Personal pronouns refer to people with one exception: it. The third person pronoun it although included in personal pronouns does not refer to a person; it usually refers to an animal or a thing. Personal pronouns are best explained by the table that follows.
What is shown in the table above is that personal pronouns have person, number, gender and case. The personal pronoun must be of the same number, gender, person, and in the same case as the noun for which it represents.
: The boy is playing with his puppet. He has a glove puppet..
: The boys are playing with their puppets. They have glove puppets.
Personal pronouns have three grammatical persons: first-person (singular: I, me / plural: we, us); second-person (singular: you / plural: you) or third-person: (singular: she, her, he, him, it / plural: they, them).
: I hate waking up in the morning.
: You should not have stepped on it.
: It is a rare species of fish.
First-person and second-person personal pronouns do not show gender. Only third-persons have gender: (masculine: he / feminine: she / neuter: it). The pronoun must agree with the noun in gender that it represents. If the noun is in the feminine gender, the pronoun too must be in the feminine gender. Likewise, if the noun is in the masculine gender, the pronoun must be in the masculine gender.
: Jill has a boyfriend. He comes across as a bit of a bore to her.
: John’s sister loves to eat pizza. She eats it almost every day.
: We have an old kitchen table. It has a broken leg.
A subjective pronoun is in the subjective case when it is used as the subject of the sentence. The personal pronouns that can be used as subjects are I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.
An object or objective pronoun is in the objective case when it is used as a direct object, an indirect object, or an object of the preposition. The personal pronouns that can be used as objects are me, you, him, her, it, us, them.
For more on case, see case in glossary.
The subjects of the sentences are shown in bold.
- Tom rides a pony..
- He rides a pony.
- The prisoners cut the stone into blocks..
- They cut the stone into blocks.
The objects in the sentences are shown in bold.
- My uncle likes her.
- We hate them.
- He scolded him and me.