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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.  

 

 

 

Singular

Plural

 

Subject

Object

Subject

Object

First Person

I

Me

We

Us

Second Person

You

You

You

You

Third Person

He

She

It

Him

Her

It

They

They

They

Them

Them

Them

  

What is shown in the table above is that personal pronouns have personnumbergender 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.  

 
 
 
Number:
Each personal pronoun is singular or plural in number: singular (I, me, you, he, him, she, her, it) or plural (we, us, you, they, them). The pronoun must agree in number with the noun that it replaces. If the noun is in the singular number, the pronoun must also be in the singular number, or if it is of the plural number, the pronoun must be of the plural number.

  

Examples:

  • Singular

    : The boy is playing with his puppet. He has a glove puppet.

    .
  • Plural

    : The boys are playing with their puppets. They have glove puppets.

 

 

Person:

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).  

 

Examples:

  • First person

    hate waking up in the morning.

  • Second person

    You should not have stepped on it.

  • Third person

    It is a rare species of fish.

 

 

Gender:

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.

 

Examples:

  • Masculine

    : Jill has a boyfriend. He comes across as a bit of a bore to her.

  • Feminine

    : John’s sister loves to eat pizza. She eats it almost every day.

  • Neuter

    : We have an old kitchen tableIt has a broken leg.

 

 

Case
There are three cases of pronouns in English grammar: subjective, objective, and possessive.
 

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.

 

A possessive pronoun is in the possessive case when it is used to show possession/ownership of an object. Personal pronouns of possession/ownership are mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs.
 

For more on case, see case in glossary.

 

Examples:

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.