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.
What Are Personal Pronouns?
Every set of pronouns that have a grammatical person, number, and gender is considered a personal pronoun.
Personal pronouns have a particular:
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:
- first-person: the participant is the
speaker(s)→ I, me, we
- second-person: the participant is the
addressee(s)→ you, yourselves
- third-person: the participant is the
other(s)→ he, her, himself, they, them
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 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:
- Masculine → he, him, himself
- Feminine → she, her, herself
- Neutral → we, it, they
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:
- Nominative (also called subjective)
- Accusative (also called objective)
- Genitive (also called possessive)
In English, there are at least two ways of expressing a grammatical or lexical concept depending on the level of formality:
English Personal 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:
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:
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:
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.
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