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

Thanks for your advise

Regards,
YLM.

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

And the difference between... would you come? And will you come?

Hello humanity10,

It's very difficult to comment without a context for the sentences. In some contexts, such as inviting a person to a party, the two forms could mean the same with just a difference in familiarity or politeness. In other contexts they could mean different things, or be part of different conditional structures. I'm afraid we need more of a context to be clear.

I would also like to ask you to post questions on relevant pages, so this question would belong on a page about 'would' or 'will', for example. This is for two reasons. First, the comments become very confusing for users if they are filled up with random questions unrelated to the topic of the page. Second, this question may well be very interesting and useful to some of our other users, and so it would be a good addition to the pages about 'would' or 'will', rather than being lost here on a page about personal pronouns!

Best wishes,

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

I am beginning to learn English language here.. it's nice website!
thank you!

Please help. The quiz question ' Listen, here is my number. call ...... if you need any help.' why is the answer not 'I', the subject?

Hello natag,

The correct answer is 'Call me if you need any help'. The sentence does not have a subject that you can see because the verb is an imperative form. We usually think of the subject of imperative forms as 'you':
'(You) call me if you need any help'.

'Me' in this sentence is the object of the verb 'call', which is why it is 'me' and not 'I'.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

The sentence - We're going for something to eat.... should say We're going OUT for something to eat, shouldn't it?

Hi redandblue,

It's difficult to say for sure without knowing the context, but for me, "we're going for something to eat" could possibly mean "we're going to get something to eat," which could possibly mean that these people will go get some food and then bring it home to eat it there.

It could also, however, mean the same thing as "we're going out for something to eat," which means these people will get and eat the food out of their home.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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