Pronouns are words we use in the place of a full noun.

We have both subject and object pronouns:

 

Subject Object
I me
you you
he him
she her
it it
we us
you you
they them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We use he/him to refer to men, and she/her to refer to women. When we are not sure if we are talking about a man or a woman we use they/them.

This is Jack. He’s my brother. I don’t think you have met him.
This is Angela. She’s my sister. Have you met her before?
Talk to a friend. Ask them to help you.
You could go to a doctor. They might help you.

Subject pronouns

We use subject pronouns as subject of the verb:

I like your dress.
You are late.
He is my friend
It is raining
She is on holiday
We live in England.
They come from London.

 

Warning

Remember: English clauses always have a subject:

His father has just retired. Was a teacher. > He was a teacher.
I’m waiting for my wife. Is late.  > She is late.

If there is no other subject we use it or there. We call this a dummy subject.

 

 Object pronouns

 We use object pronouns:

• as the object of the verb:

Can you help me please?
I can see you.
She doesn’t like him.
I saw her in town today.
We saw them in town yesterday, but they didn’t see us.

• after prepositions:

She is waiting for me.
I’ll get it for you.
Give it to him.
Why are you looking at her?
Don’t take it from us.
I’ll speak to them

Exercise

Comments

Hello Sir
For a child what is the pronoun? Can one use 'it' We use 'it' for a baby and for 'children' one can use 'they' I would like to know the pronoun for the 'child'
I referred the dictionary it says 'his/ her' in one of the example given. Can't I use 'it' as the pronoun?
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hello Lal,

If we know the sex of the baby then it would be rather rude to use 'it'. However, if we do not know the sex then you could use 'it' or 'they'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello

There is a sentence in the exercise: I bought this laptop last week, and now it doesn't work.

If I write this sentence (as a learner of English) I would use ...now it is not working. (present continuous tense). Why a native English speaker has used simple present here. Isn't it something happening now, at the moment?
Thanks

Hello pencil,

It's also correct to use the present continuous here if you want to emphasise the current moment. If you use the present simple, it just means that it's broken, i.e. it doesn't perform its function in general, not now and not at any other time.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I think there are two mistakes in the description, you used her/his to refer to ( women,men) which are proular an opposite way with they/them with singal.

We use he/him to refer to (men?) Is this right not man, and she/her to refer to (women?) Is this right not woman. When we are not sure if we are talking about a man or a woman we use they/them.

Hello again Dado,

I think I see what your question is now -- I'm sorry I didn't understand the first time. You are right that 'he' and 'him' can only refer to a singular man, but since they can refer to any man, we say 'men' on this page. I expect this sounds strange to you, but it is natural in English.

The same thing is true of 'she' and 'her' -- they are used to refer to only one woman, but since they can refer to any woman, we say 'women' in our explanation.

I hope I've answered your question now -- please let me know if not.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Dado,

Yes, that is right.

For men we use he/him

For women we use she/her

For things we use it

For people when we do not know the gender or do not want to specify a gender we use they/them.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Dado,

Thanks very much for taking the time to tell us about an error you found. Could you please explain in more detail where it is? I don't see the error you mention. Thanks in advance for your help.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages