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Lesson 1.1

Personal Pronouns

Los pronombres personales
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American female
American male
British female
British male
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In English, a distinction is made between when the pronoun acts as the subject (subject pronouns) of the sentence, as opposed to instances when it is used in the function of an object (object pronouns).

Personal Pronouns
(Subject Pronouns)
Example
  I   I am ill.
  you   You are tall.
  he   He is handsome.
  she   She is pretty.
  it   It is cold today.
  we   We are tired.
  you   You are hungry.
  they   They are at the cinema.

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Personal Pronouns
(Object Pronouns)
Example
  me   Can you help me?
  you   I can help you.
  him   Can you see him?
  her   Give it to her.
  it   Give it a kick.
  us   Can you see us?
  you   I see you.
  them   He can help them.

Note: The formal forms of "you*" that are a part of some other languages, do not exist in English*. As such, native English speakers have no concept of the “formal” in this sense.

Also, it is important to remember that there is no distinction between the singular or plural forms of "you*" in English*. It is only in the reflexive pronouns that we distinguish between these two forms: yourself (singular) and yourselves (plural).

Neuter Form

Pronouns in English distinguish gender and include the neuter formit”, as demonstrated in the pronouns table above.

The neuter form is used to refer to things, animals for which we do not know the sex, as well as the time and the weather. The plural form of “it” is “they”.

Examples:

 Where is it [the book]?
 What time is it?
 It is raining.

Note: The neuter form “it” is a very important grammatical component of English and one that non-native speakers tend to forget.

Function

1. The pronoun as subject:

The subject of a sentence is the the person or thing that performs the action of the verb. Subject pronouns are used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. In English, the subject pronoun is mandatory, as opposed to some other languages, where the subject is optional.

Examples:

 I am ill.
Subject = I
 You are tall.
Subject = You
 He is handsome.
Subject = He
 We are tired.
Subject = We

2. The pronoun as object :

Object pronouns function as the object of a verb and are located after the verb that they complement or after prepositions such as “for”, “to”, “with” and “at”.

Examples:

 I can help you.
Subject = I, Object = you
 Can you see him?
Subject = you, Object = him
 He is going to the party with us.
Subject = he, Object = us
 It [the letter] is for you.
Subject = it, Object = you
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