Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Personal Pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. The English personal pronouns are:

                                    Singular                      Plural
First Person                I                                   we
Second Person            you                              you
Third Person               he, she, it                     they

Notice that you is both singular and plural. When speaking to one person, say you. When speaking to two or more persons, say you:
  •              Tim, you are a very good student.
  •          Bruno and Rene, you have to study more.

Just as nouns have gender, pronouns also do. I, we, and you can be used by males or females. He is always masculine, she is always feminine, and it is always neuter. The plural of the third-person pronouns is always they, whether masculine, feminine, or neuter. And just like nouns, pronouns can be used as:
  1. the subject of a sentence
  2. a direct object
  3. an indirect object

But when used as a direct object or indirect object, some of the pronouns change:

Subject                        Direct Object              Indirect Object
I                                   me                               me
you                              you                              you
he                                him                              him
she                               her                               her
it                                  it                                  it
we                                us                                 us
you (plural)                  you                              you
they                             them                            them

If a pronoun replaces a noun in the sentence, it must have the same characteristics as the noun: the same number (singular or plural), the same gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter), and the same use in the sentence (subject, direct object, or indirect object). Look at these examples where the pronoun replaces the italicized noun:

Joseph is a hard worker.                             >>       He is a hard worker.
(singular masculine noun/subject)                        (singular masculine pronoun/subject)
Do you know the girls?                               >>        Do you know them?
(plural noun/direct object)                                       (plural pronoun/direct object)
We gave Mrs. Jones some flowers.             >>       We gave her some flowers.
(singular feminine noun/ indirect object)               (singular feminine pronoun/indirect object)

Notice that the nouns and pronouns are in the third person. This is true when a pronoun replaces a  noun. But when a noun or pronoun is combined with the first-person singular pronoun

I, it is replaced by the first-person plural pronoun we :
  •          You and I have work to do.  >>  We have work to do.
  •         He helps the girls and me.   >>   He helps us.

When you change a direct object noun to a direct object pronoun, you must add to or for before the indirect object noun or pronoun. The indirect object becomes the object of the preposition to or for. Place the prepositional phrase after the direct object. For example:
  •              I gave Jay a book.    >>  I gave it to Jay.
  •              We buy her flowers. >>  We buy them for her.

Nouns or pronouns can be used to complete a prepositional phrase. That is a phrase made up of a preposition and a noun or a pronoun. Here are some of the most commonly used prepositions:
            after, behind, between, for, from, in, near, on, of, through, to, with, without

Look at these sample prepositional phrases:

after the concert                       behind me
between the girls                      for you
from a friend                           in him
near the city                             on it
of a book                                 through her
to a student                              with us
without the money                   without them

In a prepositional phrase, use the same form of the pronoun that is used as a direct or indirect object:

Subject Pronoun                     Direct or Indirect Object                   Prepositional Phrase
I                                                 me                                                         after me
you                                            you                                                        behind you
he                                              him                                                        for him
she                                            her                                                         from her
it                                               it                                                            in it
we                                            us                                                           between us

they                                          them                                                       near them

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