The English language consists of grammar that needs to be used properly. A pronoun is one basic unit of English grammar divided into many types. A distributive pronoun is one of them. It is often used when more than one thing or a person needs to be stated.
Definition of distributive pronoun:
When the pronoun is used in a way to refer to or acknowledge more than one thing or person, it is called distributive pronouns. To be precise about distributive pronoun definition, it is the word used for more than one noun but not, particularly a group. This type of pronoun is used for certain things or members of the group, not in a collective way but to indicate an individual.
Words used as a distributive pronoun
Some of the most common words are distributive pronouns such as every, each, and either, none, any, no one, and neither. Such words can be singular. There is a verb followed with it in the singular format too.
Suppose, you want to talk about a certain number of people from a particular group or only refer to some particular books present in the library. It is in these situations you need to use distribution pronouns. The purpose of using this type of pronoun is to signify more about the things or person present in the group but separately. That is why; you will notice the singular verb always follows it. Practice more on how to define distributive pronouns with examples.
Situations when Distributive pronouns are used:
If we consider ‘Each’ word as the part of a distributive pronoun, you need to apply it when there are more than two things or people in the group, but that particular group or section is small.
Eg: Each of the students must carry their identity card.
If we consider ‘Every’ word as the part of a distributive pronoun, then you need to apply it to talk about certain things or members in common in a collective or group. Eg: Every participant will be felicitated.
If we consider ‘Either’ word as the part of a distributive pronoun, then you need to apply it when there is only one verb, and you need to talk about two or more than two things or people. In such a case, the verb used should be for the expression. Eg: Either you or Hari is going to stay with me till the end of the show.
If we consider the ‘Neither’ word as the part of a distributive pronoun, then you need to apply it to mean nobody or nothing or nothing between two things or people, and there is only a singular verb used. In such a case, the verb used should be for the expression. Eg: Neither of you is accepted at the university.
Points to Remember:
- If there is a certain number of people which is small and definite, then ‘each’ word is used, but when there is an indefinite number, ‘every’ word will be used
- ‘Each’ and ‘every’ are words that are used with a singular verb
- If there are more than two things or people, then words like no one, any, or none are appropriate for use
- Always remember, Distributive pronouns are followed either by a plural noun, singular possessive pronouns, or singular verb
- Since this type of pronoun is used for each member present in the group but individually, it is always counted as singular, it can thus need a singular possessive pronoun or singular verb after such pronoun
Neither of them plays well. (Distributive pronoun)
Each player plays well. (Distributive adjective)
Understand the difference
Distributive pronouns vs Distributive adjectives
Often students get confused between distributive adjectives and distributive pronouns. To reduce the repetitions, pronouns are used instead of a noun, and hence it can be a subject or a sentence object.
In the case of distributive adjectives, they are used before a noun. They refer to every member of a certain group individually.
A distributive pronoun shall be followed by a plural noun, but if there is a distributive adjective, it will have a singular noun.
Distributive VS Indefinite pronouns
Students often get confused between the Distributive and indefinite pronouns. When the pronoun is used for more than one thing or person in a situation, it is called Distributive pronouns. Everyone, no one, and each are some of the examples. When the pronoun is used for not a specific thing or person, it is known as Indefinite Pronouns. Little, another, anything, enough are indefinite pronouns examples.
The English language requires a lot of practice, and when it comes to using grammar, you must have clarity when nouns, pronouns or adjectives should be used. Since pronouns already have different types, you may get confused. But when it comes to understanding Distributive pronouns usage well, it is easy since it can be used as the object or subject in the sentence. When the pronoun is used in a way to refer to or acknowledge more than one thing or person, although not collectively but individually, it is called a distributive pronoun.