Pronouns and Determiners are word classes in which we find some of the most common and useful words in English. The difference between them is that a pronoun is used in a place of a noun and a determiner is followed by a noun (or by an adjective, then by a noun).
- Pronouns come in different groups including:
- personal pronouns with different forms that you can find set out in table 4.2 below
- indefinite pronouns (someone, something, anyone, anything, no one, nothing, everyone, everything)
- relative pronouns (who, which, that)
- interrogative pronouns (who? what? which?)
- Determiners include these group:
- articles ( the definite article the, the indefinite article a which comes before a consonant and an which comes before a vowel)
- possessives (see table 4.2)
However there are other groups which can function either as pronoun or as determiners namely:
- numerals (one, two, three e.t.c, first, second, third e.t.c.)
- demonstratives (this, that; these, those)
- quantifiers (some, much, many, more, most, all, both)
Study these examples with much:
He doesn’t have much (determiner) hope
Much (pronoun) is expected of you
Table 4.2 Personal Pronouns/ Determiners
Reflexive pronouns should not be confused with reciprocal pronouns each other (referring to two people) and one another (more than two).
Compare these sentences
- Oke and Tony blamed themselves for losing the goat (Oke blamed himself and Tony blamed himself)
- Oke and Tony blamed each other for losing the goat (Oke blamed Tony and Tony blamed Oke)
Problems with quantifiers
Many students misuse quantifiers. Note the following:
Most: Use this when you want to say ‘nearly all’, NOT when the right word is ‘many’
E.g. Most of my class mates own a mobile phone (This means that if their number is 50, at least 40 of them own a mobile phone – but not if only 30 own one)
A few/Few: Use these quantifiers with countable nouns in the plural only. Both mean ‘a small number’, but while A few is positive in tone, Few is negative. For example
A few students have registered for Physics (That’s good)
Few students have registered for Physics (What a pity)
A little/Little: They behave just like a few/few but are used with uncountable nouns.
Writing a Play
It is quite sufficient to choose some very small incident or anecdote. You should probably only attempt this topic if you have a brainwave – a sudden, very good idea of what your play could be about. Make your dialogue as natural as possible – but take care that it does not become too long or too boring.
When you are writing play, it is perfectly acceptable to make up a relevant subtitle. Try to brainstorm and then draw some kind of outline plan.
Possible Plan: My part in the school play
Introduction. Previous dramatic experience; reasons why I went in for the play
What happened at the audition: how i felt before, during and after. My feelings about my part.
The rehearsals: what happened; how i got on with the producer/other actors
The dress rehearsal: feeling of nervousness, etc. Worry about forgetting lines. Things that went wrong
The First Night……
Possible Plan 2: My outing to see Shehu Umar
Introduction: Why I wanted to see the play Shehu Umar, and who I went with
Arrival in the hall; where I sat; What I saw in the programme; gradual build-up of excitement
Paragraph 3 At last the curtain rose! Brief description of what the play is about
Paragraph 5 After the play was over
- What is the difference between pronouns and determiners?
- Pronouns come in different groups. List and explain them.
- Instruction: use the words from table 4.2 to fill the gaps in the following scene from a play
The characters F- Franca, D- Dora, G – a Guard YM – a Young Man
F: Look, __’re lucky! The train hasn’t gone yet! Hurry up, Dora, __ will go without __!
D: __ can’t run
G: __ tickets, please. Show __ tickets.
D: Here’s __
F: Oh, where’s __? __ can’t find __. Please, let __ through
G: __ ticket, __ ticket
F: Oh please, just help __! __ know __ always pass this way
D: There goes the whistle! Hurry up, Franca. Look, the platform’s deserted
G: __ can show __ ticket at __ destination, but __ must find __
F: Oh, thanks! Now, Dora, run!
Later inside the train, they work through one compartment after another looking in vain for two empty seats together
D: There just aren’t any. __’d better just stand here near the door
F: (still searching for her lost ticket) How could __ have lost __ ticket when I bought __ at the booking office just now?
D: __’re always losing things. __’m glad __ don’t have a brain like __.
A young man in a tie approaches the girls on his way from the rear of the train. He speaks first to Dora.
YM: Oh, are __ the owner of this ticket? __ must have dropped __ near the barrier. The guard asked __ to give __ to __.
D: (Indicating Franca) It’s not __, it’s __. __’s the careless one.
F: Thank __ sir.
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