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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:

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


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.

he, she and they 1


he, she and they 2


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


you and they 2



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)





Greetings, I have a question regarding the 2nd person plural, "you". For example: If you are talking to two people and you want them to do something. You need to use more that just "you", you either need to use body language and point/move hand left and right to include both of them or you need to verbally tell them, "both of you have to to this" or "you two have to do this". What I am trying to say is that the 2nd person plural does not stand on it's own like the rest of the personal pronouns. Why is this? Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

Hello Terry
As you suggest, to be sure that both people you are speaking to understand that you are referring to both of them, you should say 'both of you', 'the two of you', 'you guys', or something similar. In some varieties of English, people commonly say 'y'all' or 'youse' or some other form when they want to make it clear they are speaking to more than one person, though please note that since these forms are usually considered non-standard, they are not always appropriate.
Several hundred years ago, English had different second person pronouns ('thou' in the singular' and 'ye' for the plural), but for complex reasons only 'you' has remained. You can read a bit more about this is in the Wikipedia article on English personal pronouns ( if you'd like to learn more.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the best team . 1000 thank you Kirk
Ali Salh

Hello Sir
I went through your personal pronoun website. I would like to know about this.
e.g. I want to talk to someone in charge and tell ---------- how I felt.
The answer is 'them' but 'someone' is singular. Is it because of the gender ? him or her.
Please let me know.
Thank you.

Hi Lal

As is explained on this page, 'they' and 'them' are often used to speak about a single person when the gender of that person is not clear. Here the idea is that we don't know if the person in charge is a man or woman and so we say 'them'.

If you said 'someone', it would mean you were talking to a different person, i.e. not the person in charge.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team


This is the name for his group one businessman uses :

' Proper Name ' group of institution's.

I have used ' Proper Name' instead of its name.

I think using apostrophe is not correct and it should be plural-
without apostrophe.

What would be your version for this ?


Hello dipakrgandhi

I'm afraid it's difficult to say for sure without knowing more, but assuming that this is a group of several institutions, then you are right: 'institution's' is not correct -- it should be 'institutions'.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

This is the title my relative is thinking of for his new book :


Fundamentals and Advance Practices

He seeks my suggestion.

I think grammar in 'Advance Practices' is wrong and should be
'Advanced Practices.'

What would you choose if you have to ?

Hello dipakrgandhi,

I think the correct word here is 'Advanced', as you say.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi all team,

Thanks for everything.