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English pronouns: A complete guide

English pronouns

Pronoun meaning (What is a pronoun?)

A pronoun is used to replace a specific noun that was mentioned earlier in a sentence, so we don’t have to keep repeating this specific noun.

Pronoun examples

I, me, he, him, himself…

What are the 5 types of pronouns in English? (English pronouns)

There are different types of pronouns in English. This post deals with 5 kinds of pronouns, namely subject pronouns, object pronouns, possessive adjectives, possessive pronouns, and reflexive pronouns.

Here is a list of pronouns

Subject pronounObject pronounPossessive adjectivePossessive pronounReflexive pronoun
I memyminemyself
youyou youryoursyourself
hehimhishishimself
she herherhersherself
it itits---itself
we usouroursourselves
youyouyouryoursyourselves
theythemtheirtheirsthemselves

English Pronouns: Subject pronouns/Personal pronouns

Singular subject pronouns: I, you, he, she, it.

Plural subject pronouns: We, you, they.

Subject pronouns (= personal pronouns) function as the subject of the verb. Generally, subject pronouns help us avoid repeating a person’s name.

english pronouns
Personal pronouns (subject pronouns)
  • I am an American citizen.
  • You are the best student in this class. You work very hard.
  • Mike works as a teacher. He goes to work on foot because he lives next to the school.
  • Sandra likes cooking. She cooks every day.
  • My cat likes cheese. It eats it twice a day.
  • Nancy and I love learning English. We practice it every day.
  • Jack and Pamela are in the same class. They are good students.

Subject pronouns + verbs

Do this personal pronouns quiz / Personal pronouns test

Personal pronouns test

Use the words in brackets to complete the sentences with the correct personal pronoun.

Possessive adjectives

Singular possessive adjectives: My, your, his, her, its.

Plural possessive adjectives: Our, your, their.

We use possessive adjectives to show who something belongs to. Possessive adjectives always go before nouns and don’t take an article. Because they are not English pronouns, Possessive adjectives do not replace a noun.

  • My name is Sandra. What’s your name?
  • This is my brother. His name is Tom.
  • This is my sister. Her name is Anna.
  • This is my cat. Its name is Kitty.
  • Anna and I are sisters. Our mother teaches us at home.
  • Tom and Anna have bikes. Their favorite sport is cycling.
  • My best friend’s name is Emma. Emma and I go to the gym every day. We want to lose weight. Our objective is to get fit sooner.

Possessive adjectives + nouns

English Pronouns: Object pronouns

The object pronouns are as follows: me, you, him, her, it, us, you, and them.

Object pronouns replace the object or indirect object. We use object pronouns after verbs or prepositions.

  • Please call me when you arrive at the station.
  • Sure. I’ll call you as soon as I arrive there.
  • My mother gave me a gift when I graduated last year.
  • I love you. Do you love me?
  • Tom loves Elena, but she doesn’t love him.
  • Sarah lives near me. I see her every day.
  • This neighborhood is too noisy. I don’t like it.
  • I don’t like fast food. Do you like it?
  • Our parents like us.
  • My mother makes us lots of cakes.
  • Emma doesn’t like to be with Tim and Robert. She hates them.
  • You rarely wear these jeans. I don’t think you like them.
  • I can’t find my keys. I don’t remember where I put them.
  • I know Tim and Janet very well. I meet them at school every day

Verbs + object pronouns

English pronouns: Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are as follows: Myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves, and oneself.

Reflexive pronouns are used when something or someone is both the subject and the object of the same verb.

  • I watched myself on YouTube.
  • I usually tell myself I was lucky to have such great friends.
  • You should behave yourself.” She said to him.
  • My son allowed himself enough time to prepare for the exam.
  • My computer restarts itself once a day.
  • The cat washed itself.
  • Tim and I promised ourselves a holiday in Thailand.

If a reflexive pronoun is removed from a sentence, it (the sentence) becomes ungrammatical. For example, the sentence ” I watched on YouTube.” is not grammatically correct.

We don’t use reflexive pronouns after the following verbs: Concentrate, wake up, decide, stand up, hurry, relax, rest.

English pronouns: Intensive pronouns

Intensive pronouns are identical to reflexive pronouns. Nevertheless, intensive pronouns add emphasis by reiterating the subject of the sentence. Intensive pronouns do not act as the object of the verb.

  • I myself did it.
  • He himself asked me to make him some coffee.
  • Emma did her homework herself.
  • We will do all these tasks ourselves.

English pronouns: Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns examples: 
  • This is my book. It’s mine.
  • This book is mine.
  • This is John’s dog. It’s his. it’s not mine.
  • Please give this book to her. It’s hers.
  • They’re your seats. They’re yours.
  • This is our house. It’s ours.
  • That’s their house. It’s theirs.

Possessive pronouns aren’t followed by nouns. Possessive pronouns go at the end of the sentence

Possessive pronouns quiz

PP Quiz

Fill in the blanks with the correct possessive pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns (also called demonstrative adjectives)

Demonstrative pronouns are this these those that. Dictionaries define demonstrative as a pronoun or determiner used to identify  the person or thing that is being referred to
Demonstrative pronoun examples: (this that these those)
  • This is a magazine. (singular/near)
  • That is a magazine. (singular/far)
  • These are my friends, Tom and Tim. (plural/near)
  • Those are my friends, Jane and Philip. (Plural/far)

English pronouns quiz with answers

Test your knowledge of the English pronouns

Pronouns Test

You might want to learn how to use relative pronouns and relative adverbs.