Understand what you read: Emma’s pronoun trick!


Hello, my name is Emma, and in today's video, I'm going to help you become a better reader

by teaching you about something called pronouns.

So, the tip I'm going to share with you today will be very helpful if you are in high school

or college or university, if you are taking the IELTS or TOEFL or CELPIP or any kind of

test where you need to do some reading, or if you just love to read, okay?

So, this tip is going to help people who have to read something, and it will help you understand

what you read better by understanding pronouns.

So, let's get started.

So, the first thing I want to do is tell you what a noun is, because by knowing what a

noun is, you're going to understand what a pronoun is, and that's the very first step

to reading better.

I have here a very, very simple definition of a noun, okay?

So, this a simple definition, but a noun is - it can be a person, it can be a place, it

can be a thing, it can be an idea, it can be an object, so all of these things can be


I'll give you some examples - some concrete examples - so you can understand what I'm

talking about.

"My name is Emma."

Emma is a noun.

A person is a noun; Emma is a noun.

A place, school, the word school is a noun.

In terms of thing, I have here in my hand a marker.

The word "marker" is a noun.

And then I have - for idea, happiness.

Happiness is an idea.

It's also - the word is also a noun.

So, nouns are different than words that describe things, which are called adjectives, like

nice, or intelligent, or popular.

So today, we're going to talk about nouns and pronouns.

So, I've told you what a noun is.

What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun.

There are different types of pronouns, but the main idea I want you to know is that a

pronoun replaces a noun.

So, let me give you some ideas of some pronouns.

So, I told you before, "Emma" is a noun.

The pronoun would be "I".

I, because I'm Emma.

"I" replaces Emma.

For school or marker, we can use the pronoun "it".

If I'm talking about my friend, I can use the pronoun "he" or "she", which replaces

the word "friend".

We have the pronoun they, them, ones, there are many different pronouns and I'll talk

a little bit more about them in a moment, but the main thing to know is that they replace


So, why is this important?

Well, in English, writers like to make what they write interesting, and they way they

make what they write interesting is by using pronouns.

If a writer only used nouns, their writing would be very boring.

So, for example: Emma likes tea.

Emma is fun.

Emma goes to the movies.

Emma reads a lot of books.

By not using pronouns, you hear the word "Emma, Emma, Emma".

It's so repetitive.

So, that's why in English, we use pronouns, to make the language more interesting.

So sometimes, we might use the word "Emma", sometimes we might use the word "she", so

using a pronoun makes a sentence more interesting.

So, how do writers use writers and pronouns?

Well first, when they write, they introduce a noun.

So, imagine I wanted to introduce the noun "school".

I could make a sentence: School is fun.

Now, in the next sentence, I'm going to use a pronoun.

So, these are the two steps writers use: they first use a noun and then they use a pronoun.

School is fun.

It is - or let me think of a good pronoun for school - School is fun.

I love going there, okay?

In this case, I used "there" to replace "school".

So, I'm going to write some great examples on the board in a moment, but the main thing

to know is that, again, a pronoun replaces a noun.

So, let's look at some examples on how we can use this when we're reading.


So, I want you to imagine this: You have to read something and it's hard.

It's really difficult to understand what you're reading.

Maybe it's a university textbook.

Maybe it's a newspaper article.

So, this tip I'm going to teach you is going to help you in those situations.

So, what I want to say is there are three things I want you to do when you're having

a hard time reading a couple of sentences.

So, let's look at this.

I've written here two simple sentences to give you an example: Jamie loves the pool.

She enjoys swimming in it every day.

So, in this sentence, we have some nouns and we also have some pronouns.

What can help you in your reading is asking yourself "What does the pronoun refer to?".

So, how can we ask ourselves this question?

What are the steps we need to take to answer this question?

Well, first of all, we need to figure out what are the nouns in the sentence?

So, what I like to do is if I don't understand the words, I'll underline the nouns, so in

this case, I've underlined the word Jamie, Jamie is a person, so I know, okay, person,

it's a noun.

"Loves" is a verb.

The is an article.

Pool... hmm.

Pool is a place, so I've underlined the word pool.

It's a noun.

She - that's a pronoun - enjoys swimming in it every day.

Day is also a noun, so I could also underline that.

So, I underline the nouns first.

After I do that, I now look for the pronouns, or the words that replace the nouns.

So, Jamie loves the pool.

She - okay, she is a pronoun.

So, what I've done is I'm going to circle the pronouns.

I've circled the word she, enjoys is a verb, swimming in it - it is a pronoun as well,

so I've circled the pronoun "it" - every day.

Now, I have to ask myself this question: what does the pronoun refer to?

What does "she" refer to?

So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to look at the sentence: Jamie loves the pool.

Hm, I know a pool isn't a person, so I wouldn't use she, and the only other noun here is Jamie,

so she refers to Jamie.

She is the pronoun that is replacing the word Jamie.

So, now I'm going to do my third step, draw an arrow or write the noun over the pronoun.

So, I can do two things here, I can either go, okay, she means Jamie, or if I don't want

to draw an arrow, what I can do is just make a note to myself - Jamie.

Okay, so I've got the first pronoun figured out.

Jamie loves the pool.

Jamie, or she, enjoys swimming in it every day.

Now I have my second pronoun - it.

So I've circled it, and I have to ask myself the question: what does the pronoun "it" refer


Hm, well if I go back to the sentence before, Jamie is not an it, we've already figured

out it's a "she", and it is used for, usually, objects or ideas.

Loves is a verb - okay, pool.

Pool is the other noun we're looking at.

So, it must be the replacement for the word pool.

So instead of saying pool, in this sentence, we've said "it".

She enjoys swimming in the pool every day - she enjoys swimming in it every day.

So now we do the third step, we can either draw an arrow like we've done up here, or

we can write the noun it's replacing over it, so I'm going to the second, I'm going

to say, "She enjoys swimming in the pool every day."

And so, that's how you understand what you're reading better because if there are a lot

of pronouns, it can get really confusing quickly, especially when there's a lot of words you

don't know and it's a hard reading.

So, I've given you an easier sentence, but anytime you're having a hard time reading,

try this tip.

Figure out the nouns, figure out the pronouns and ask yourself: What does the pronoun refer


And this will make your lives a lot easier.

For those of you doing the IELTS, the TOEFL, or any type of university reading, this is

really key.

So, thank you for watching this video.

I hope you've learned something.

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So, thank you for watching, and until next time, take care.