Pronoun usually refers to some noun or other pronoun, in sentences. These are used to make sentences look less awkward and thus help reduce repetition. For example:

" ਗੀਤਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਪੱਕੀ ਸਹੇਲੀ ਹੈ | ਗੀਤਾ ਉੱਚੀ ਲੰਮੀ ਹੈ | ਗੀਤਾ ਦਾ ਸੁਭਾ ਬੜਾ ਚੰਗਾ ਹੈ | ਗੀਤਾ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾਂ ਪੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ |"

The above sentence repeats word ਗੀਤਾ again and again and does not sounds good. Hence it can be written as:

" ਗੀਤਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਪੱਕੀ ਸਹੇਲੀ ਹੈ | ਉਹ ਉੱਚੀ ਲੰਮੀ ਹੈ | ਉਸ ਦਾ ਸੁਭਾ ਬੜਾ ਚੰਗਾ ਹੈ | ਉਹ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾਂ ਪੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ |"

If pronouns are used as modifiers in sentences, then their use will be termed as adjectival. They are pronouns only if used independently. Except first and second person personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns, all other pronouns can be used as adjectives including the genitive case forms of all the pronouns.

Formal definition:

"A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun for subject, object, or possessive cases." For example:

ਮੈਂ maiṃ


ਤੂੰ tūṃ


ਅਸੀਂ asīṃ


ਤੁਸੀਂ tusīṃ


ਉਹ uh

he, she, it, they, that, those

ਇਹ ih

this, it

ਉਹਨਾਂ uhnāṃ


ਇਹਨਾਂ ihnāṃ


1. Personal Pronoun : These are used to refer to first, second and third person in sentences.
  • ਮੈਂ is used for first person
  • ਤੂੰ for second person.
  • For third person, demonstrative pronouns ਉਹ and ਇਹ are used.

These pronouns can equally be used for both the genders, except genitive case forms.


Personal pronouns change forms with number and case as follows:

Number: Like nouns, personal pronouns also have forms for two numbers – singular and plural. Forms of first person ਮੈਂ are:

ਮੈਂ maiṃ I ਅਸੀਂ asīṃ we

Forms of second person ਤੂੰ are:

ਤੂੰ tūṃ you ਤੁਸੀਂ tusīṃ you

combined form of first and second person is ਆਪਾਂ
Third person pronouns ਉਹ and ਇਹ remain same for both the numbers.

Case: Personal pronouns take different forms for six cases – direct, oblique, instrumental, dative, ablative, and genitive or possessive.

For direct and oblique cases, same forms are applicable for first and second person pronouns, but in some dialectical usage, ਅਸਾਂ and ਤੁਸਾਂ are also used for ਅਸੀਂ and ਤੁਸੀਂ personal pronouns in their oblique case.Third person personal pronouns are changed their forms for oblique case, like:-

ਇਹ ih singular ਇਸ is singular
ਉਹ uh singular ਉਸ uh singular
ਇਹ ih plural ਇਹਨਾਂ ihnāṃ plural
ਉਹ uh plural ਉਹਨਾਂ uhnāṃ plural

Instrumental forms of third person singular pronouns are like:-

ਇਹਨੇ ihnē by he/she
ਉਹਨੇ uhnē by he/she

Dative forms of personal pronouns are like:-

ਮੈਨੂੰ mainūṃ to me
ਤੈਨੂੰ tainūṃ to you
ਉਹਨੂੰ uhnūṃ to them
ਇਹਨੂੰ ihnūṃ to these

Ablative forms of personal pronouns are like:-

ਮੈਥੋਂ maithōṃ from me
ਤੈਥੋਂ taithōṃ from You

Genitive case forms further show inflection for gender, number, and case.
For example:

First person forms are:

ਮੇਰਾ mērā my, mine ਮੇਰੇ mērē my, mine
ਸਾਡਾ sāḍā our, ours ਸਾਡੇ sāḍē our, ours
ਮੇਰੀ mērī my, mine ਮੇਰੀਆਂ mērīāṃ my, mine
ਸਾਡੀ sāḍī our, ours ਸਾਡੀਆਂ sāḍīāṃ our, ours

Second person forms are:

ਤੇਰਾ tērā your, yours ਤੇਰੇ tērē your, yours
ਤੁਹਾਡਾ tuhāḍā your, yours ਤੁਹਾਡੇ tuhāḍē your, yours
ਤੇਰੀ tērī your, yours ਤੇਰੀਆਂ tērīān your, yours
ਤੁਹਾਡੀ tuhāḍī your, yours ਤੁਹਾਡੀਆਂ tuhāḍīān your, yours

Third person forms are:

ਇਹਦਾ ihdā its ਇਹਦੇ ihdē its
ਉਹਦਾ uhdā his ਉਹਦੇ uhdē his
ਇਹਦੀ ihdī its ਇਹਦੀਆਂ ihdīāṃ its
ਉਹਦੀ uhdī her ਉਹਦੀਆਂ uhdīāṃ

2. Reflexive Pronoun : It reflects on the noun or pronoun it combines with and therefore is called reflexive pronoun. It refers to the self of the pronoun that combines with self.

ਆਪ and compound form ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ are the reflexive pronouns which expressed agentive (Non-possessive) reflexivity.
For example:
  1. ਮੈਂ ਆਪ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਦੇਖਿਆ |
  2. ਉਸਨੇ ਆਪ ਚੋਰ ਨੂੰ ਕੁੱਟਿਆ |
  3. ਤੁਸੀਂ ਆਪ ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਗਏ |
  4. ਮੈਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਸਾਰਾ ਕੰਮ ਕੀਤਾ |


Reflexive pronouns inflect for number and case grammatical categories.

Number: ਆਪ and ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ Reflexive pronouns do not change their forms for number grammatical category but its genitive form ਆਪਣਾ (for masculine gender) and ਆਪਣੀ (for feminine gender) and its reduplicated forms ਆਪਣਾ-ਆਪਣਾ and ਆਪੋ-ਆਪਣਾ change their forms for number grammatical category like:-

ਆਪਣਾ āpaṇā ਆਪਣੇ āpaṇē
ਆਪਣੀ āpṇī ਆਪਣੀਆਂ āpṇīāṃ
ਆਪੋ-ਆਪਣਾ āpō-āpṇā ਆਪੋ-ਆਪਣੇ āpō-āpaṇē
ਆਪਣਾ-ਆਪਣਾ āpṇā-āpṇā ਆਪਣੇ-ਆਪਣੇ āpaṇē-āpaṇē

Case: Reflexive pronoun ਆਪ change form for oblique, instrumental and genitive cases. In its oblique case form ਆਪ becomes ਆਪਣੇ for singular number, and ਆਪੋ and ਆਪਸ for plural number . ਆਪੇ is its instrumental case form.

In genitive case, it becomes:

ਆਪਣਾ āpaṇā ਆਪਣੀ āpṇī

These genitive case forms, equivalent to a combined form for first and second person, further inflect for number – singular and plural, and case – direct, oblique, for example:

ਆਪਣਾ āpaṇā singular ਆਪਣੇ āpaṇē singular
ਆਪਣੇ āpaṇē Plural ਆਪਣਿਆਂ āpṇiāṃ Plural
ਆਪਣੀ āpṇī singular ਆਪਣੀ āpṇī singular
ਆਪਣੀਆਂ āpṇīāṃ plural ਆਪਣੀਆਂ āpṇīāṃ plural

Reduplicated forms of ਆਪਣਾ and ਆਪਣੀ inflect like ਆਪਣਾ and ਆਪਣੀ for number and case grammatical categories.
Vocative case is not quite common but can be used occasionally.
3. Demonstrative Pronoun : ਉਹ and ਇਹ are two members of this word class:

ਉਹ uh that
ਇਹ ih this

These pronoun's forms are described in personal pronouns, above.
4. Indefinite Pronoun : Pronouns that are used for nouns whose exact figure, amount or quantity is not known are termed as indefinite pronouns.Punjabi indefinite pronouns are:-

ਇੱਕ ikk one
ਕੋਈ kōī someone, anyone
ਕਈ kaī some, several
ਕੁਝ kujh some, a little, a few
ਸਭ sabh all
ਸਾਰੇ sārē all
ਹੋਰ hōr others
ਅਨੇਕ anēk many, several
ਵਿਰਲਾ virlā rare
ਬਹੁਤ bahut planty, abundant
ਥੋੜ੍ਹੇ thōṛhē little


Indefinite pronouns change forms for number and case.

Number: There are two numbers – singular and plural. Some indefinite pronouns can only be used for singular number, e.g.ਇੱਕ, ਕੋਈ and some are applicable only for plural number, e.g. ਕਈ, ਸਭ, ਕੁਝ, ਹੋਰ, ਥੋੜ੍ਹੇ, ਸਾਰੇ, ਅਨੇਕ. ਵਿਰਲਾ becomes ਵਿਰਲੇ in its plural form. .

Case: Indefinite pronouns are commonly used in two case forms – direct and oblique. In oblique case, singular Pronouns ਕੋਈ and ਵਿਰਲਾ change their forms as below:-

ਕੋਈ kōī ਕਿਸੇ kisē
ਵਿਰਲਾ virlā ਵਿਰਲੇ virlē

Plural indefinite pronouns change their forms as below:-

ਕਈ kaī ਕਈਆਂ kaīāṃ
ਸਾਰੇ sārē ਸਾਰਿਆਂ sāriāṃ
ਵਿਰਲੇ virlē ਵਿਰਲਿਆਂ virliāṃ
ਬਹੁਤ bahut ਬਹੁਤਿਆਂ bahutiāṃ
ਥੋੜ੍ਹੇ thōṛhē ਥੋੜ੍ਹਿਆਂ thōṛhiāṃ
ਸਭ sabh ਸਭਨਾਂ sabhnāṃ
ਹੋਰ hōr ਹੋਰਨਾਂ hōranāṃ

Indefinite pronouns may be repeated or combined to form a compound indefinite pronoun.
For example:

ਕੁਝ ਕੁਝ kujh kujh something or little bit
ਕੋਈ ਵਿਰਲਾ kōī virlā any rare
ਕੋਈ ਹੋਰ kōī hōr someone else
5. Relative Pronoun : These pronouns join two clauses, typically an independent and a dependent, in a complex sentence. Two such pronouns are:

ਜੋ that
ਜਿਹੜਾ jihḍaā that. which

ਜਿਹੜੀ is the feminine form of ਜਿਹੜਾ .
When one of ਜੋ and ਜਿਹਡ਼ਾ is used in a clause then in another clause, either ਸੋ or ਉਹ is used. Both uses should agree in number and case.Relative pronouns can also be used to introduce subordinate clauses in complex sentences.


Number: ਜੋ and ਸੋ does not change their forms for number grammatical category but ਜਿਹੜਾ and ਜਿਹੜੀ change their forms for this grammatical category as below:-

ਜਿਹੜਾ jihṛā ਜਿਹੜੇ jihṛē
ਜਿਹੜੀ jihṛī ਜਿਹੜੀਆਂ jihṛīāṃ

Relative pronouns inflect for oblique, instrumental, dative and genitive cases.
In oblique case relative pronouns ਜੋ and ਜਿਹੜਾ change their forms as below:-

ਜੋ singular ਜਿਸ jis singular
ਜਿਹੜਾ jihṛā singular ਜਿਹੜੇ jihṛē singular
ਜਿਹੜੇ jihṛē plural ਜਿਹੜਿਆਂ jihṛiāṃ plural

In instrumental case only ਜੋ change its form as below:-

ਜੋ ਜਿਹਨੇ jihnē

In dative case ਜੋ change its form like:-

ਜੋ ਜੀਹਨੂੰ jīhnūṃ

In genitive case ਜੋ changes its form like:-

ਜੋ ਜਿਸਦਾ jisdā

ਜਿਸਦੀ is the feminine form of ਜਿਸਦਾ .
6. Interrogative Pronoun : Pronouns that are used to ask or inquire about something are known as interrogative pronouns. Punjabi interrogative pronouns are:-

ਕੌਣ kauṇ who
ਕੀ what
ਕਿਹੜਾ kihṛā who, which

These are similar to ‘wh’ words in English i.e. what, which, who, whom etc. Normally, ਕੌਣ is used for human beings, ਕੀ for animals, inanimate nouns etc. and ਕਿਹੜਾ is used to refer to one particular from a group and thus can be used for both the animate and inanimate nouns. ਕਿਹੜੀ is the feminine form of ਕਿਹੜਾ .


Interrogative pronouns change forms for number and case.
Number: ਕੌਣ can be used for two numbers – singular and plural. ਕੀ is in singular form and thus singular form of verb is used with it. It can be repeated or combined with indefinite pronoun ਕੁਝ to form plural form.
ਕਿਹੜਾ changes its form for number grammatical category as below:-

ਕਿਹੜਾ kihṛā ਕਿਹੜੇ kihṛē
ਕਿਹੜੀ kihṛī ਕਿਹੜੀਆਂ kihṛīāṃ

ਕੌਣ inflects for oblique, dative, instrumental and genitive cases. ਕੀ inflects for oblique and genitive cases and ਕਿਹੜਾ inflects for oblique case only.

In oblique case ਕੌਣ, ਕੀ, ਕਿਹੜਾ change their forms as below:-

ਕੌਣ kauṇ singular ਕਿਸ kis singular
ਕੌਣ kauṇ Plural ਕਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ kinhāṃ Plural
ਕੀ singular ਕਾਸ, ਕਾਹ kās,kāh singular
ਕਿਹੜਾ kihṛā singular ਕਿਹੜੇ kihṛē singular
ਕਿਹੜੇ kihṛē plural ਕਿਹੜਿਆਂ kihṛiāṃ plural

In instrumental case, only ਕੌਣ interrogative pronoun inflects as below :-

ਕੌਣ kauṇ singular ਕਿਨ੍ਹੇ kinhē singular
ਕੌਣ kauṇ Plural ਕਿਨ kin Plural

In dative case also only ਕੌਣ interrogative pronoun change its form as below :-

ਕੌਣ kauṇ singular ਕੀਹਨੂੰ kīhnūṃ singular

In genitive case ਕੌਣ and ਕੀ change their forms as below :-

ਕੌਣ kauṇ singular ਕਿਸਦਾ, ਕੀਹਦਾ kisadā, kīhdā singular
ਕੌਣ kauṇ plural ਕਿਸਦੇ, ਕੀਹਦੇ kisdē, kīhdē plural
ਕੀ singular ਕਾਸਦਾ, ਕਾਹਦਾ kāsadā, kāhdā singular

ਕਿਸਦੀ and ਕੀਹਦੀ are the feminine forms of ਕਿਸਦਾ and ਕੀਹਦਾ. ਕਾਸਦੀ and ਕਾਹਦੀ are the feminine forms of ਕਾਸਦਾ and ਕਾਹਦਾ. Genitive forms of ਕੌਣ further inflect for number and oblique case.

Genitive forms of ਕੌਣ change their forms for number as below :-

ਕਿਸਦਾ kisadā ਕਿਸਦੇ kisdē
ਕੀਹਦਾ kīhdā ਕੀਹਦੇ kīhdē
ਕਿਸਦੀ kisadī ਕਿਸਦੀਆਂ kisadīāṃ
ਕੀਹਦੀ kīhdī ਕੀਹਦੀਆਂ kīhdīāṃ

Genitive forms of ਕੌਣ inflect for oblique case as below :-

ਕਿਸਦਾ kisadā singular ਕਿਸਦੇ kisdē singular
ਕਿਸਦੇ kisdē Plural ਕਿਸਦਿਆਂ kisdiāṃ Plural
ਕੀਹਦਾ kīhdā singular ਕੀਹਦੇ kīhdē singular
ਕੀਹਦੇ kīhdē plural ਕੀਹਦਿਆਂ kīhdiāṃ plural