An object pronoun is not the subject of the sentence. It is usually the object that is affected in some way by the subject of the sentence. It might be tricky to get a handle on this definition, but you may be surprised to discover just how many object pronouns you use in your everyday life.
Defining an Object Pronoun
An object pronoun is a word that replaces a noun in a sentence. The noun it replaces can’t be the subject of the sentence. Instead, it replaces an object noun, which is a noun that received the action of a verb. Object pronouns are sometimes referred to as objective pronouns.
How to Identify an Object Noun
To identify an object noun, you’ll need to identify which noun mentioned in the sentence receives the action of the verb. Consider this example sentence:
Mary ate the ice cream. (object noun)
Mary is the subject of the sentence. The predicate is "ate the ice cream." The verb is "ate," and "the ice cream" is the objective noun.
Replacing an Object Noun with an Object Pronoun
Once you have identified the objective noun, you’ll know which word can be replaced by an appropriate object pronoun. For the example sentence under consideration, the phrase "the ice cream" can be replaced with an object pronoun.
Mary ate it. (object pronoun)
This sentence functions the same way as the first example sentence - except the word it functions as an object pronoun. Simply put, the pronoun is being affected in some way by the main noun, or the subject, of the sentence. Got the idea?
Subject vs. Object Pronoun
There is an important thing to note about the above example: it uses the word it. This is all fine and well, except that "it" can be a normal subject pronoun as well as an object pronoun.
Take for example the following two sentences:
- It is my favorite book. (subject pronoun)
- I like to read it. (object pronoun)
In the first sentence, the word it functions as the subject pronoun. In the second sentence, “it” functions as an object pronoun. Other pronouns do not work his way. Look at these sentences to see if you can grasp this concept:
- She is a wonderful person. (subject pronoun)
- Emily wants to meet her. (object pronoun)
In the first example sentence, "she" is a subject pronoun. In the second example, "her" seems to be talking about the same person, but is a pronoun in a different case. In other words, it is an object pronoun.
How to Make Object Pronouns
It’s not unusual for people to be more familiar with subject pronouns than object pronouns. Subject pronouns translate into object pronouns as follows. The subject pronoun version is on the left side of each example, with the corresponding object pronoun on the right.
- "I" becomes "me,"
- "you" stays as "you"
- "he" becomes "him"
- "she" becomes "her"
- "it" stays as "it"
- "they" becomes "them"
Exercise to Identify Object Pronouns
The sample paragraph below is broken out into numbered lines. The text contains several subject and object pronouns. See if you can point out the different pronouns and identify if they are subject pronouns or object pronouns. Review the answers below to check your work.
Pronoun Identification Practice Exercise
Identify the pronouns in each line and decide if each one is a subject pronoun or an object pronoun.
- Mary woke up. She wanted to go to the store.
- She walked out the door towards it, where she met the Bergs.
- They said that it was good to see Mary.
- She said goodbye to the Bergs, then ran into me and told me all about it!
Pronoun Identification Exercise Answers
Check your work against the correct answers.
- she (subject pronoun - replaces Mary)
- she (subject pronoun - replaces Mary), it (object pronoun - replaces store)
- they (subject pronoun - replaces the Bergs)
- She (subject pronoun - replaces Mary), it (object pronoun - the trip to the store and encounter with the Bergs)
Exercise to Select Object Pronouns
For this quick set of practice questions, think of the correct object pronoun to fit the blank.
Object Pronoun Selection Practice Exercise
Choose the correct object pronoun (me, you, him, her, it, them) for each of the following sentences.
- If you don’t want that hat anymore, please give ______ to your father.
- The Costas are my aunt and uncle. I am going to visit ______.
- I want to give ______ some advice.
- That is not your toy. Give ______ back.
- Everyone likes ______ new outfit.
Object Pronoun Selection Exercise Answers
Check your work against the correct answers.
- it (replaces hat)
- them (replaces The Costas)
- you or them
- it (replaces toy)
- her or his
More Strategies for Mastering Object Pronouns
Identifying and selecting subject and object pronouns in pre-written text can be a great way to practice your skills with these parts of speech, but it can be very helpful to use a variety of study strategies.
- If you are having trouble memorizing which words are subject pronouns and which are object pronouns, consider making some vocabulary flashcards that list them all. Use them to practice determining which pronouns are which type and test yourself to see if you can rattle off groups of pronouns from memory.
- Games are a great way to practice and reinforce skills. Use these object pronoun game ideas to enhance your skills of identifying and writing these types of words.
Learn More About Object Pronouns
Object pronouns are an incredibly important part of the grammar in your everyday life. It is important to understand which pronouns are which, because it can help you understand the written language better. It’s also important to know how to use all of the other types of pronouns. Use this pronoun worksheet to practice your skills.