I have a task which involves my having to show how I can write in different ways in English. Thus far, I have shown how I can write in a multitude of ways in a reasonably successful way, but I am rather stumped now that I am being asked to form sentences where there is no mention of any third-person pronoun at all. This is something with which I am really, really struggling, but completing the task is something imperative, as I won't be able to move on otherwise to the other tasks that I need to complete.

I have searched the Internet and, well, that proved useless, so now I am really, really hoping to get an answer from someone on here to this pressing question of mine.

Thanks to all in advance!

  • The sentence "I gave the gift to you" contains no third-person pronoun [instead, "the gift" is explicitly stated, rather than as "it"]. This seems trivial, so there must be something else involved.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:12
  • @AndrewLeach In certain cases where one is asked to not use passive constructions, third-person pronouns (as in my case), etc., how can one communicate without having to resort to the abominable practice of repeating a (or the) noun again, and again? Is this doable in English? Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:14
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    This all depends on the idea you're trying to get across. Without some examples, this question won't be answerable.
    – Spencer
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:22
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I am reasonably sure it is about nonstandard use of English. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:52
  • Try direct conversations using, I, we and you with all their cases. You cannot use he, she, it, they etc.. Is it like, " What you do, you do; what you do not do, you don't do", or, "What I do, I should do; what I shouldn't do, I shouldn't" ???
    – Ram Pillai
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


This calls for examples.

Before: "She took the trash out because it was overflowing, and Bob said he was grateful to her."

After: "Ally took out the overflowing trash and Bob expressed gratitude."

Before: "James Bond shot him. He fell down dead."

After: "James Bond shot the villain. The target fell down dead."

Some strategies:

  1. Use nouns instead of pronouns. ("Ally" instead of "she")

  2. Instead of repeating the same noun, replace it with other descriptions. ("The villain," and "the target" both replace "him" and "he.")

  3. Avoid repetition ("The overflowing trash" only refers to the garbage once, whereas "the trash because it was overflowing" refers to it twice.)

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    James Bond shot the villain. The target fell down dead. Well, perhaps, but the introduction of the term target hinders the immediate realisation that it was the villain who fell down dead. I'd propose James Bond shot the villain, who fell down dead. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 17:39
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    Qaz I have to thank you for your post and the examples therein, as they have allowed me to see how it is that I can form sentences without using third-person pronouns. Thank you! You've made it really quite easy for me now, I think. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 19:05

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