Monday, November 29, 2010

Pronouns - Forms of Personal Pronouns


As we know, pronouns take the place of nouns. If there is no pronoun, our sentences will be very boring as we will be repeating the subject noun over and over again.
For example: I think James is a nice guy. James is honest and helpful. I like James.

With pronoun: I think James is a nice guy. He is honest and helpful. I like him.

Personal Pronouns
There are 7 personal pronouns:
  1. 1st person singular (I) - note “I” is always written with a capital.
  2. 1st person plural (we)
  3. 2nd person (you)
  4. 3rd person singular masculine (he)
  5. 3rd person singular feminine (she)
  6. 3rd person singular neuter (it)
  7. 3rd person plural (they)
Each pronoun has a number of forms:
  1. a subjective case form (I, you, he, she, it / we, you, they). This is used when they are the subject of a sentence e.g. I was happy to have met an old friend.
  1. an objective case form (me, you, him, her, it / us, you, them). This is used when it is the object of verb or of a preposition.
e.g. Jackie will show us how it is done (the objective personal pronoun “us” is the direct object of the verb “show”).
e.g. The client will pass the order to him (the objective personal pronoun in this case is “him” which is the direct object of the preposition “to”).
  1. a possessive case form (mine, yours, his, hers, its / ours, yours, theirs). This possessive pronoun show ownership without needing apostrophes unless you do a short form of “it is” = “it’s”)
e.g. These books are mine and those are his.
  1. a possessive adjective case form (my, your, his, her, its / our, your, their).
This is also used as a possessor but this one acts as a pronoun or a predicate adjective.
e.g. These are my books and those are yours. (here “my” acts somewhat like an adjective to “books”.)
  1. a reflexive form (myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself / ourselves, yourselves, themselves). This replaces the objective-case form in referring to the same entity as a subject.
e.g. You can do this task yourself as it is simple.
The above different pronouns, and the different forms of the pronouns, often have overlapping functions.

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