There are several types of pronouns in the English language, each of which can be used to replace a noun in a sentence. Personal pronouns are the type that takes the place of specific nouns naming people, places and things.
List of Personal Pronouns
Comprehensive Personal Pronouns List
Personal pronouns are often used instead of repeating a name in multiple sentences that are close together. This can help avoid repetition and ease the flow of sentences. Review the complete list of personal pronouns below, presented in alphabetical order.
Though the name suggests that personal pronouns would only be used to describe people, certain personal pronouns (such as "it" and "they") can also stand in for objects, places and ideas.
Using Personal Pronouns
Writers and speakers usually inject personal pronouns into a sentence when the name of the noun has been previously mentioned. The reader or listener will still understand what is being referred to and the sentences sound less awkward. For example:
Richard bought a new laptop three months ago. He absolutely loves it.
In the second sentence, there are two personal pronouns. The personal pronoun "he" takes the place of "Richard," while the personal pronoun "it" takes the place of "laptop."
Categorizing Personal Pronouns
Personal pronouns can be divided into singular and plural categories depending on the number of items they refer to. They can also be divided into first, second and third person points of view.
Plural (2 or more)
First Person (speaking about oneself)
Second Person (speaking to the reader or listener)
Third Person (speaking about someone or something else)
she, her, he, him, it, they, them
Gender Neutral Usage
- Is Danni, the new club member, planning to attend this week's meeting? I asked them in an email, but have not yet received a response. (In this case, "them" is referring only to Danni, in a gender neutral way.)
- All I know about the new student is that they are named Marion. (Here, the word "they" is referring to a new student named Marion, which is a gender neutral name.)
When you replace a noun with a pronoun, the noun that is replaced is called the antecedent. The pronoun selected must agree with its antecedent. Paying close attention to the antecedent will help you choose the correct personal pronoun.
- singular - President Obama delivered a speech on health care reform. He spoke for more than an hour. ("President Obama" is the singular antecedent to the personal pronoun "he.")
- plural - Paul and Jane were new to the area, but they already felt at home. (There are two subjects, "Paul and Jane," so the plural pronoun "they" is needed here. As Paul and Jane are the subjects of the sentence, "they" is the correct choice rather than "them.")
Subject and Object: Personal Pronouns Cases
There are two cases of personal pronouns: subject pronouns and object pronouns.
Subject pronouns include I, you, she, he, it, we, and they. Subject pronouns replace the name of the subject in the sentence. For example:
- I went to the mall.
- You are the love of my life.
- He studied hard but still failed the test.
- She went to a party with friends.
- Is the puppy male or female? It is a girl.
- We want to register to vote.
- They are not in charge here.
Object pronouns include me, you, her, him, it, us, and them. Object pronouns take the place of the object in the sentence (that is, the noun that receives the action in a sentence). Object pronouns are used as both direct objects and indirect objects. For example:
- Give the cookie to me.
- Dad will help you soon.
- Sing a song to help her sleep.
- My mom will drive him home.
- I had to pay full price for it because I lost the coupon.
- She is going to loan her car to us.
- The carrots went bad so we had to throw them away.
Choosing I vs. Me
Choosing between the subject pronoun "I" and the object pronoun "me" can be tricky. Review these examples to make sure you know when to use I or me in a sentence.
- Jennifer and I are meeting in San Francisco in July. (Why not "Jennifer and me" in this case? Because "I" is part of the subject of the sentence. You must choose the personal pronoun in the subjective case.)
- They gave the promotion to me. (Why not "I" in this case? Because "me" is the object of the preposition "to," so you must choose a personal pronoun in the objective case.)
Expand Your Pronoun Usage Expertise
Now that you have reviewed this list of personal pronouns examples and have some ideas about how to use them correctly, use these pronoun review worksheets to see how strong your skills really are. Then, explore other types of pronouns. Next, reinforce what you have learned with these fun pronoun games.