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Personal pronouns

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

Hi Adya's

This is quite a complex question and the answer is in flux in some instances because the language is changing.

 

When either/neither is used before a singular noun it has a singular verb:

Neither plan is good.

 

When two alternatives are given the verb matches the closest alternative:

Neither Paul nor the twins are happy with that.

Neither Paul nor John is happy with that.

When we have one singular and one plural alternative we usually put the plural one second.

 

When there is a prepositional phrase with 'of' you have a choice:

Neither of the teachers is available.

Neither of the teachers are available.

Here, the language is changing. The singular form is the traditionally correct form here. However, in modern use the plural form is much more common and is becoming the standard form.

 

I hope that clarifies it for you. As I said, it is a complex area!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

In Subject " You " mention two time . Is there any purpose .

Hello K Narendra,

This is because 'you' has two uses. It can refer to one person or to many people (i.e. it can be singular or plural).

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

They called me different name when i was tengger/ my parents called me baby when I was young

Both are same or not?

Hello Zokir Ahmad,

Both sentences could be used to express the same idea, but they could also be used to express different things.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Have you talked to a lawyer? "They" can tell you your rights.
I wanted to talk to someone in charge and tell "them" how I felt.

In this exercise I am really confused about these. Can't "He" and "him" come respectively as a correct answer? When is a plural relative noun required for referring to a singular noun?

Hello deviz,

As it says above in the explanation:

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.

Since we don't know if the lawyer or person in charge is a man or woman, people often use 'they/them'. It's possible to use 'he/him', but this is less and less common.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

If I say (Talk to a friend. Ask them for help.) instead of (Talk to a friend. Ask them to help you.) is it right or wrong? And if it is right what is the different in meaning?

Hello Ola Jamal,

There is no difference in meaning here. As the form of the verb is an imperative it is clear who is to receive the help.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you .

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