I was wondering if an occupation can be used as a pronoun? Let me explain. If I were to say:

The mayor is coming to town.

I believe that's a pronoun. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) But what about something like this:

The mayor, John Appleseed, is coming to town.

Would 'the mayor' be considered a pronoun for the future?

  • 3
    It's not a pronoun, it's a noun.
    – Barmar
    Sep 8 '16 at 5:00
  • Why isn't it standing in place of a specific noun?
    – Jack
    Sep 8 '16 at 5:05
  • 1
    Because it is a specific noun, it refers to a specific person, the mayor of the city. It's no different from "The dog is on the bed" or "The book is in the library"
    – Barmar
    Sep 8 '16 at 5:10

According to The Oxford Dictionaries site, "mayor" is a noun signifying, "the elected head of a city, town, or other municipality". Although, in a specific context, the phrase, "the mayor" may designate a unique individual, it remains a common noun phrase. The only pronouns that can be used as the subject of an English declarative sentence are the 7 nominative case personal pronouns (I, we, you, he, she, it, they) and the 6 demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those, none, neither). In the example sentence, a proper noun (John Appleseed) is replaced with a substitute common noun (the mayor), but that does not make the substituted word a pronoun.

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