'She' and 'her' are both feminine pronouns replacing the nouns referring to female people or animals.
The difference between these two gender-specific pronouns is that they belong to different grammatical cases, i.e. they can be used in different circumstances.
She: Subject Pronoun
'She' as a third-person singular subject pronoun has a nominative case meaning it can appear in a position of the subject of the sentence. It can replace the nouns that are referring to:
- a women or a girl
Before Gabrielle went shopping,
- a female animal (especially pets)
- an inanimate object (especially when the object have special meaning and sentimental value to the owner)
I bought a new Bentley. Isn't
- a country or nation
Our country needs peace and I hope
- an unidentified person
The student must seek help from the counselor before
It is better to use 'he or she' or 'they' as an alternative to 'she'.
- the gender of animals in hyphenated compounds
Her: Object Pronoun
'Her' is the accusative form of the pronoun 'she', which means it can be:
- direct or indirect object
I'm going to invite
I'm going to buy
- object of a preposition
We can't tell you. It's between
- predicative after the verb 'be'
Someone's at the door. It could be
With this use, there can be some confusion. Because you may see 'her' and 'she' interchangeably.
The complete sentence was 'this is she who is speaking'. Although, some people may consider this to be grammatically incorrect, but it is used often in spoken English.
Her: Possessive Determiner
'Her' also can have a possessive case. In this way, it is the possessive form of the pronoun 'she' (it was used to be called a possessive adjective, but now in modern English, we call it a possessive determiner). It shows that something or someone belongs to a female person or animal.
She was so rude. I didn't like
My cat, Fluffy, loves to sleep in