We have both subject pronouns and object pronouns:
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.
English clauses always have a subject.
The imperative, which is used for orders, invitations and requests, is an exception:
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
- Subject and object pronouns 2
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.
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.
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)