She vs. Her

'She' and 'her' are both pronouns that are used to refer to nouns describing female persons and animals.

"She" vs. "Her" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

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.

Main Similarities

'She' and 'her' are both feminine pronouns replacing the nouns referring to female people or animals.

'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 woman or a girl

Before Gabrielle went shopping, she listed the things she wanted to buy.

She was a healthy baby girl.

  • a female animal (especially pets)

She was a little kitten we adopted as a domestic animal.

  • an inanimate object (especially when the object have special meaning and sentimental value to the owner)

I bought a new Bentley. Isn't she beautiful?

  • a country or nation

Our country needs peace and I hope she finds it soon.

  • an unidentified person

The student must seek help from the counselor before she gives up on school.

It is better to use 'he or she' or 'they' as an alternative to 'she'.

That's a she-bear and here's a she-cat.

'Her': Object Pronoun

'Her' is the accusative form of the pronoun 'she', which means it can be:

I'm going to invite her to my birthday party, whether you like it or not! (direct object)

I'm going to buy her a present. (indirect object)

We can't tell you. It's between her and me.

Someone's at the door. It could be her.

With this use, there can be some confusion. Because you may see 'her' and 'she' interchangeably.

This is she.

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 her behavior.

My cat, Fluffy, loves to sleep in her basket.

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