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What are Personal Pronouns?

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What are Personal Pronouns?
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.1A

Basics on the topic What are Personal Pronouns?

Personal Pronouns – Introduction

Personal pronouns are an essential component of every language, playing a pivotal role in communication. They replace nouns, ensuring sentences are concise and clear.

Personal pronouns stand in for specific nouns, such as names of people, places, or things. For example, instead of repeatedly saying John, you can say he.

You might wonder why we need personal pronouns in our language. The simple answer is that personal pronouns make written and verbal communication better. They prevent redundancy and aid in sentence variety and clarity.

Types of Personal Pronouns

There are various types of personal pronouns. In this text we will review object, subject, possessive, reflective, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns. This may sound like a lot - but do not despair, this text will walk you through step by step!

Subject Pronouns

Let’s begin with subject pronouns. These are pronouns that act as the subject in a sentence.

They are: "I," "you," "he," "she," "it," "we, and "they."

Let’s take a look at an example:

Subject Verb Object
Lucy is reading a book.

The subject in this sentence is Lucy. We could replace Lucy with an appropriate subject pronoun, which is she.

The new sentence is:

Subject Verb Object
She is reading a book.

Be aware that there are different forms of subject pronouns in various cases. For example, there are singular (e.g., he, she) and plural (e.g., they) subject pronouns.

Object Pronouns

Object pronouns replace the object of a verb or preposition.

They are: "me," "you," "him," "her," "us," "them."

Let’s take a look at an example:

Subject Verb Object
I gave Bill my book.

The object in this sentence is Bill. We could replace Bill with an appropriate object pronoun, which is him.

The new sentence is:

Subject Verb Object
I gave him my book.

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Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns indicate ownership or possession.

They are: "mine," "yours," "his," "hers," "ours," "theirs."

When this pronoun is used before a noun, you need to use "my", “your”, "his," "her," "our," "their."

However, pay attention to what happens, when the possessive pronoun is used after the noun. Then you need to use "mine", “yours”, "his," "hers," "ours," "theirs."

Let’s take a look at an example.

Firstly, let’s review a sentence that does not have a possessive pronoun:

  • This book belongs to Ricky and Lucy.

With the possessive pronoun, we could say:

  • "This is their book." or we could say "This book is theirs."

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and object are the same.

Some examples of reflexive pronouns are: "myself," "yourself," "himself."

Let’s take a look at an example:

  • Amal hurt her foot.

The subject in this sentence is Amal. The object in this sentence is her foot.

Let’s replace the subject and object with the appropriate pronouns.

The new sentence is:

  • She hurt herself.

Demonstrative Pronouns

These pronouns are used to indicate specific things.

For example: "this," "that," "these," "those."

For example, when pointing to one book out of a pile of them in order to show which one you are talking about, you may say:

  • This book is mine.

Indefinite Pronouns

These pronouns are used to identify non-specific objects or persons.

For example: "someone," "anybody," "everyone."

Let’s take a look at an example where an indefinite pronoun is used:

  • Somebody brought me a present to school.

Pronoun Agreement and Consistency

In order to ensure clarity and consistency in your language, it is important to have correct pronoun agreement and stick to it throughout your speech or writing.

For example, if you were speaking about your friend Laura, you should consistently use pronouns like she, her, hers, herself in order to keep it clear to your listener or your readers that you are still talking about Laura.

Conclusion – Personal pronouns

In this text you learned about what personal pronouns are, their types, purposes and saw them used in example sentences.

Personal pronouns stand in for specific nouns, such as names of people, places, or things. For example, instead of repeatedly saying John, you can say he.

Always remember, that personal pronouns stand in for specific nouns, such as names of people, places, or things. For example, instead of repeatedly saying John, you can say he.

We learned a lot about their different types. See the table below which summarizes all the different personal pronouns for an overview of the different types of pronouns:

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
I me my / mine myself
you you your / yours yourself
he him his himself
she her her / hers herself
it it its itself
we us our / ours ourselves
you you your / yours yourself
they them their / theirs themselves

Below, you will find a personal pronouns worksheet for extra practice and do not forget to watch our video on personal pronouns too.

Frequently Asked Questions – Personal Pronouns

Can personal pronouns be used as subjects in sentences?
Are possessive pronouns used to show ownership?
What is the purpose of reflexive pronouns?
Can demonstrative pronouns be used to point to abstract ideas?
What are some examples of indefinite pronouns?
How can I ensure pronoun agreement and consistency in my writing?

Exercises – Personal Pronouns

Transcript What are Personal Pronouns?

"We have been looking for clues forever; this is not going well! Wait a second! What's that Pip has found? We replace nouns, hidden in plain sight. Find us quickly, before the end of night! It looks like we need to find the..." personal pronouns. Personal pronouns replace a common noun or a proper noun. Personal pronouns can refer to the person speaking, the person being spoken to, or the person, place, or object being spoken about! There are two types of pronouns. Objective pronouns, which replace the object in a sentence, and subjective pronouns, which replace the subject in a sentence. Personal pronouns can be in first person, which is the I or we perspective, or point of view, the second person, which is the you perspective, or the third person, which is the he, she, they, or it perspective. All pronouns can also be singular, which is when we talk about one subject or object, or plural, when talking about multiple subjects or objects. Subjective pronouns for first person include the singular I and the plural we. Subjective pronouns for second person include you for both singular and plural. Subjective pronouns for third person include the singular he, she, it, and they, and the plural they. Let's take a look at some sentences with subjective pronouns! She spends most of her time in the swimming pool. In this sentence, she is the personal pronoun, and it is a subjective third person pronoun. She could be Rachael, Maureen, or Kathrin! Let's take a look at another sentence. Last night, we went out for some pizza. What is the personal pronoun in this sentence? We is the personal pronoun, and it is a subjective first person pronoun. We would include yourself, and anyone who went with you for pizza! Let's look at one more sentence with a subjective pronoun. They fixed the window that was broken. What is the personal pronoun in this sentence? They is the personal pronoun, and it is a subjective third person pronoun. They would include all the people who repaired the broken window. Sometimes, they can be used as third person singular, if we do not know the preferred pronoun of the person. Objective pronouns for first person include the singular me and the plural us. Objective pronouns for second person also include you for both singular and plural. Objective pronouns for third person include the singular him, her, it, and them, and the plural them. Let's look at some sentences with objective pronouns. Arden managed to climb upon it. It is the third person objective pronoun in this sentence, because it could be anything, like a box! Let's take a look at another sentence. Kate made some delicious cookies for me. What is the objective pronoun in this sentence? Me is the objective pronoun in this sentence, because me is receiving the action of being given cookies. While Koko and Pip finish up finding the hidden personal pronouns, let's review! Remember, personal pronouns can refer to a subject or an object. Personal pronouns can be in the first, second, and third person perspective. Personal pronouns can also be singular or plural in first person, like these, second person, like these, or third person, like these! "Well, that was easy for a pair of smart detectives like us! Well, this is interesting."

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  1. cool

    From Lucas Scott Kerley, 3 months ago

What are Personal Pronouns? exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video What are Personal Pronouns?.
  • What do personal pronouns do?

    Hints

    Examples of personal pronouns are he, she, they, them, me, and you. What do those pronouns replace?

    Remember, a personal pronoun replaces a noun. For example, Mike went to the store can be written as: He went to the store.

    Solution

    Personal pronouns replace a common noun or a proper noun.

  • Identify plural pronouns.

    Hints

    Remember, plural pronouns take the place of more than one noun.

    Example: I am going to see Katie and Rose. I am going to see them.

    Plural nouns take the place of multiple subjects or objects.

    Solution

    Plural pronouns are we, us, and them. When talking about multiple subjects or objects, we use plural pronouns.

  • Match examples and definitions of both pronoun types.

    Hints

    Remember, objective pronouns replace a certain thing.

    Look at this example: I want to invite Kevin, Sam, and Ignacio to the party. This can be written using the plural pronoun them, which takes the place of all the nouns.

    I want to invite them to the party.

    Solution
    • Objective pronouns replace the object in a sentence: The box was heavy. It was heavy. The box is an object, so we replace the box with it.
    • Subjective pronouns replace the subject in a sentence: Kevin, Mark and Charlie went to the park. They went to the park. Kevin, Mark, and Charlie are subjective pronouns, we we replace them with the plural personal pronoun they.
  • What is the pronoun?

    Hints

    Remember, the personal pronoun takes the place of the noun.

    Look at this example: Carlos rode his bike. Carlos is a subjective pronoun. Carlos can be replaced by the personal pronoun he. He rode his bike.

    Remember, subjective pronouns can be replaced with the personal pronouns she, he, they, them, us, you, we, and I.

    Solution

    The personal pronouns you wrote replace the nouns.

    We replaces my friend and I. We is the plural personal pronoun.

    They replaces Sharon, Mike, Miguel, Sam. They takes the place of all subjective pronouns.

    She replaces Maria. Maria is a singular subjective pronoun, so it gets replaced by she.

    It replaces trampoline. Since trampoline is an object, the noun is replaced with the pronoun it.

  • Identify which pronoun is needed.

    Hints

    Remember, the pronoun replaces the noun.

    Look at this example. Steven, Alison, and I are walking home. We can replace multiple nouns (Steven, Alison, and I) with the plural pronoun we. We are walking home.

    Remember to use the appropriate personal pronoun. For example, when we are describing something that is his, we can describe that person as he.

    There are two types of personal pronouns: subjective and objective.

    Subjective pronouns describe the subject in a sentence: he, she, they, them, his, hers...

    Objective pronouns describe the object in a sentence: it.

    Solution

    The pronouns are he, she, it, and us.

    He is enjoying his lunch. Since we see the pronoun his, we know the subject is he.

    Does she have her homework? Since we see the pronoun her, we know the subject is she.

    I don't need this book, do you want it? A book is an object, so we use the objective personal pronoun it.

    Eli and I are going to the movies, do you want to come with us? We are describing multiple people, including the speaker, so we use the plural personal pronoun us.

  • Which type of pronoun?

    Hints

    Remember, a personal pronoun in 1st person is the I or we perspective.

    Remember, a personal pronoun in 2nd person is the you perspective.

    Remember, third person personal pronouns show the he, she, they, or it perspective.

    Solution

    1st person personal pronouns include: I, me, we, and us.

    2nd person personal pronouns include: you.

    3rd person personal pronouns include: he, she, it, they, him, her, and them.