Basics of Personal Pronouns

What are Personal Pronouns?

Personal Pronouns - they stand for the three persons.

  • I person: the person(s) speaking, e.g. I, we.

  • II person: the person(s) spoken to, e.g. you.

‘You’ is used both in the singular and the plural.
  • III Person: the person(s) spoken of, e.g. he, she, they, it.
‘It’ denotes a thing spoken of (not a person), but it still is called a personal pronoun of the third person.
The personal pronouns of the third person are, strictly speaking, Demonstrative pronouns. We will learn about ‘demonstrative pronouns’ soon.

Subjective & Objective Cases of Personal Pronouns

  • We use subjective case of pronoun when the pronoun is working as a subject or subject complement.

  • We use objective case of pronoun when it’s working as an object (direct, indirect or prepositional) or object complement.

personal pronouns

Each of the personal pronouns, I, We, He, She and They, has a different form for the objective case, namely, Me, Him, Her, Us, Them.

You and It have the same form in both subjective and objective cases.

We will discuss possessive case of personal pronouns, along with possessive pronouns, in a separate article.

Concept 1: I versus me

It is a common mistake to use ‘I’ for ‘me’ and vice-versa, when the pronoun is connected by a conjunction (and, or) with some other word.

Examples:

You and me are made for each other. (incorrect; me is objective case)
You and I are made for each other. (correct; You and I – subjects in subjective case)

My father will not allow you and I to go to the market. (incorrect; I is subjective case)
My father will not allow you and me to go to the market. (correct; you and me - objects in objective case)

Concept 2: ‘let’, ‘between … and’, ‘but’, ‘except’

We use objective case after ‘let’, ‘between … and’, ‘but’, ‘except’.

Let I play soccer. (incorrect)
Let me play soccer. (correct)

Between she and I, there is a big age difference. (incorrect)
Between her and me, there is a big age difference. (correct)

Everybody but he was present for the meeting. (incorrect)
Everybody but him was present for the meeting. (correct)

Except he everyone else was present in the party. (incorrect)
Except him everyone else was present in the party. (correct)

The object of a preposition will always be in objective case.

Concept 3: In case of Comparison

  • When we are comparing with the Subject (which obviously will be in subjective case), then we will use pronoun in subjective case after as/than.

  • When we are comparing with an Object (which obviously will be in objective case), then we will use pronoun in objective case after as/than.

In layman terms we can say that, a subject is compared with a subject and an object is compared with an object.

Examples:

I walk faster than him. (incorrect; I is in subjective case, but him in objective case)
I walk faster than he. (correct; both I and he are in subjective case)

She is as good as me. (incorrect; She is in subjective case, but me in objective case)
She is as good as I. (correct; both She and I are in subjective case)

Using the wrong case may even change the meaning of the sentence.

Examples:

Bradman likes Sachin more than me. (Bradman – subject; Sachin - object)
In this sentence, we are comparing with an object (i.e. Sachin), so we will use a pronoun in objective case (i.e. me). This sentence means that, Bradman likes Sachin more than he likes me.

Bradman likes Sachin more than I. (Bradman – subject; Sachin - object)
In this sentence, we are comparing with a Subject (i.e. Bradman), so we will use a pronoun in subjective case (i.e. I). This sentence means that, Bradman likes Sachin more than I like him.

The following sentence makes this even more clear:
Bradman likes Sachin more than I do.




Position of Personal Pronouns

Concept 1: Singular form

If all the three persons or two out of three persons (in singular form) come in a single sentence → the order is 231.

You, she and I shall work on this project. (231)
You and he have set a new record. (23)
He and I have finalized our presentation. (31)
You and I need to talk. (21)

Concept 2: Plural form

If Pronouns are in plural form → the order should be 123.

We, you and they should now leave for the airport. (123)

Concept 3: Negative situation

If there’s a negative situation (e.g. something wrong is talked about or some mistake is being accepted) → the order is 123.

I, you and he have committed this crime. (123)
You and he have done this blunder. (23)

Concept 4

Let us see now what kind of objective case and possessive case pronouns we can use with them:

personal pronouns

You, he and I should not waste your time. (incorrect)
You, he and I should not waste our time. (correct; with 231, our should come)

You and he should not be spending our time idly. (incorrect)
You and he should not be spending your time idly. (correct; with 23, your should come)

He and she should not waste ours time. (incorrect)
He and she should not waste their time. (correct; with 33, their should come)

Extra Books and Tools



Though the matter on our website is in-depth and comprehensive enough for the demands of most of the aptitude exams, but it may feel daunting for the same reasons. Moreover, some learners prefer paperback books over websites.

So, if you are a beginner level English learner, and prefer books, you may explore the following English Grammar books too.


1. Wren & Martin - This book has been around for long and is still considered one of the best. Though many concepts have not been dealt with in much depth here, but beginners may find it a breeze to read. Once you are done with it, the content on our website will work as a rich add-on. If you are getting this book, make sure you get the key to its exercises too.

Links for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

High School English Grammar and Composition Paperback

Key to Wren and Martin

Link for Indian readers: Wren and Martin


2. More advanced learners may refer to the following books. However, buy them only if you must. Most of your English Grammar learning needs will easily be met by our website.

A. Essential English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Essential Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Essential English Grammar

B. Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: English Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Intermediate English Grammar

C. Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Advanced Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Advanced English Grammar


So much so for Englsh Grammar. But what about Comprehension skills and Vocabulary?

We strongly believe that Comprehension skills and Vocabulary are more a matter of practice. The more you read, the better you will become in them. In fact, this will help you in Grammar too. Afterall Grammar rules are just in the nature of temporary scaffholding - the goal is to read, write and speak a language without consciously remembering even a single Grammar rule.

So, we suggest you to read vividly. Ideally, carry some tool with you that you may refer so as to learn the meaning of any word that is new to you. There are many ways you may go about it.

* The old method: Carry a good dictionary with you. But who does?

* Download a Thesauraus app on your mobile or just google it. Better, but we still need to stop reading, open the app, type and then search. Boring!

The methods mentioned above kill the joy of reading. Who wants to stop reading in the midst of an interesting plot and look for the meaning of a word? And if you are a lazy soul like me, Oh man! No chance!

That's why I prefer to read on gadgets like Kindle. We may just tap on any word and see its meaning there and then. It's also not taxing on the eyes.

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

Link for Indian readers:

There are a multitude of Kindle models and versions available. So, you may have to do some research on your own regarding which model serves your need the best. Though, any model will meet our basic reading needs.

If you guys know about any more such books, gadgets and technologies that are awesome and may help English learners, do share 😇
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