How to Use Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are a potential minefield for new speakers of the English language but it is one of those areas where once it clicks it clicks. That is obviously easier said than done but there is a much clearer way of judging how to use personal pronouns than with some other aspects of the English language.

To learn the rules for using personal pronouns continue reading or go straight to the quiz to test your skills on Personal Pronouns.

First Person Pronouns

First up, there is the use of first person pronouns. These are used when the subject of the sentence is the actual person speaking. An example of this would be “I am feeling a bit sore after football last night”. In this case, the first person pronoun is “I”. The plural form of first person pronouns is “we”.

Second Person Pronouns

Then there are the second person pronouns. These are used when the subject of the sentence is the person being spoken to. For example, you would say “You must be extremely excited about the party tomorrow”. In this case, the second person pronoun is “You”.

Third Person Pronouns

The third person pronouns are used when the subject of the sentence is not involved in the conversation. The example for this instance would be if you were to say “He must be tired after his work shift last night”. In this example, the third person pronoun is “He” – third person male. The “He” in this sentence can be replaced by a “she” – third person female, and then the sentence will be: “She must be tired after her work shift last night”. “He” can also be replaced by “They” – third person plural and then the sentence will be “They must be tired after their work shift last night”.

Subject pronouns

There are three types of personal pronouns and these come in the form of subject pronouns, object pronouns, and possessive pronouns. Subject pronouns are used as the subject of a sentence. For example, “I am hurting after rugby” or “Did he get the job?”. The subject pronouns in this sentence are “I” and “He” respectively.

Object pronouns

Object pronouns are used as objects of verbs or prepositions “I've seen her at the market” or “This present is yours, take it” are two examples of this with “Her” and “it” being the pronouns in these sentences.

Possessive Pronouns

Finally, possessive pronouns are used to show who or what owns something. For example, you could say “This car is mine”, or “The white dog is ours”. The possessive pronouns are “mine” and “ours” respectively and the structure of the sentence shows ownership that they have over the items in the sentence.