by Tom Fasano
The personal pronouns are I, you, he, she, and it, plus their various forms indicating the following properties.
First, second, third person.
Singular and plural number.
Masculine, feminine, and neuter gender.
Nominative, possessive, and objective case.
masc. or fem.
masc. or fem.
The older second person forms, thou, thy, or thine, thee, and ye, formerly in common use, are “solemn” in style and rarely used except in prayer and poetry. They are not used in ordinary speech, having been supplanted by the forms you, your or yours, you.
Personal pronouns are categorized into three grammatical “persons” based on the relation between the individual who is speaking and the individual to whom or the thing to which the pronoun refers.
(1) The First Person indicates the person speaking: as, I, me, we, us, etc.
(2) The Second Person indicates the person or thing spoken to: as, you, your, yours.
(3) The Third Person indicates the person or thing spoken of: as, he, she, it, him, her, etc.
The First Person pronouns in the singular number (I ,me, my, mine) are used by the speaker in referring to himself.
The first person plural pronouns (we, our, ours, us) are used by the speaker to refer to himself and other persons with whom he is associated in a particular action: he is the speaker for the group.
The so-called “editorial we” used by editorial writers (“we believe,” “It is our opinion,” instead of “I believe,” “I think”) is based on the idea that the writer is speaking for the entire editorial staff.
The Second Person pronoun has the same forms for both the singular and plural numbers: you, your, yours, you.
Because you was originally a plural pronoun, the plural verb is always used when you is used as a subject, even when only one person is being addressed: thus, “You were lonely,” never “You was lonely.”
The Third Person pronouns have the same form in the plural for all genders: they, their or them, theirs.
In the First and Second Persons there is no change of form to indicate gender, and the pronouns I, me, we, us, you, etc., are of masculine or feminine gender according to whether the persons or things to which they refer are male or female, respectively.
I am William (masculine)
I am Sandra (feminine)
You are young men (masculine)
You are young women (feminine)
In the Third Person, there are different pronouns in the singular number for the different genders — he, she, and it, with their various forms to indicate when the person spoken of is male, female, or neuter. In the plural number, the forms are the same no matter what the genders.
Note. It is often used to refer to animals or to very small children, whether male or female.Post Category: English Grammar | Leave Comments »