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

Why we use "John's quit his job" instead of "John quits his job" or "John's quitted his job", please?

Hello hongngan,

'John's quit his job' is a contracted form of 'John has quit his job'. 'has quit' is the present perfect tense. In this case, we might be reporting this news about John. You could say 'John quits' or 'John quit (which is past simple because 'quit' is irregular and has the same form for both present and past) but they refer to different times.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi sir, In the sentence:
"ladies and gentleman, could... All listen "
Why the correct answer is you, I think they is correct!!?

Hi hebam,

The reason is that the speaker is addressing the people. When you begin 'Ladies and gentelmen, ...' it is a signal that you are speaking to a group of people and so the request is 'could you (the people to whom I am talking) all listen'.

'Ladies and gentelmen' is the traditional formal way to begin a speech.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I am just wondering something about the usage of they/them. We use they/them if we are not sure if we are talking about a man or a woman.
In the exercises given that goes " Have you talked to a lawyer?" And the correct answer is 'They' can.... But a lawyer is a single person as I understood and they is for plural subject.

Hello Fru Strande,

That's correct, 'they' is generally used for a plural subject but in recent years the meaning has expanded to include singular subjects whose gender is unknown or uncertain. So 'They can tell you your rights' is correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

'You could go to a doctor. They might help you'.
Here a doctor is a singular noun. How may we use 'they'?

Hello Rahim,

When we don't know whether the person we are referring to (in this case, the doctor) is a man or woman, we often use 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I think was a good job. Thank you for this exercise

Hello, I have a question with the next exercise.
* Everyone except he came to the rehearsal last night.
* Everyone except him came to the rehearsal last night.
Which one is correct?

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