Questions related to personal pronoun, an independent pronoun which can have various forms according to gender, number, person, and case.

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277
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6answers
79k views

Did English ever have a formal version of “you”?

From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...
153
votes
18answers
19k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions until the end.
70
votes
2answers
21k views

Why should the first person pronoun 'I' always be capitalized?

Why should we capitalize first person pronoun 'I' even if it does not appear in the beginning of a sentence? Why it is not the case for other pronouns?
69
votes
7answers
40k views

“My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner”

I just stumbled upon a Reddit post titled: My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner. How does it look? Sure enough, the top comment immediately points out that it should be "my wife's and ...
47
votes
6answers
6k views

Is “Is it a girl or a boy?” really calling the infant an “it”?

So, my boss comes in, railing that "English is a stupid language!" Since this is pretty much a thrice-weekly occurrence 'round these parts, I barely raised an eyebrow, and waited for him to continue. ...
39
votes
7answers
59k views

Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”?

Is this sentence grammatically correct? Anyone who loves the English language should have a copy of this book in their bookcase. or should it be: Anyone who loves the English language should ...
34
votes
6answers
27k views

Use of “I”, “we” and the passive voice in a scientific thesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Style Question: Use of “we” vs. “I” vs. passive voice in a dissertation When the first person voice is used in scientific writing it is mostly ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical?

An acquaintance recalled this specific example from an English textbook, but it is jarring to my native ear. Is this an example of prescriptive grammarians gone wild?
19
votes
8answers
18k views

Is it poor form to start too many sentences with I?

I often find myself writing a lot of comments to blog posts and responses on forums, and have noticed a tendency to start a lot of sentences with 'I'. 'I think...', 'I had no idea', 'I used to...' ...
16
votes
3answers
27k views

Which is correct: “This is her” or “This is she”?

Upon answering the telephone, the person calling asks if Joan is available. If Joan is the person who answered the phone, should she say "This is her" or "This is she"?
15
votes
4answers
5k views

___, ___, and I am/are…

What is the proper way of saying: "Jim, John, and I am going to the beach." Whenever I say "Jim, John, and I are going somewhere", I stumble over "I are going". Should it be "am" or "are", or ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Advice for using multiple same-gender personal pronouns in the same sentence

I have often struggled with sentences that contain two characters of the same gender. For example, if there are two females, Alice and Carol, then the following sentence can be confusing. Alice ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Referring to objects as “she”

Sometimes people are referring to mechanical objects as "she": I love my car. She always gets the best service. Are there any rules when it is appropriate to use "she" instead of it, and is "he" ...
14
votes
6answers
9k views

Why 'a friend of mine' is not 'my friend's friend'?

I have some questions about the expression "a friend of mine" and I'm quite confused with it. Actually I have found some threads about this topic but they don't hit my point. I'm not a native English ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How are pronouns resolved?

Are pronouns in English resolved syntactically or semantically? Do they always refer to the closest matching noun? A wikipedia article has these examples: We gave the bananas to the monkeys ...
12
votes
7answers
15k views

Which is correct: “If it were I” or “If it were me”?

I'm fairly sure it's the former, but it sounds even more stilted than the usual cases in which "I" is less common, but more correct.
12
votes
2answers
207 views

Art cold? To what extent can pronouns be dropped in English?

Many European languages conjugate their verbs, thus: I am You are | Thou art She is We are You are They are The form of the verb changes, depending on the person. In some languages ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

T-V distinction

In many languages, there is such thing as T-V distinction. Basically, it's when you use different pronouns in "formal" (or "polite") speech, and in informal speech. Now, I do realize there is no ...
8
votes
1answer
389 views

Does “In the event of …” take the genitive case?

Is insisting on a genitive pronoun after "In the event of ..." pedantry or correct? For example: "In the event of ..." his/him winning the election my/me dying our/us leaving For those who ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Use of “myself” in business-speak

Occasionally, I will hear or read coworkers using "myself" in place of "me," as in: If you have any questions, you can contact Gimli or myself. I have sent the list to Legolas, Glorfindel, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the origins of the regional pronoun “yinz” of southwestern Pennsylvania?

A common informal word used in southwestern Pennsylvania and the forefront example of what is commonly known as "Pittsburghese" is the word yinz, pronounced /jɪnz/ in IPA. Alternatively it is less ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

“People like you” versus “people like yourself”?

In the latest South Park episode, I noticed a line: We have so many abandoned babies and not enough people like yourself who care. Which kinda struck me, because I'd expect it to be people ...
7
votes
8answers
454 views

Rewrite this grammatically troubling movie poster

On a Wiki-walk the other day, I stumbled across the movie poster for Devil. The tagline on the poster is: Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem. The writer was obviously ...
6
votes
6answers
15k views

“Your and my [something]” vs “Yours and my…”

Prompted by comments against this question, I'd like some help figuring out why some people (myself included) prefer yours over the apparently more logical/grammatically consistent your in this kind ...
6
votes
2answers
601 views

“Nobody will help you but me” vs. “Nobody will help you but I”

As has been shown in another question, in comparisons with than both the accusative and the nominative are possible and grammatical: He loves you more than I. He loves you more than me. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we say “of mine/of his” instead of “of me/of him”?

He's a friend of mine. That's a car of his. Why do we use the possessive when the meaning would be the same while not using it (e.g. a friend of me and a car of him)? I thought maybe it is ...
6
votes
0answers
900 views

“Smarter than me” or “smarter than I”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he? “like I” or “like me”? Which of these is correct and why? I always assumed it followed the rule of "which would be correct if ...
5
votes
5answers
521 views

Can 'one' replace an antecedent?

Over at Judaism.SE someone asked a question with the title (1) What is the source for not walking with one's hands behind his back and someone else edited it to read (2) What is the source ...
5
votes
5answers
42k views

When to use “me” or “myself”?

Which one is correct: Someone like me... or Someone like myself... Is "like myself" ever correct?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper usage of “Y'all” in southern American dialects

The construction of the word to me implies that "you" is singular, whereas "y'all" is plural. To a football team: "Y'all are going to play a great game." To a tennis player: "You are going to play a ...
5
votes
3answers
201 views

How do you refer to the fictional author of a poem?

If a poem is written in the first person, how do you refer to the first person character in the poem? e.g. Underneath the fallen blossom In my bosom, Is a letter I have hid. It was ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

It is I who am at fault? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “It is they who lied” or “it is them who lied?” What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical? Which one of these is correct? It is I who am at ...
5
votes
0answers
503 views

When do I use “me” and when “I”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I put myself last? I get this mixed up so often. Should I say: Me and Rob are going swimming. or I and Rob are going swimming. I know the latter ...
4
votes
5answers
743 views

Using “she” with gender-neutral nouns

The song “Frozen” from Madonna’s Ray of Light (1998) contains the lyrics: Love is a bird, she needs to fly, Let all the hurt inside of you die. Does she refer to bird or love? And why is it ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

“He” / “she” vs. “it” regarding beloved objects

Is that normal to regard a beloved object (an animal, a car, a book) as he/she? If yes, what gender should be used in this case? One comment in this question touched the tendency to humanize things ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

“I am I”, “I am myself”, or “I am me”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it correct to use “yourself” and “myself” (versus “you” and “me”)? According to Google Ngram, "I am myself" is more common that "I am I", but which is correct? ...
4
votes
3answers
566 views

Which English dialects have 2nd person plural?

"Y'all" is the famous southern US form of the 2nd person plural. The Brooklyn / Italian-American "youse" might be another. While the existence and usage of "y'all" has been addressed somewhat ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

You yourself - double pronoun

You have made it up yourself. This is obviously ok. But if the pronoun it should be repalced by a long noun-phrase: You have made up the illusory world in which you move yourself. It would ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

comparative construction used with pronouns, especially 'her'

I was recently pulled up by a colleague when I made a statement along the lines of I am a better player than her. My colleague suggested the correct statement should be better player than she is ...
4
votes
6answers
381 views

What to call a person who doesn't respect personal space? [closed]

What would you call a person that doesn't care for your personal space and is kind-of sticky and doesn't get the hint that people are awkward around him/her and generally avoid him/her?
4
votes
2answers
250 views

Difference between “Please don't be long” and “Please don't YOU be long”

In the song "Blue Jay Way" from the Beatles, we've got the following lyrics : Please don't be long Please don't you be very long I'm (obviously) not a native English speaker but the first ...
4
votes
1answer
14k views

Is it correct to say “I myself”?

I thought it was incorrect to say I myself as in: I myself don’t like this idea. However, last night I was watching the second Harry Potter movie, and one of the characters said: In case you ...
4
votes
2answers
617 views

in spite of him/his

Jane told Marcos that in spite of (him/his) being small, he would definitely be a great asset to the team because of his athletic abilities. In the above sentence, which of him/his is correct and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Term for types of first person plural

I've noticed that there are two types of first person plural – one where the addressee is included, and one where she or he isn't. For example: With addressee included: Let us go. What's our plan? ...
3
votes
4answers
449 views

Usage of reflexive pronouns

I have read answers to questions like When is it correct to use "yourself" and "myself" (versus "you" and "me")? but I couldn't find a general rule for using ...
3
votes
3answers
626 views

How to call attention to “I” without “I myself” or the pretentious “even I”?

I find that in persuasive conversation, whether written or oral, it is sometimes useful to draw attention to the "I" in the sentence, giving the connotation that you are confessing or conceding to ...
3
votes
3answers
649 views

“Me” versus “I”

He was almost as bad at English as me. He was almost as bad at English as I. The first one sounds better as-is, but not when you change the second one to He was almost as bad at English as I was. ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What do you say when you don't know someone's gender? [duplicate]

For example, I want to refer to someone on the internet, but I don't know this person's gender. Which personal-pronoun do I use? (as article I mean he, she, it, etc)
3
votes
7answers
415 views

Name a person who loves to do things manually

What will you call a person who loves to do things manually rather than using any technology tools.
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Is naming the first person last proper grammar or just proper manners? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My friends and I” vs. “My friends and me” vs. “Me and my friends” I cringe when someone does not follow the rule of naming the first person last: Who went to the ...