We use a pronoun when we don’t want to repeat a noun or a noun phrase.
The English subject pronouns are: I, you, he, she, it, we they. (Of course, we use ‘you’ when we’re talking to one person and when we’re talking to more than one person.)
We use these pronouns when they are the subject of a verb.
- I like London.
- You have eaten the chocolate.
- He plays football.
- She hates mushrooms.
- It was cold.
- We are French.
- They are going home.
In English, we also have object pronouns. These are: me, you, him, her, it, us, them. (Notice that ‘it’ and ‘you’ are the same when they’re subject pronouns or object pronouns.)
We use the object pronouns in most situations when the pronoun is not the subject of a verb.
We use them for the object of a verb.
- John knows me.
- Amanda kissed you.
- The dog licked him.
- David hugged her.
- The teacher dropped it.
- The children love us.
- Luke helped them.
We use them after a preposition (including after phrasal verbs).
- It’s important to me.
- Can the children come with you?
- Look at her!
- The chocolate is for him.
- David is looking forward to it.
- Keep up with us!
- Lucy works for them.
We use them after ‘be’. (In very formal English, the subject pronoun is sometimes used here, but this is very old-fashioned and unusual.)
- Who’s there? It’s me!
- It’s you.
- This is her.
- It was him!
We use them with short answers.
- A: Who’s there? B: Me!
- A: Who ate the cake? B: Him!
- A: I’m tired. B: Me too.
With short answers, we can also use a subject pronoun + a verb. This sounds a bit more formal than the object pronoun alone.
- A: Who’s there? B: I am!
- A: Who ate the cake? B: He did!
- A: I’m tired. B: I am too.
We use them after ‘as’ and ‘than’ for comparison.
- She is as tall as me.
- He is taller than her.
We can again use the subject pronoun + a verb in the same situation.
- She is taller than I am.
- He is taller than she is.
We use them after ‘but’ and ‘except’.
- Everybody went home early but me.
- Everybody went home early except him.
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