Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. We use them to avoid repeating a noun over and over. For example, instead of writing, “Dancing is a popular form of exercise. Dancing burns up two hundred to four hundred calories per hour,” a student might want to change the subject of the second sentence to the pronoun It, which, in the context, would clearly mean dancing.

This chapter focuses on the pronoun’s ability to function as a subject. But pronouns can do all sorts of other things in sentences, too. Let’s look at three groups of pronouns that can be used as subjects of independent clauses. (Pronouns can be subjects of dependent clauses, too.)

It’s not necessary to memorize these pronouns in their three groups, but it’s essential to know that they are pronouns and can be the subjects of sentences.