Personal Pronouns

A personal pronoun is a word that substitutes a name to avoid repetition. Personal pronouns show us the grammatical person and gender of the name they refer to.

Intermediate
"Personal Pronouns" in the English Grammar

What Are Personal Pronouns?

Every set of pronouns that have these criteria is considered a personal pronoun. Personal pronouns have a particular:

  • grammatical person
  • grammatical number
  • grammatical gender
  • grammatical case
  • grammatical formality

Grammatical Person

Grammatical person is related to the different ways we can refer to the participant(s) in an event.
In English grammar, we have three distinct persons:

  1. first-person: the participant is the speaker(s) → I, me, we
  2. second-person: the participant is the addressee(s) → you, yourselves
  3. third-person: the participant is the other(s) → he, her, himself, they, them

Grammatical Number

In English, first-, second-, and third-person pronouns are typically also divided into two groups:

  • singular forms → I, me, myself
  • plural forms → we, us, them, ourselves

Grammatical Gender

Grammatical gender is a specific system in which nouns or pronouns are divided into different categories based on the value they carry. This value is called the genders of that language. English has three categories:

  1. Masculine → he, him, himself
  2. Feminine → she, her, herself
  3. Neutral → we, it, they

Grammatical Case

The case of a noun or pronoun is that particular noun’s or pronoun’s relationship to other words in the sentence. In other modern languages, adjectives have case, but in English, case applies only to nouns and pronouns. Old English had five cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental.
Modern English has three cases:

  1. Nominative (also called subjective)
  2. Accusative (also called objective)
  3. Genitive (also called possessive)

Grammatical Formality

In English, there are at least two ways of expressing a grammatical or lexical concept depending on the level of formality:

  1. formal
  2. informal

English Personal Pronouns

Using 'They' as the Subject Pronoun

The basic personal pronouns of modern English are:

Subject Pronouns

One of the most commonly used sets of personal pronouns is subject pronouns. Subject pronouns are personal pronouns that are used as the subject of a verb. In the table below, you can see the list of subject personal pronouns:

Singular Plural
First-person I we
Second-person you You
Third-person he/she/it they

Object Pronouns

Object pronouns are personal pronouns that are used typically as a grammatical object: the direct or indirect object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. In the table below, you can see the list of object personal pronouns:

Singular Plural
First-person me, we us
Second-person you you
Third-person him/her/it them

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are personal pronouns that are used to show that somebody/something belongs to somebody/something. In the table below, you can see the list of possessive personal pronouns:

Singular Plural
First-person Mine Ours
Second-person Yours Yours
Third-person His/Hers Theirs

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are personal pronouns ending in -self or -selves that are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. They can act as either objects or indirect objects. In the table below, you can see the list of reflexive personal pronouns:

Singular Plural
First-person myself ourselves
Second-person yourself yourselves
Third-person himself/herself/Itself themselves

Archaic Pronouns

Like every other word, personal pronouns, mainly the second person, have gone through changes over time. Along with the standard, non-standard, and informal personal pronouns in English, there are also archaic pronouns which were used in the old times and are now mostly replaced with the standard pronouns.

Subjective Objective Possessive Reflexive
thou thee thine thyself

Review

Personal pronouns deal with a person, animal, or object as a pronoun. Personal pronouns may take on various forms depending on the number (singular or plural for the most part), case, gender, or formality.

  • Subject Pronouns
  • Object Pronouns
  • Possessive Pronouns
  • Reflexive Pronouns
  • Archaic Pronouns

Comments

You might also like

Pronouns

Repeating nouns while talking makes the conversation boring. This is why learning pronouns can be helpful. Let us learn more about this type of words.

Subject Pronouns

Pronouns that are used in the position of a subject in sentences are called subject pronouns. In this article, you find all your answers about subject pronouns.

Object Pronouns

Pronouns that can take the place of an object are called object pronouns. In this article, you will get to know different kinds of object pronouns.

Demonstrative Pronouns

A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun mostly used to point to something based on its distance from the speaker. In English, these pronouns have four forms.

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns are used to show that the subject and object of a sentence are exactly the same person or thing or there is a direct connection between them.

Emphatic Pronouns

'Emphatic pronouns' are used to refer to a noun or a pronoun mentioned earlier. So they give more detailed information.

Download LanGeek app for free