the Correct Uses of 'He' and 'His'
'He' and 'his' are two examples of gender-specific words in the English language. One is a personal pronoun, the other is a possessive determiner and pronoun.
He vs. His
'He' and 'his' are both pronouns, with a slight difference. 'His' can also be a determiner.
'He' is the subject pronoun that represents the masculine person or animal or an unidentified person who does the action of the verb.
Male Person or Animal
'He' is the third person singular subject pronoun. As the name suggests, subject pronouns represent a male person already mentioned that does the action of the verb.
Instead of repeating the noun 'Brian', we used 'he' to avoid repetition.
'He' can also refer to a male animal especially with pet animals that the speaker wants to show a deeper connection to the animal.
Person with Unidentified or Unknown Gender
'He' can refer to a person in general, either we don't know male or female or we don't want to specifically state their gender.
Gender Specific Pronouns
In the past, 'he' was used to refer to both men and women. But now, many consider this unacceptable. The better choice is to use the singular 'they' after everybody, everyone, anybody, anyone, somebody, someone, etc.
'He' with a capital letter 'H' can refer to God in some religious texts.
Possessive Determiner and Possessive Pronoun
The possessive form of 'he' is 'his'. It talks about a thing, idea, etc. that belongs to a male person or animal who has already been mentioned or is easily identified.
'His' with a capital letter 'H' can also refer to God in some religions.
When we have a noun following 'his', 'his' is a determiner. But when 'his' comes alone in the sentence and there's no noun following it, 'his' is a pronoun. Look at the examples:
'His' is often used to refer to a person that we're not sure is a male or female, or we do not want to express their gender. This happens mostly in formal or written English. But now, many consider this unacceptable. The better choice is to use the singular 'they' after everybody, everyone, anybody, anyone, somebody, someone, etc.
It's better to say, 'somebody left their jacket.'
'His' is used in addressing someone with authority to show courtesy or respect for the person in a higher position or rank.
of + His
When 'his' is preceded by the preposition 'of', it means something that belongs to or is connected with a male person or animal.