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Basic English the Mikie Metric Way

Lesson 5, Using Personal Pronouns

The term PERSON in English means who a sentence is about or who is doing something in a sentence.  Most of the time, we know this by which pronoun is used or could be used.  FIRST PERSON is always yourself; SECOND PERSON is the one or ones you are speaking to; THIRD PERSON is who we are speaking about. " I (first person) asked you (second person) to invite them (third person) to the party."


PERSON 1st Singular 2nd Singular 3rd Singular 1st Plural 2nd Plural 3rd Plural
SUBJECT I you he, she, it we you they
OBJECT me you him, her, it us you them

A PRONOUN is a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence when the noun has already been used earlier,  when the speakers know who is being spoken about, or when people are speaking directly to each other.  The following sentences will use Subject Pronouns, which are used as the subjects of sentences.

First sentence, using a noun. Second sentence - using a pronoun. which noun = which pronoun
My name is Mr. Smith. I am your new teacher. Mr. Smith = I
Stand up, John. Will you please read the first line. John = you
Mr. Smith is the new teacher. He teaches math.

Mr. Smith = He

Mrs. Roberts teaches Social Studies. She will also teach music. Mrs. Roberts = she
Frank swung the bat very hard. It broke when he hit a home run. bat = it,  Frank  = he
My brother and I played golf all day. We did not keep score. brother and I = we.
OK, Class.  Sit down now. Did you finish the homework? class = you
Ten girls wore new dresses. They looked very nice. girls = they

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The next group of sentences will demonstrate Object Pronouns which act as direct objects (receive the action), indirect objects (receive something), or as objects of a preposition ( to, of, from, by, with, after, etc.).

First sentence, using a noun. Second sentence, using a pronoun. which noun = which pronoun
A mother says to a small child "Come to Mommy." Then she says, "Give me a big hug." Mommy = me
The teacher says, "Mary, here are the test grades." Then the teacher adds, "I gave you a C on the test." Mary = you
Martha sent Uncle Jim a letter. Martha sent him photos, also. Uncle Jim = him
Uncle Jim sent Martha a letter, too. Uncle Jim returned the photos to her. Martha = her
Pete dug a deep hole in the yard.  Pete filled it with water. hole = it
There were free tickets for Larry, Moe and me. The coach sent the tickets to us. Larry, Moe and me = us
The boss said, "I need extra help this weekend, Mike and Joe."  Then the boss added, "I will pay you overtime for it." the boss = I ; Mike and Joe = you ; extra help = it
The coach gave new uniforms to the players. He gave new hats to them, also. the coach = he ; players = them
Notice that YOU and IT are the same in the Subject and the Object forms.

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There are special forms of these pronouns to show ownership.  They are called Possessive Pronouns.  The form used with a noun is sometimes called a Possessive Adjective because it modifies, or gives information about, the noun: my, your, our, his, her, their.

PERSON 1st Singular 2nd Singular 3rd Singular 1st Plural 2nd Plural 3rd Plural
SUBJECT I you he, she, it we you they
OBJECT me you him, her, it us you them
POSSESSIVE my, mine your, yours his, her, hers, its our, ours your, yours their, theirs

Note:  Possessive Pronouns come in two different forms: one form must be used with the noun it possesses - MY, YOUR, HIS, HER, ITS, OUR, THEIR.  The other form takes the place of the noun and can stand on its own: MINE, YOURS, HIS, HERS, ITS, OURS, THEIRS.  Two of these are the same in both cases - HIS and ITS.  

Which nouns can be replaced with which pronouns?  Here are many examples.

Nouns Pronouns Nouns Pronouns
Fred, Mr. Smith, the policeman, Doctor Wilson he, him, his (the speaker, myself) I, me, my, mine
Nancy, Miss Roberts, the nurse, Mrs. Smith she, her, hers Bill and I, Joe and me, the teacher and I, the teacher and me we, us, our, ours
(any person being spoken to) you, your, yours Jack and Jill, the baseball team, everybody,  they, them, their, theirs
Jack's dog, the airplane, the maple tree, the monster it, it, its (any persons or group being spoken to) you, your, yours

The topic of Pronouns is much larger and more complicated than we have demonstrated here.  There are Compound Personal Pronouns, Interrogative Pronouns, Indefinite Pronouns, Demonstrative Pronouns and Relative Pronouns, but they will be covered in other lessons.

Exercise A:  Circle the pronouns in the following sentences.

1. Fred let his brother use a bicycle that was mine. 5. We have to leave, so give our seats to them.
2. Did you remember to bring that new pencil of yours? 6. I hate to be the one to tell you, but he is married.
3. With a brain like mine and talent like yours, we would starve. 7. A sister of theirs wanted to go on the hike with us.
4. She told us that we were late for the party. 8. I said that she told him to leave us alone.

Exercise B: Circle the correct pronouns in the following sentences.

1. (I, Me, My) wish (we, us, our) did not have to use (we, us, our) car for the trip to (you, your, yours) reunion.
2. Miss Williams gave (we, us, our) (we, us, our) test grades Friday before (we, us, our) left school.
3. All the secretaries brought (they, them, their) lunches in paper bags and ate (they, them, their) at (they, them, their) desks.
4. (I, Me, My) dog is a better hunter than (you, your) dog, isn't (he, she, it).
5. Thomas brought (he, him, his) brother with (he, him, his) to the school picnic.
6. Jane brought (she, her) sister with (she, her), also.
7. (I, Me, My) thanked (them, they, their) for (they, them, their) wonderful care of (I, me, my) while (I, me, my) was in the hospital.
8. The dog chased (it, its) tail but never caught (it, its).
9. (They, Them, Their) car nearly ran into (we, us, our), but (we, us, our) never called the police.
10. Should (we, us, our) do (we, us, our) homework at (my, mine, me) house or at (you, your, yours) ?
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Answers to Exercises, Lesson 5

Exercise A:

1. his, mine 3. mine, yours, we 5. We,  our, them 7. theirs, us
2. you, yours 4. She, us, we, 6. I, you, he 8. I, she, him, us

Exercise B:  correct answers given

1. I wish we did not have to use our car for the trip to your reunion.  

2. Miss Williams gave us our test grades Friday before we left school.  

3. All the secretaries brought their lunches in paper bags and ate them at their desks.  

4. My dog is a better hunter than yours, isn't it.  

5. Thomas brought his brother with him to the school picnic.  

6. Jane brought her sister with her, also.  

7. I thanked them for their wonderful care of me while I was in the hospital.  

8. The dog chased its tail but never caught it.  

9. Their car nearly ran into us, but we never called the police.  

10. Should we do our homework at my house or at yours? 

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