Personal pronouns are words used to replace a person's name or noun in a sentence.
I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them are all personal pronouns. They are used to avoid the need to repeat a name or noun over and over again.
- Sarah's been studying for weeks, so I'm sure she'll do well on the exam. (she=Sarah)
- Peter and Emma are going to the movie tonight. They have been friends since childhood. (Peter and Emma=they)
The choice of which personal pronoun to use depends on:
- Number: Personal pronouns can be singular (referring to one person or thing) or plural (referring to multiple people or things).
- Person: Personal pronouns also indicate the person being referred to, whether it's the speaker (first person), the person being spoken to (second person), or someone else (third person).
- Gender: Personal pronouns can also have a gender, either, male, female, or neuter.
- Case: Personal pronouns in English have two cases: subject pronouns and object pronouns
Subject and object pronouns
- I am going to the store.
- I love to read books.
- Can you hear me now?
- She gave me a hug.
- John, do you know how to play the guitar? (refers to one person, John)
- You are a team and you need to support each other. (refers to a group of people)
He, him; she, her
- He took his guitar with him to play some music.
- She will be free soon—you can wait for her here.
It is a third-person singular pronoun that is used to refer to an object, an animal, or an idea that does not have a gender.
- I just finished reading this book, and it was amazing.
- Look at that cute dog, it's wagging its tail.
- The cake looks delicious, and it smells amazing.
- I love this song, so I always listen to it on my way to work.
It is often used in the position of the subject of a verb to talk about time, the date, distance, the weather, etc.
- It's half past 7 in the morning and time to wake up.
- It's the 100th anniversary of the founding of our town.
- It's only a few kilometers from here to the beach.
- It was raining when we arrived at the beach.
We and us are used to refer to a group of people, including the speaker. We is used as the subject of a sentence, while us is used as the object.
- We went on a trip together, and it brought us closer as friends.
I hope they enjoyed the surprise party we planned for them.
They and them can be used to refer to a government, an organization, or a group of people in authority.
- They announced a ban on large gatherings due to the pandemic.
- They issued a statement condemning the recent acts of violence.