English in Use/Pronoun Usage

English in Use
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Pronoun Usage

A pronoun comes from a Latin word that means 'for a noun'. It is a word that stands in for a noun. The English language has lots of different kinds of pronouns.

Pronouns are often divided into first, second and third person, singular and plural. First person refers to the speaker, second person refers to the person or thing being spoken to, and third person refers to a person or thing neither speaking nor being spoken to.

The first person pronoun (referring to the speaker) is 'I' or 'me' in the singular, and 'we' or 'us' in the plural. The first of each set, "I/we", is used as the subject of a verb; the second, 'me/us', is used as the object of a verb or preposition. There are also reflexive pronouns which can be made (i.e. they are the same person as the subject) by adding the suffix '-self' to the possessive (myself/ourselves).

The second person pronoun (referring to the person being spoken to) is 'you' in singular and plural, as subject or object. The reflexive is "yourself" in the singular and "yourselves" in the plural.