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 Tony,

It would be better to change the text, as it sounds strange for the reason you point out. I think your suggestion is the most elegant one: 'This is a dolphin. Dolphins have ...'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk. This cleared my doubt.

Dear sirs,

I have the sample as below :

Just between you and I/me , I think Tom is going to lose his job.

My answer is "I", because i think BETWEEN is a preposition, it is not averb so that subject pronoun is used.

Could you me to explain whether my answer is correct or not?

Thanks.

Hello hoamuoigio,

You are correct that 'between' here is a preposition. However, prepositions are followed by objects and so 'me' (the object pronoun) is correct here, not 'I'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

i would like to check my answers , is there any way ?

thanks a lot

Hello rashed4eng,

To check your answers first click the 'Finish' button at the bottom of each task, confirming with 'OK' if necessary. You will see your total score in a pop-up window. Once you close this, you can see which of your answers are correct and see the correct answers to the questions you got wrong by clicking 'Show Answers'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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

In my memory we use they/them when a subject/object is plural. But here the subject is single, a friend, a doctor. I'm confused. Could you please explain that?

Hello zenger62,

People often say 'they' to refer to a person when they don't know if that person is male or female. In the first sentence, since most people have both male and female friends and the sentence is general advice, 'they' is appropriate. In the second one, since doctors can be male or female and the speaker is not referring to a specific doctor, 'they' is appropriate.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Mr. Kirk.
In this situation do they express " plural" or" single"?

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