Lesson 1 - Grammar - SUPERNATURAL?

From Studia Informatyczne

Demonstrative, Indefinite and Relative pronouns

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The demonstrative pronouns, or demonstratives are: this, that, these and those:
This and these refer to things or people that are nearby either in space or time, while that and those refer to things or people that are further away in space or time.
This and that are singular. These and those are plural.

They can be used as a subject or object in a sentence:
This tastes delicious. (This is the subject of the sentence.)
I don't like this. (This is the direct object of the sentence.)

We can use this/these when we introduce people:
This is my mother and these are my aunts.

We can use that/those when we identify people:
That’s my boss and those are my colleagues.

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Indefinite Pronouns

Look at the examples:
There’s someone waiting for you.
He knows nothing about our history.
They must be somewhere here.
Nobody noticed her arrival.

Words like someone, nothing etc. are called indefinite pronouns. They refer to people and things in a very general way. We can form them by adding -one, -body, -thing and -where to every, some and no:

Peopleeveryone/everybodysomeone/somebodyno one/nobody
all the peoplea personno person
all the thingsa thingno things
(in) all the places(in) a place(in) no place

- There is no difference between the -one forms and -body forms.

- Indefinite pronouns are followed by a singular verb, but we refer back to them in a sentence with they/them/their:

Everyone is ready for their coffee break.
No one wants to return their books.

We can also form indefinite pronouns with any: anyone/anybody, anything, anywhere.

We usually use someone/something/somewhere in positive sentences or questions that expect positive answers:

Let’s do something.
Can you do something about it?

We use anyone/anything/anywhere in sentences with negative elements or in open questions and when we mean “it doesn’t matter who/ what /where”:

I don’t know anybody here.
He will do anything to get this money.

John: Let’s go.
Sue: Where?
John: Anywhere!

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Relative Pronouns - who, whom, whose, which, that

You can use a relative pronoun to link one phrase or clause to another:

- Do you know the girl who is sitting by the window?
- Yes, I do. She works in a shop that sells very expensive cosmetics.
- Oh, now I remember. This is the girl to whom I spoke the other day. We talked about her neighbours whose children always make a lot of noise.

  • We use who and sometimes that (less formally) when we are talking about people:

People who/that laugh a lot tend to live longer.

  • We use which and that for things, ideas and animals. Which is more formal:

They have a cat which/that can fetch things.

  • We use who as the subject of the relative clause and whom (formally) as the object:

The person who was talking to you is our new boss.
The person to whom you were talking is our new boss.

  • In formal situations, we can use whom after the preposition at the beginning of a relative clause:

The man to whom Tony spoke is our new boss.

  • In less formal situations, in defining relative clauses, we can put a preposition after a verb and use who to begin a relative clause or leave out the relative pronoun:

The man who Tony spoketo is our new boss.
The man Tony spoke to is our new boss.

  • Generally, we can leave the pronoun out of an identifying clause:

Have you seen the newspaper (that) I was reading?
The woman (who) you were talking to is my mother.

  • If the relative pronoun is followed immediately by a verb, we must keep it:

Someone who spoke to Tony delivered the news.

  • In non-defining relative (extra information) clauses we must keep the pronoun:

Tony, who spoke to our new boss, told us about it.

  • That is never used in a non-defining relative clause.

  • Whose shows that something belongs to someone or something:

Jenny is the girl whose dog bit you yesterday.
He manages a firm whose employees earn big money.

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