I am reading the book High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin.

While defining Pronoun, the following sentence appears as an example:

The books are where you left them.

Now my question is, is the word "you" too a pronoun in this particular sentence, just like the word "them"?

The authors have italicised the latter word but not the former, which has been done because the former word does not replace any explicit noun in the sentence.

Here is Wren & Martin's definition of Pronoun:

A Pronoun is a word used instead of a noun; ...

1 Answer 1


"You" is always a pronoun. The sentence might have been

The books are where Saaqib left them.

And "Saaqib" is definitely a noun.

(It occurs to me that in the sentence "'You' is always a pronoun", "'you'" is an ordinary noun, it's a word.)

  • It occurs to me that if addressed to a man, You don't get pregnant just by kissing is one of those relatively unusual contexts where you doesn't even include the addressee, let alone refer specifically to him. Jun 23, 2019 at 16:22
  • @FumbleFingers — Wiktionary calls it an "indefinite personal pronoun" (meaning "anyone, one; an unspecified individual or group of individuals") but still a pronoun. Jun 24, 2019 at 3:40

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