A personal pronoun is a pronoun that replaces a person, place, or thing. We call them a subclass of nouns because they can sometimes replace a noun in a sentence. For example, I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them. Personal pronouns are like the stunt doubles of grammar; they stand in for the people who star in our sentences.

Noun Pronoun
Mary got a new car ~She got a new job
The children love school ~They love school

Personal pronouns help avoid the repetition of the same word used to refer to someone in a sentence. If the noun is plural, then the pronoun replacing it is also plural. For example:

Sarah gave John a lift to work because John had missed the bus. John was slow getting ready, and Sarah and John were late.

Their names are repeated every time, making reading frustrating and repetitive.

Sarah gave John a lift to work because he had missed the bus. He was slow getting ready, and they were late.

Replacing the repeated names with pronouns is much easier to read and still holds the same meaning.

You can only use personal pronouns if you have previously referred to the person or people you’re talking about and if the pronouns match up with who you’re referring to. This makes the person (noun) being referred to and the personal pronoun referring to them co-referential.

It is also included in the group of personal pronouns, even though this pronoun does not usually refer to a person. In total, there are three personal pronouns, and each has a singular and a plural form. The three personal pronouns are as follows:

Person Singular Plural
1st I we
2nd you you
3rd he/she/it they

How many personal pronouns are there?

There are 12 personal pronouns for a person or group, and they are:

I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them.

There are three personal pronouns for things: they, them, and it.

What is the difference between an indefinite pronoun and a personal pronoun?

A personal pronoun is a pronoun (a word that functions as and acts as a substitute for a noun or noun) that represents a grammatical person within a sentence. While personal pronouns often indicate an actual person, they can also refer to animals, inanimate objects, or even intangible concepts.

Each of the pronouns in English ( I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them) comprises a set that shows person, gender, number, and case contrasts.

An indefinite pronoun is used in place of a noun without specifying a particular person or thing being represented.

Both people and things can be identified in a sentence by an indefinite pronoun. Many pronouns are used only to refer to people or things; many can be used for either. Some examples include:

  • another
  • one (quantifier)
  • each
  • either
  • other

What are the three cases of personal pronouns?

Pronouns have three cases, which is what indicates how that pronoun is related to the words that it’s used with. The three cases are nominative, possessive, and objective case.

The nominative case is used when the pronoun is the sentence’s subject. For example, the nominative form pronouns are I, you, they, it, we/they.

  • She was quiet as she entered the room.

In this sentence, the subject or thing being named by the use of a pronoun is “She, ” so this would use the nominative case pronoun.

A pronoun in the possessive case is used to show ownership or possession of something. The possessive case is also known as the genitive case. The possessive form pronouns are My, mine, our(s), their (s), their, its, and yours.

  • My car wouldn’t start because I left the headlights on.

In this sentence, “my” shows whose car is being discussed, and the “I,” being the subject of the sentence, is in the nominative pronoun.

A pronoun in the objective case is used as the direct object, indirect object, or the object of the preposition. The objective case is also known as the accusative case. The correct form pronouns are Me, you, him, her, it, and them. For example:

  • I was so thrilled that I gave her a big hug.

In this sentence, she is the object receiving the action in the sentence, and so is a pronoun in the objective case. I would be in the nominative case, as the purpose of the sentence is to demonstrate something about the subject of the sentence.

It is important to note that case and number distinctions do not apply to all pronoun types. They only apply to personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, and reflexive pronouns. It is only in these types, too, that gender differences are shown (private he/she, possessive his/hers, reflexive himself/herself).

What is the difference between personal pronouns and nouns?

The main difference between personal pronouns and nouns is that personal pronouns do not take the or a/an before them. For example, if we look at one of our examples previously: The children love school, when the noun the children is substituted for a personal pronoun, the is omitted, so we get They love school.

Furthermore, pronouns do not take adjectives before them, except in very restricted constructions with indefinite pronouns (a little somethinga certain someone).

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