Distributive Pronouns – Examples & Rules

Pronouns are a part of speech. They are the words used to replace nouns and avoid the repetition of nouns. Pronouns can be easy to understand. However, these pronouns can further be classified into different parts.

While there are many classifications of pronouns. In this post, we will focus on distributive pronouns. Distributive pronouns are a classification that includes words that usually refer to singular nouns.

There are some rules that we need to understand in order to use distributive pronouns without any grammatical errors.

What are distributive pronouns?

Distributive pronouns are a type of pronoun that is used to refer to members of a group separately instead of referring to them collectively. In short, they refer to persons or things in a group in a singular manner.

Distributive pronouns are, therefore, used with singular nouns. It also means that distributive pronouns precede a singular verb.

Distributive pronouns are each, either, neither, everyone, none, no one, and others.

Let us understand with some examples;

  • Each boy went to school yesterday.
  • Either of them can join the club.
  • Neither answer is true.

Usage of distributive pronouns

As mentioned earlier, distributive pronouns are pronouns that refer to items or persons separately.

They are usually used with singular nouns and singular verbs.

  • Each is used with a singular noun and verb to indicate every single thing or person present in a group, but not as a whole unit. They are presented separately.
  • Others like either and neither are used to denote only two things by referring to them separately.
  • None or no one is used to indicate two or more things by referring to them individually.
  • Everyone is also used to denote things separately that belong to a group.

These are some basic distributive pronouns. There can be several others with the same motive of denoting nouns separately.

Let us look at some more examples of distributive pronouns;

  • Either person can go inside.
  • Each day is a new and beautiful start.
  • Everyone can get inside the bus now.
  • Each member of the house got an award.
  • None can get these rewards unless you work hard.

Some distributive pronouns are also used with plural nouns and a singular verb.

For instance; either of, neither of and each of

Let us look at some examples;

  • Each of the members is required to leave.
  • Either of the girls can go and use the changing room.
  • Neither of the clothes appealed to me.
  • None of the teachers cared about the presentation.
  • Neither of them can join the game again.
  • Each of the students can have access to the lab now.

It is to note that words like each can also be placed in different positions.

For example;

  • I wanted to keep each of them.
  • We each think differently.
  • We are each a member of the scouts.
  • Each one of you is going to fail.
  • I can only think about each one of you going through hell.

We see distributive pronouns can be tricky if one is not sure or clear about the rules. Once you know them thoroughly, it will become easier.

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