Advanced Grammar – The pronoun “one”

Good day people,

This week’s advanced grammar lesson is about the pronoun “one”. If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!

This lesson can be found on the ABA English Course Unit 101 “The Vanity Case”. Plus, you will also find speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more.

“One” as a pronoun

When we do not want to repeat a noun many times in one sentence, we use the pronoun “one”.

For example:

“Do you like this dress or that dress?”

We can say…

“Do you like this dress or that one?”

“Do you like this one or that one?

We cannot say “this or that?” because these adjectives in English must always be followed by a noun, which can be either “dress” or the word that replaces it; in this case “one”.

Here is an example of a dialogue to help you understand better:

Maria: I want to buy a dress.
Alexandra: Do you want this one or that one?
Maria: That one, the white one.

As you can see, they are talking about dresses but they only use the noun “dress” once and the pronoun “one” is used in its place to avoid the repetition.

Plural of “one”: “ones”

We use “ones” to refer to plural nouns.

For example:

“These ones or those ones?”

“Do you like these shoes or those ones?”

“The” before “one” or “ones”

Let’s look at the use of “the” before the pronouns “one” or “ones”. We can put “the” instead of “that” in front of the pronoun for a similar meaning.

For example:

“My house is that one on the corner” or “My house is the one on the corner”

“Her sandals are those ones with the pink dots” or “Her sandals are the ones with the pink dots”

Difference between “each one” and “every one”

We use “each one” when the subjects have a different colour, price, etc. When the subjects share the same characteristics, we use “every one”.

“I have 6 pens and each one is a different colour”

“There are 4 cinemas and every one is showing a horror movie”

But remember that “every one” and “everyone” does not mean the same! “Everyone” is used to refer to people and means the same as “everybody”, “every one” means the same as “all of them” and we use it for emphasis.


Well done, you have finished learning all about “one”.

In Unit 101 “The Vanity Case”, you will meet a lady and a salesman. Find out which vanity case she will buy!

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