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

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336
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6answers
93k 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 ...
227
votes
20answers
44k 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.
95
votes
6answers
103k 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 my"...
87
votes
2answers
43k 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?
55
votes
6answers
7k 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. ...
50
votes
7answers
121k 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 ...
48
votes
6answers
44k 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 used ...
23
votes
4answers
4k 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?
22
votes
4answers
45k views

Which is correct: “This is her” or “This is she”? [closed]

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"?
21
votes
8answers
37k 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...' etc....
17
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
21k views

Referring to objects as “she” [duplicate]

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" ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Who is “we” in my thesis?

in our field (mathematics) it is somewhat standard to write things like " In Chapter 4 we show that ..." "The experiments we have conducted (meaning: me, together with my collaborators) or: "...
15
votes
6answers
21k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
4k 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
4answers
2k 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
5answers
420 views

Can a pronoun and its referent have different plurality?

(Hello, everyone. I am new to this community and also not familiar to English, so if this posting does not meet your standard or tradition, please let me know.) My question is as the title says: Is ...
12
votes
7answers
23k 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
280 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 (...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “her” a possessive or an objective pronoun in “A mother takes care of her children”?

I had a sort of debate with my teacher to whether the her in the sentence A mother takes care of her children. is a possessive or an objective pronoun. I told my teacher that it was a possesive ...
11
votes
5answers
96k views

When to use “me” or “myself”?

Which one is correct: Someone like me... or Someone like myself... Is "like myself" ever correct?
10
votes
9answers
2k 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
3answers
21k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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
7k 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
6answers
30k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

“We rarely go on holiday.” Can I say “Us neither”?

Since, in the first person singular, I can compare my situation, tastes, etc. to someone else's saying "Neither do I." or "Me neither."… … is it possible to use all the other personal pronouns in the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
112 views

The Royal We: Who are “we”?

Although King George III of Great Britain did respond to a Loyal Address using the personal pronoun I: My Lords, I thank you for this dutiful and affectionate Address. The satisfaction which you ...
7
votes
8answers
482 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
5answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
822 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
59k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
4k 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 short ...
6
votes
0answers
908 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 you ...
5
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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
5answers
626 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
3answers
326 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
6k 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 fault. ...
5
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
505 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 sounds ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

The difference between “it” and “he/she”

There seems to be a difference between these two pronouns besides the obvious one of animacy. I want to know if people agree or can point out the flaw in my thinking. I've been attempting to wrangle ...
4
votes
2answers
13k 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
2k 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
8answers
668 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.
4
votes
6answers
1k 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
555 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 ...