The list below is taken from Barbara Abbott's 'Definiteness and Indefiniteness.' Why do you think the is used before 'personal pronouns' but not before 'demonstrative pronouns' or 'demonstrative determiners'?

I cannot exactly reproduce her list here. If you would take the trouble of going to the actual site and see Table 1, it would be much appreciated.



  • NP type: Pronouns
  • More details: the personal pronouns
  • Examples: I, you, she, them

  • NP type: Demonstratives
  • More details: demonstrative pronouns; NPs with demonstrative determiners
  • Examples: This, that, this chair over here

  • 2
    I think it's simply a lack of consistency on the part of the author (as with the use of semicolons and commas in your other question). You can use or not use the in either case.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 3:24
  • 1
    Thanks, Bob. Okay, it's just that inconsistency is there. I guess I was trying to read the list too precisely.
    – Sssamy
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 3:33
  • 2
    Understandable, given the nature of the material. I don't think the author is doing anyone any favors by being less than consistent in the way she presents her material. It's hard enough to wade through as it is!
    – BobRodes
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 3:38
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about an inconsistent piece of writing.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 3:47
  • 1
    I shall vote not to close. When someone asks a question about the meaning of a singularly opaque writing, we should not blame the questioner. Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


I'm going to agree with BobRodes' comment and say this is just inconsistent writing. The first list should have been just "personal pronouns". Saying "the personal pronouns" seems superfluous.

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