Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is there anything wrong with the following phrase? "It cost less to reuse boxes than to buy new ones."
Rules of the Games
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Bobby, who likes watching cartoons and video games, asks...
Can you help me understand what a pronoun is and how to identify one in a sentence. I am a 4th grader and would like to get my homework done correctly. Thanks, Bobby
Anne answers...
Bobby, pronouns are substitutes for nouns. The reason we have them is to make our writing more interesting. Otherwise, we would have to keep repeating the same word over and over. So . . . let's assume you know what nouns are and that you have been given four of them to write in sentences. The nouns are ball, Mary, Alice, and bat. You could say "Mary hit the ball to Alice with the bat." But now you need to write a second sentence. You could say "Mary ran to second base." But it gets boring to keep using Mary's name. So you say, "She ran to second base." If you notice, we never use a pronoun unless we know the reader understands the noun that we are substituting it for. This is a very important rule with pronouns. You can't start out with one. Now, to help you identify them, I'm giving you a list of the most common pronouns. They are: I, You, He, She, It, We, They, Me, Him, Her, Us, Them, Ours, Yours, His, Hers, My, Mine, Their. But just because you have this list, doesn't mean you know how to use the right pronoun in the right sentence. So be careful. And good luck with your homework.
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