.

Example- It was Tia who was invited to the after party.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “Tia”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

When is “who” a personal pronoun?

“Who” can be viewed a personal pronoun when it is used in the middle of a sentence to confirm the reference being made to the person in question.

  • It is usually used in reference to the main subject of the sentence.

Example- Mark is the one who worked the most competently on this project.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “Mark”.
  • “Mark” is the subject of this sentence.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

How is “who” a personal pronoun?

“Who” is a personal pronoun by virtue of the fact that it can be used to validate a reference made to a person in a certain sentence.

  • Whenever the word “who” is used in a sentence, one can assume that the person being referred to  the subject of the said sentence.

Example- It was them who asked for the clothes to be donated.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the other pronoun “them”.
  • The people being referred to as “them” are the subject of this sentence.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

When is “who” an interrogative pronoun?

“Who” can be viewed a personal pronoun when it is positioned at the beginning of a question.

  • It’s interrogative in nature since it is usually used in questions.

Example- Who here asked for a pen from me?

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” is being posed as a question.
  • It is being used as a way to seek specific information.
  • Therefore, in this case, the word “who” would be viewed as an interrogative pronoun

Is “whom” a personal pronoun?

Yes, “whom” is a personal pronoun as well.

  • If used in the beginning of a sentence then it can also be viewed an interrogative pronoun.
  • When used in the middle of the sentence, it turns into a personal pronoun.
  • “Whom” is used as a refernce to the object in said sentence.

Example 1- Becky is the only one whom the professor trusts with all his assignment paper corrections.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “whom” refers to the noun “Becky”.
  • In this case, “Becky” is the object of the sentence, making the “professor” the subject.
  • Therefore, this makes “whom” a personal pronoun.

Example 2- To whom do I owe my gratitude?

  • In the above written sentence, the word “whom” is being posed as a question.
  • It is being used as a way to seek specific information.
  • Therefore, in this case, the word “whom” would be viewed as an interrogative pronoun.
  • However, in this case too, it is clear that the answer to “whom” would still be viewed as the object of the sentence.

Is “what” a personal pronoun?

“What” may be viewed a personal pronoun in just some cases.

  • More often than not, “what” is used as a determiner or an adverb.
  • It is used in the beginning of questions and is helpful in requesting specific information.
  • However, depending on placement and the type of sentence it is used in, it may be viewed a personal pronoun.

Example 1- What we need is an effective leader to take our company forward.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “what” refers to the other pronoun “we”.
  • Therefore, this makes “what” a personal pronoun.

Example 2- What is your sister’s name?

  • In the above written sentence, the word “what” is being posed as a question.
  • It is being used as a way to seek specific information.
  • Therefore, in this case, the word “what” would be viewed as an interrogative pronoun.
Is Who a Personal Pronoun
Is Who a Personal Pronoun

Examples of “Who” as a Personal Pronoun

1.     It was he who asked for an extension on his assignment.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the other pronoun “he”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

2.     It was Mary who quit her job just after two weeks of working.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “Mary”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

3.     Who asked for an extra sheet of paper for the task?

4.     It was Dave who said that he could finish the television series in just one day.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “Dave”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

5.     It was she who claimed that there was some corruption amongst the staff.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the other pronoun “she”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

6.     Who wants to help me look for my lost notebook?

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” is being posed as a question.
  • Therefore, it would be viewed as a personal as well as an interrogative pronoun.

7.     It was the Millers who left for a long vacation last week.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “Millers”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

8.     It was them who tried to put all the blame on me.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the other pronoun “them”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

9.     Who here as taught Math to kids before?

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” is being posed as a question.
  • Therefore, it would be viewed as a personal as well as an interrogative pronoun.

10.  It was his father who travelled the world for his work.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “father”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

11.  It was my mother who taught me how to drive a car.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “mother”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

12.  Who still needs to take their free samples from the counter?

13.  She is the teacher who made me fall in love with history again.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “teacher”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

14.  It was the student who did all of the hard work on the presentation.

  • In the above written sentence, the word “who” refers to the noun “student”.
  • Therefore, this makes “who” a personal pronoun.

15.  Who has a minute to spare?

Conclusion

Hence, the question “Is Who a Personal Pronoun?” has been answered and the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.

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

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