Pronouns are nouns, as their name suggests; but they are special nouns that replace names of people, places, and things in a sentence. I, you, he, she, and it are personal pronouns. They have three persons or points of view:
Pronouns also have three genders:
- Feminine: she, her, hers
- Masculine: he, him, his
- Neuter: it, its, they, them, their, theirs
And pronouns have two numbers: singular and plural. We use the singular when we want to talk about one thing, and the plural for when we want to talk about two or more things.
Finally, pronouns have three cases:
- Subjective: I, you, he, she, it, we, they
- Possessive: my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, our, ours, their, theirs
- Objective: me, you, him, her, it, us, them
|1st person||I||me||my, mine||we||us||our, ours|
|2nd person||you||your||yours||you||you||your, yours|
We use pronouns to avoid repetition and to make our sentences ‘flow’. It is awkward to say:
- Nigel went to lunch with us today, and Nigel insisted on paying.
When we could simply say:
- Nigel joined us for lunch today, and he insisted on paying for our meals.
Because we already know the subject of the sentence is Nigel, we do not need to repeat his name when we use the noun again; and because Nigel is a man’s name, there is only one man, and our point of view is in the first person, we can substitute the pronoun ‘he’ for ‘Nigel’.
Subject and Object Pronouns
- Subject Pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, they, and we, and take the place of the subject.
- Object pronouns: take the place of the object. They include the pronouns me, you, him, her, it, us, and them.
Examples of Subject Pronouns:
- Davey has a doctor’s appointment today; he is feeling poorly.
- I saw Beyonce in concert last year; she is an amazing performer!
- I’m looking for Westminster Station; is it far?
Examples of Object Pronouns:
- Geoffrey bought a new set of drums last week, but they were stolen over the week-end.
- The garden club dedicated the new fountain, but it doesn’t work properly.
- The Prime Minister proposed new initiatives, but they won’t be passed by Parliament.