SAM the MAN
We have seen that pronouns are singular or plural. Several pronouns, however, can be both.
You can refer to one person –
Jimmy Jackson, you get down here this minute!
Or it can refer to two or more people:
All of you are dismissed for lunch.
You can also refer to either one person or more than one:
You should be willing to work hard for good grades.
Who also can refer to one person –
Who do you think you are, Alicia Frederick, talking to me like that!
You can also refer to one person or more than one:
Who will bring cupcakes?
What, Which, Whose
We have seen that what, which, and whose are determiners if they are attached to a noun. They are pronouns if they stand alone. They can refer to one person or thing or to more than one:
Determiner: What questions do you have?
Singular Pronoun: What is the matter?
Plural Pronoun: What are some questions you might ask the prime minister?
Determiner: Which houses are for sale?
Singular Pronoun: Which has the swimming pool?
Plural Pronoun: Which have three bedrooms?
Determiner: Whose dog is this?
Singular Pronoun: Whose is this?
Plural Pronoun: Whose are these?
SAM the MAN
SAM the MAN refers to six words:
If the first five are attached to nouns, then they become determiners. If they stand alone, they are pronouns.
Determiner: Some boys are going camping.
Pronoun: Some of the boys are going camping.
Determiner: All of the girls will also take photography class.
Pronoun: All of the girls in zoology are also taking photography class.
Determiner: More students have decided to take the trip to the beach.
Pronoun: More students have decided to take the trip to the beach.
Determiner: Most boys will attend the show.
Pronoun: Most of the boys in the seventh grade will attend the show.
Determiner: Any campers who complete the survey will have a free pass for the campfire.
Pronoun: Any who complete the survey will have a free pass for the campfire.
To figure out if a SAM the MAN pronoun is singular or plural, look at the first noun that follows the pronoun. If the first noun is singular, then the SAM the MAN pronoun is singular. If the noun is plural, then the SAM the MAN pronoun is plural. Place this line underneath the first diagram.
Singular: Some of the pie was eaten.
No and None
The last word in SAM the MAN is none. It can only be a pronoun. When it becomes a determiner, none changes to no. For example:
Pronoun: None of the rifles have been oiled.
Singular Determiner: No rifle has been oiled.
Plural Determiner: No rifles have been oiled.
Small Group Activity
Decide if the underlined words are determiners or pronouns. If they are pronouns, decide if they are singular, plural, or both.
- I want to know whose baseball equipment was left in the dugout.
- I want to know who left equipment in the dugout.
- None of the giraffes have had their shots.
- Three of you have received no tardies or absences throughout high school.
- I need to know if any of the drivers have been ticketed for speeding.
- All of our firewood was stolen.
- What is the dog’s name?
- Most of the chess club players have made it to round two.
- It is possible that more of the trees have been infected.
- Which one of the trains has a dining car?