Personal pronouns

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Grammar

The words I, me, he, him, you, she, her, it, they, them, we and us are usually called the personal pronouns. One is also used as a personal pronoun. Who is an interrogative personal pronoun.

Personal pronouns are used when it is not necessary to use or repeat more exact noun phrases.

Subject and object forms

I, he, she, they and we are used mainly as subjects before verbs. Me, him, her, them and us are used as objects.

You: forms

Standard modern English uses you for both singular and plural. But note that separate forms exist in certain dialects. Many Americans use you guys (to both men and women) as an informal second-person plural. You all is another familiar form.

Note also the expressions you people/you guys/you lot/you two/you three etc.

It, they and them

It, they and them are used to refer to things as well as people.

We use it to refer to a person when we are identifying him or her.

In questions tags, we use it to refer to nothing, everything and all.

It is also used as a meaningless subject with expressions that refer to time, weather, temperature, distances etc.

Whom in questions

Whom is not often used in informal English. We prefer to use who as an object, especially in questions.

In a more formal style, we use whom; and we must use whom after a preposition.

See also

Common errors with adverbs New!
Common errors with conjunctions New!
Expressing a condition
Expressing a concession or contrast
Common errors with adjectives
Common errors with pronouns
Common errors with nouns and noun phrases
Causative use of Have
Indirect questions