Parts of speech: Personal pronouns


Words are substituted for another and the substitution of noun into another word with is not noun and does not give an impression of name is called pronoun.

Therefore we can say that the pronoun is the substitute for noun.

  1. Albert lives in London
  2. He lives in London

In the first sentence Albert is noun because it is name where as in the second sentence the word [he] is the substitute for Albert. Furthermore [he] is not noun because it doesn’t seem to be a name of someone like Albert. Therefore [he] is pronoun. In short we can define pronoun as the word substitute for noun and it doesn’t give an impression of a name.

Personal pronouns

There are SEVEN personal pronouns, and they are; he, she, it, I, we, you and they. These seven are the basic pronouns and they can be modified into nominative, accusative and possessive cases, as explained below.

Three cases of personal pronoun

All pronouns can also be used in three different ways which are called cases, and they are;

  1. Nominative case (subjective)
  2. Accusative case (objective)
  3. Possessive case (that shows possession)
  • Nominative case (subjective)

Nominative is that type of pronoun in which it is used as a subject or actor. That is why it is also called subjective case.


He looks after his pet. (he is pronoun and subject)

They are running after the thief. (they is pronoun and subject)

She is explaining her condition. (she is pronoun and subject)

  • Accusative case (objective)

It is that type of pronoun in which it is used as an object as the very name indicates.


It is observed by him. (him is pronoun and acts as an object)

Patient is treated by her. (her is pronoun and acts as an object)

There is a gift for you. (you is pronoun and acts as an object)

Note: Nominative and accusative cases can be used in one sentence too, like,

informed him to come on time.

  • Possessive case (showing possession)

It is that kind of pronoun that shows possession, like; his, her, its, my, mine, our, your, and their.


Their class, your book, her car, his house etc

Note: All three cases of pronoun can be used in a single sentence, like,

I told him about your condition. (I: nominative, him: accusative, your: possessive)


Pronouns are divided into three other categories known as persons. Like; 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person, and this division is made in accordance with the following formula.

  1. First person is that pronoun which involves the talker. Since when you talk you use I or we for yourself. Therefore I and we are first person pronouns.
  1. Second person is that pronoun to whom you talk and whenever you talk you use the word [you] for your listener or listeners therefore you is the second person pronoun.
  1. Third person is that type of pronoun which is not involved in discussion with you or to whom you are not addressing your conversation, for example; hesheitthey.

Some other functions of personal pronouns

There are few other things that personal pronouns refer to as explained below.

  • Gender:
    he for masculine, she for feminine and it stands for neuter.
  • Number:
    he, she, it, I as singular personal pronouns
    They, we as plural personal pronouns
    You can be used for both

Compound personal pronouns

When personal pronouns are used along with other words they are called compound personal pronouns, like; myself, himself, herself, themselves, etc. Self is used with singular whereas selves indicate plurality of personal pronoun, like, themselves.

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