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Basic Grammar and Punctuation

An AARC writing resource

Overview

Pronouns are words that substitute for nouns. Pronouns typically take the place of a previously-mentioned noun (the antecedent). For example:

 

Kayla is my friend. She likes her job.

 

Both she and her in the last sentence refer to Kayla. Without pronouns, our language would get repetitive fast! For example:

 

Kayla is my friend. Kayla likes Kayla's job. 

 

The antecedent (the noun referred to by the pronoun) isn't always clear. In speech, an unclear antecedent can immediately be cleared up. In writing, the antecedent of every pronoun must be clear so your reader doesn't get confused.

Person

You've probably heard the terms 1st Person, 2nd Person, and 3rd Person. Do you know what they mean? 

 

1st Person refers to the speaker or writer who is using the pronoun (I, me, we, us).

 2nd person refers to the addressee or the person being spoken to (you)

3rd person refers to a person other than the speaker or the addressee (he, she) or an object (it). 

Types of Pronouns

Subjects and Objects

In English, pronouns can change into different forms depending on what function they have in the sentence. Subjective pronouns act as the subject of the sentence, as the name implies. Objective pronouns act as, you guessed it, the object of the sentence! For example:

 

I watch him.

He sees me!

 

Here, and He are subjective pronouns, and me and him are objective. Even though I and me refer to the same person (as do he and him), they take on different forms depending on how they're being used in the sentence. 

How do you know which one to use? Subjects come before the verb while objects usually come after, as you can see in the example above.

 

Practice Subjective vs. Objective Pronouns!

 

Pronoun Forms

Subjective Pronouns 

 

singular

plural

1st person

I

we

2nd person

you

you

3rd person

he, she, it

they


Objective Pronouns 

 

singular

plural

1st person

me

us

2nd person

you

you

3rd person

him, her, it

them

 

 

Possessive Pronouns

 

singular

plural

1st person

my, mine

our, ours

2nd person

your, yours

your, yours

3rd person

his, her, its

their, theirs