Personal Pronouns | Explore Definition, Usage and Examples

In the English language, there are many different grammatical components that are employed when building a strong lexical context to avoid the text from looking monotonous or repetitive. Pronouns belong to one such category. Pronouns are generally found to take the place of nouns that act as subjects in a piece of writing. In this article, you will learn about a category of pronouns called personal pronouns, its definition and usage in sentences. You can also take a look at the examples provided.

Table of Contents

What is a Personal Pronoun?

A personal pronoun is a monosyllabic word that is used as a substitute for a proper noun that repeats itself in a particular context. A personal pronoun indicates the number and gender of the corresponding noun.

Definition of a Personal Pronoun

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a personal pronoun as ‘a word such as “I”, “you”, and “they”, that refers to a person in speech or in writing’; and according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a personal pronoun is ‘a pronoun (such as I, you, or they) that expresses a distinction of person’.

The Collins Dictionary provides a more elaborate definition of personal pronouns. According to them, ‘a personal pronoun is a pronoun such as ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘she’, or ‘they’ which is used to refer to the speaker or the person spoken to, or to a person or thing whose identity is clear, usually because they have already been mentioned.’

Examples of Personal Pronouns

Personal Pronouns can be broadly classified into three main categories – the first person pronoun, the second person pronoun and the third person pronoun. These pronouns are used in the nominative and objective format and in the singular and plural forms.

First Person Pronoun

Second Person Pronoun

Third Person Pronoun

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

I, Me

We, Us

You

You

He/Him, She/Her, It

They/Them

Examples:

I like having coffee in the morning.

Did you call me around 11?

Examples:

We are going to visit the new museum tomorrow.

All of us have been invited to the wedding ceremony in Dubai.

Examples:

You can take whatever you want from the shelf.

Did they inform you about the reopening?

Examples:

You (plural) brought this up.

Weren’t you all asked to wear the uniform saree on Mondays?

Examples:

He reached the station on time.

She was asked to replace the weights on the stand.

Is there any way you could ask him to accompany my brother?

Would it be possible for her to find out if Suraj is coming to the birthday party?

She had been looking all around the place for her blue bag, but she did not find it.

Examples:

They will be spending their Christmas holidays in London this year.

Davis asked them to pitch in as bridesmaids as it was time.

Rules and Usage of Personal Pronouns

Using Gender Neutral Personal Pronouns

There are some personal pronouns which are not gender sensitive.

The Singular and Plural ‘You’

The pronoun ‘you’ is the second person pronoun that can be used in both the singular and plural form.

Example 1: You are from Columbia, right?

In the above sentence, ‘you’ can be a male or a female.

Example 2: Did you do your assignments?

In the above example, ‘you’ can refer to a singular or plural noun and also a group of male and female students.

‘They’ and ‘Them’

The third person pronouns ’they’ and ‘them’ can be used when the gender of a third person singular pronoun is neutral or cannot be determined.

Example 1: Everyone has to make sure if he/she has his/her ID cards before he/she goes into the exam hall.

When you have to write for the general public, people use he/she or him/her. It can also be written in the following manner.

Everyone has to make sure if they have their ID cards before they go into the exam hall.

Using Subject Pronouns and Object Pronouns

Using subject and object pronouns accurately is one of the things that you should practise in order to be able to communicate with clarity.

‘Me’ vs ‘I’

Among the subject and object pronouns, the pronouns ‘Me’ and ‘I’ are the ones that are not used correctly, most of the time. This could be made easy if you understand the idea that the pronoun ‘I’ is always used as the subject pronoun, and the pronoun ‘me’ is always used as the object pronoun.

Example 1:

Firoz, Jenny and me went to watch a movie last night. (Incorrect)

The above sentence is incorrect as ‘me’ is an object pronoun and cannot be used as a subject pronoun.

The correct usage would be as follows,

Firoz, Jenny and I went to watch a movie last night. (Correct)

Example 2:

All that I would need for the next two years were given to me on the first day.

The pronoun ‘me’ is used here because it is the object of the sentence that is receiving the action.

Check Your Understanding of Personal Pronouns

Substitute the underlined words in the following sentences with suitable personal pronouns:

Mazeeka, Raimy and Divya met for the first time in Chennai. Mazeeka and Raimy got to be roommates, whereas Divya stayed in a separate apartment. Mazeeka and Raimy spent a lot of time together in the hostel and had lots of stories to share with Divya every day. Mazeeka and Raimy slowly started spending a lot of time at the college with Divya, eventually becoming best friends who supported each other and stood by each other through thick and thin. Now, even after so many years have passed, Mazeeka, Raimy and Divya find time to spend together. Mazeeka, Raimy and Divya cherish each other and their friendship till date.

Now, check if you got it right.

Mazeeka, Raimy and Divya met for the first time in Chennai. Mazeeka and Raimy got to be roommates, whereas Divya stayed in a separate apartment. They spent a lot of time together in the hostel and had lots of stories to share with Divya every day. They slowly started spending a lot of time at the college with her, eventually becoming best friends who supported each other and stood by each other through thick and thin. Now, even after so many years have passed, they find time to spend together. They cherish each other and their friendship till date.

Frequently Asked Questions on Personal Pronouns

What is a personal pronoun?

A personal pronoun is a monosyllabic word that is used as a substitute for a proper noun that repeats itself in a particular context. A personal pronoun indicates the number and gender of the corresponding noun.

What is the definition of a personal pronoun?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a personal pronoun as ‘a word such as “I”, “you”, and “they”, that refers to a person in speech or in writing’; and according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a personal pronoun is ‘a pronoun (such as I, you, or they) that expresses a distinction of person’. The Collins Dictionary provides a more elaborate definition of personal pronouns. According to them, ‘a personal pronoun is a pronoun such as ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘she’, or ‘they’ which is used to refer to the speaker or the person spoken to, or to a person or thing whose identity is clear, usually because they have already been mentioned.’

What are the examples of personal pronouns?

I, me, you, we, us, he, him, she, her, they, them and it are called personal pronouns as they take the place of a particular person or thing in a sentence or a context.

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