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Personal Pronouns


Personal Pronouns

Personal Pronouns


Personal pronouns are a fundamental part of English grammar. They are words that refer to a specific person or people, either as a subject or an object. In this chapter, we will provide a comprehensive guide to personal pronouns, including their definition, types, usage rules, and examples. This resource is intended for college faculty, staff, and students who want to improve their English grammar skills. We will cover the four types of personal pronouns, including subjective, objective, possessive, and reflexive, and explain how they can replace specific nouns in a sentence. Additionally, we will provide exercises and video lessons to help users learn and practice using personal pronouns correctly. Whether you are learning English as a second language or simply want to improve your grammar skills, this resource center will serve as a valuable reference for personal pronoun usage.

The Nominative Case

Pronouns are grouped into three cases, depending on how they are used. Nominative case pronouns include I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.

The subject of a verb should be in the nominative case.

  • We are paddling the boat. [We is the subject of the verb are paddling.] 
  • She or I will wash the car. [She and I are the compound subject of the verb will wash.]

A predicate nominative should be in the nominative case.

A predicate nominative is a word or word group in the predicate that identifies or refers to the subject.


Personal Pronouns Tip

The predicate nominative identifies the subject by completing the meaning of a linking verb. Some common linking verbs are am, is, are, was, were, be, and been.

  • The winner of the race is she. [The predicate nominative she identifies the subject winner and completes the meaning of the linking verb is.] 
  • My parents are she and he. [The compound predicate nominative she and he identifies the subject parents and completes the meaning of the linking verb are.]

The Possessive Case

Possessive pronouns show ownership. Some possessive pronouns, such as mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs, may be used as subjects, predicate nominatives, and objects.

  • Theirs is the poodle with pink toenails. [Theirs is the subject of the verb is.] 
  • Was the tie-breaking touchdown his? [His completes the meaning of the linking verb Was and identifies the subject touchdown.] 
  • Recently, Tana gave hers to charity. [Hers is the direct object of the verb gave.]

Other possessive pronouns, such as my, our, your, his, her, its, and their, are used to modify, or describe, nouns.

  • My car is in the garage. [My modifies car.] 
  • Cleaning the tables will be your job. [Your modifies job.]

Pronouns that come before a gerund should be in the possessive case.

  • Your volunteering for the fair was a surprise. [The possessive pronoun your comes before the gerund volunteering. The gerund volunteering is the subject of the sentence.] 
  • Stella was fascinated by its ringing. [The possessive pronoun its comes before the gerund ringing. The gerund ringing is the object of the preposition by.]
Personal Pronouns Reminder

A gerund is a verb form that ends in –ing and is used as a noun.

  • She is training for a marathon. [Training is part of the verb phrase is training.] 
  • Her training is very time consuming. [The gerund training is the subject of the sentence.]

The Objective Case

Objective case pronouns are used as direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions. Objective case pronouns include me, us, you, him, her, it, and them.

A direct object should be in the objective case.

A direct object tells who or what receives the action of a transitive verb.

  • Joel’s e-mails amuse her. [Amuse whom? Amuse her. Her receives the action of the verb amuse.]
An indirect object should be in the objective case.

You will often find an indirect object in a sentence with a direct object. An indirect object tells to whom, for whom, to what, or for what the action of a transitive verb is done.

  • Will Joel send me (IO) an e-mail (DO)?  [Will send an e-mail to whom? The indirect object me tells to whom Joel will send an e-mail. The direct object e-mail receives the action of Will send.]

An object of a preposition should be in the objective case.

An object of a preposition is the noun or pronoun that follows a preposition.

  • Joel sent e-mails to us. [Us is the object of the preposition to.]


Personal Pronouns Tip

To choose the correct form of a pronoun in a sentence with a compound object, cross out any objects before the pronoun. Then, choose the pronoun that sounds correct. 

  • These flowers are from Mom and (he, him). [Which sounds correct? These flowers are from he or These flowers are from him? The correct pronoun is him.]

Pronouns Quizizz Quiz

Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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