Personal pronouns in English (‘I, you, we’ etc.)

(English personal pronouns: I, you, he, she, it, we, they / me, him, her, us, them)

Table of contents – personal pronouns

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Personal pronouns as subject pronouns
  2. Personal pronouns as object pronouns
  3. Further explanations and exercises

Use of the personal pronouns as subject pronouns

Personal pronouns replace nouns and primarily serve to avoid word repetitions. Such usage is possible if the interlocutor or reader already knows what thing or person the discussion is about. However, it needs to be considered whether the pronoun is the subject or the object of the sentence as the form differs in most cases. Compare the following summary:

  • Personal pronouns in English can be used in the nominative/subjective case (as subject) in the sentence. When utilised in this way, they are also called subject pronouns. Read some example sentences that show their function as the subject as well as the replaced noun in green:
    • Tracey has got a new computer. She is very happy with it.”
    • “My friend’s parents aren’t at home. They’re on holiday.”
    • “The cat looks hungry. It hasn’t eaten for days.”
  • The forms appear as follows:

Personal pronouns as subject pronouns → nominative case

Subject pronoun Examples of replaceable nouns
I  
you (singular)  
he, she, it Peter, Jenny, the house, the cat*
we my sister and I
you (plural)  
they Mike and Linda, the cars, the dogs

*In English, animals are generally referred to as ‘it’. The article about animal denominations (male and female forms) states the possible exceptions to this rule.

Use of the personal pronouns as object pronouns

In addition to the role described above as subject pronouns, the English personal pronouns can serve as the object in the sentence and, consequently, as object pronoun. In detail:

  • English personal pronouns may also adopt the role of the object in the sentence. In this usage, they are also called object pronouns. Read the examples that show the use as an object. The green word represents the substituted noun:
    • “What about Peter. Can we invite him to the party?”
    • “My friends are moving. I’m going to help them.”
    • “Are you coming with me to the gym?”
  • The object forms are as follows:

Personal pronouns as object pronouns

Object pronoun Examples
me give it to me / ask me
you (singular) give it to you / ask you
him give it to him / ask him
her give it to her / ask her
it give it to it / ask it
us give it to us / ask us
you (plural) give it to you / ask you
them give it to them / ask them

Further explanations related to the ‘Personal pronouns’

The following additional explanations are related to the topic ‘Personal pronouns in English (‘I, you, we’, etc.)’ and may also be interesting: