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Personal pronouns.

1.The personal pronouns are: I, he, she, it, we, you, they. The personal pronouns have the grammatical categories of person, case, number and (in the third person singular) gender.

The personal pronouns have two cases:the nominativecase and the objectivecase.

The nominative case: /, he, she, it, we, you, they.1

 

1 The archaic pronoun of the second person singular is thou.

 

The objective case: me, him, her, it, us, you, them.2

 

2 The objective case of thou is thee.

 

The objective case of the pronouns I, he, she, we is expressed by suppletive forms.

In colloquial speech me, not I is commonly used as a predicative: Who is there? It is me.

The personal pronouns have two numbers,singular (I, he, she, it) and plural (we, they).

The second-person pronoun you is both singular and plural.

The pronouns of the third person he, she, it distinguish gender.Male beings (man, father, uncle, boy, etc.) are referred to as he; female beings (woman, mother, aunt, girl, etc.) are referred toas she; inanimate things (house, tree, cap, etc.)are referred to as it.3

 

3 In literary style the general principle is to associate with the pronoun he words indicating strong forces, violent passions, violent actions, big heavenly bodies (wind, fear, love, anger, despair, sun); and to associate with the pronoun she gentler forces, gentler feelings, smaller heavenly bodies (hope, mercy, justice, modesty, moon).

 

Her husbandasked a few questions and sat down to read the evening paper.

He was a silent man... (Dreiser)

And then he turned and saw the girl... Shewas a pale, ethereal creature, with

wide, spiritual eyes and a wealth of golden hair. (London)

He did not know what to do with his cap, and was stuffing itinto his coat

pocket... (London)

 

As some nouns denote animate beings of either sex, masculine or feminine (friend, teacher, servant, cousin etc.), personal pronouns are often used to specify them:

 

“Tell your servant that he must not use such words to Hendrike, Mr. Allan,”

Stella said to me. (Haggard)

 

2. Personal pronouns may have different functions in the sentence, those of subject, object, predicative:

I was not free to resume the interrupted chain of my reflections till bed-time...

(Ch. Bronte) (SUBJECT)

He arranged to meet herat the 96th Street station... (Wilson) (OBJECT)

“Who’s there?” “It’s me.” “Who’s me?” “George Jackson, sir.” (Twain)

(PREDICATIVE)

But I think that was himI spoke to. (Cronin) (PREDICATIVE)

 


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Classification of pronouns. | Reflexive pronouns.

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