Level: beginner

We have both subject pronouns and object pronouns:

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

We use subject pronouns as the subject of a 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.

Be careful!

English clauses always have a subject.

His father has just retired. > He was a teacher. (NOT Was a teacher.)
I'm waiting for my wife.She is late. (NOT Is late.)

The imperative, which is used for orders, invitations and requests, is an exception:

Stop!
Go away.
Please come to dinner tomorrow.
Play it again, please.

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

We use object pronouns as the object of a 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.

and 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.

Subject and object pronouns 1

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Subject and object pronouns 2

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he, she and they

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?
You could go to a doctor. They might help you.
Talk to a friend. Ask them to help you.

he, she and they 1

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he, she and they 2

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you and they

We use you to talk about people in general, including the speaker and the hearer:

You can buy this book everywhere. = This book is on sale everywhere.
You can't park here. = Parking is not allowed here.

We use they/them to talk about institutions and organisations:

They serve good food here. (they = the restaurant)
Ask them for a cheaper ticket. (them = the airline)

especially the government and the authorities:

They don't let you smoke in here. 
They are going to increase taxes.
They are building a new motorway. 
They say it’s going to rain tomorrow.

you and they 1

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you and they 2

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it

We use it to talk about ourselves:

  • on the telephone:

Hello. It's George.

  • when other people cannot see us:

It's me. It's Mary. (Mary is knocking on the door.)

We also use it to talk about other people:

  • when we point people out for the first time:

Look. It's Paul McCartney.
Who's that? I think it's John's brother.

  • when we cannot see someone and we ask them for their name:

Hello. Who is it? (someone answering the phone)
Who is it? (someone about to answer the door)

it

MultipleChoice_MTkxMTI

 

Comments

Could you please tell me the difference between.... have you seen it? And did you see it?

Hello humanity10,

The two forms here are present perfect ('have you...') and past simple (did you...'). In general terms, the present perfect form refers to an action which has a present result of some kind, while the past simple form refers to an action in a finished time period.

You can find more information about perfective forms here (http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/perfecti...), more information about the use of the present perfect here (http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/present-...) and information about the past simple here (http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/verbs/past-tense/past-simple).

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your advise

Regards,
YLM.

I couldn't understand the difference between subject and object prounouns.
In this sentence ___don't really like parties.I fill 'she' in it .but it is wrong why?

Hello laxmi89,

The problem here is not an issue of subject and object pronouns (you have chosen, correctly, a subject pronoun), but rather that 'she' is a third-person form and so needs to have the auxiliary for 'doesn't' rather than 'don't'. With the auxiliary 'don't' we can use 'I', 'you', 'we' or 'they'.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
Thank you for useful information, especially information abou using they/them. I haven't known it before.

I understood everything

In the last sentence ,
Where is Joanne. Have you see ____today?
I filled "them"as i dont know whether Joanne is male/female. It is showing "Her" in the answers.
Can anyone tell me why?

Hello ervipingupta,

You are correct that we use 'them' (they/their/theirs) when we do not know the gender of the person that we are talking about. 'Joanne' is always a female name in English, however, which is why 'her' is expected in the answer.

Best wishes,

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

wonderful site

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