You learn in basic English that there are eight parts of speech:
But in advanced English, things get a bit more complicated. Welcome the “pronominal adjective”.
We know that a pronoun stands in place of a noun, and an adjective modifies a noun. Sometimes a word does both: it stands in place of a subject noun, and modifies an object noun.
Here is an example:
John lost his book.
In the above sentence, the word “his” is a pronoun in the sense that it stands in place of the subject “John”. But it is also an adjective in that it modifies the object “book”: “his book”
In the following sentences, the italicized words are pronominal adjectives. They stand in place of a noun and at the same time, modify another noun.
- The men brought their tools.
- The student donated his books to the library.
- Several students wrote about their adventures in the forests.
- Neither of the boys was willing to lend his bicycle.
- Do you think that the students will bring their drawings?
- Antonio and Cheryl promised us their assistance.
- We hope that they will complete writing their thrillers.
- Can you give me your book of poems?
- The birds flew back to their nest.
- The settlers are building their houses.