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Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns represent specific people or things. We use them depending on:

We use personal pronouns in place of the person or people that we are talking about. My name is Josef but when I am talking about myself I almost always use "I" or "me", not "Josef". When I am talking direct to you, I almost always use "you", not your name. When I am talking about another person, say John, I may start with "John" but then use "he" or "him". And so on.

Here are the personal pronouns, followed by some example sentences:

number person gender personal pronouns
subject object
singular 1st male/ female I me
2nd male/ female you you
3rd male he him
female she her
neuter it it
plural 1st male/ female we us
2nd male/ female you you
3rd male/ female/ neuter they them

Examples (in each pair, the first sentence shows a subject pronoun, the second an object pronoun):

When we are talking about a single thing, we almost always use it. However, there are a few exceptions. We may sometimes refer to an animal as he/him or she/her, especially if the animal is domesticated or a pet. Ships (and some other vessels or vehicles) as well as some countries are often treated as female and referred to as she/her. Here are some examples:

For a single person, sometimes we don't know whether to use he or she. There are several solutions to this:

We often use it to introduce a remark:

We also often use it to talk about the weather, temperature, time and distance: