Questions tagged [personal-pronouns]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
405
votes
6answers
123k 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 ...
328
votes
22answers
98k views

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

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her ...
130
votes
6answers
254k 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". ...
117
votes
2answers
66k views

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

Why should we capitalize the first person pronoun 'I' even when it does not appear at the beginning of a sentence? Why is it not the case for other pronouns?
65
votes
7answers
203k 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 ...
64
votes
6answers
78k 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 in ...
62
votes
6answers
11k 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. ...
62
votes
9answers
233k views

When do I use “I” instead of “me?”

From some comments in the answers for common English usage mistakes (now deleted, 10k only), there's confusion around the usage of I vs. me: While the sentence, "the other attendees are myself and ...
36
votes
6answers
46k views

“Who wants ice-cream?” — Should I say “(not) I” or “(not) me”?

With the enthusiastic question of "Who wants ice-cream?", what is the more correct response? (Not) I. (Not) me. Neither response is a sentence. The first response of "(not) I" sounds ...
34
votes
6answers
223k views

What is the difference between “thee” and “thou”?

What is the difference between thee and thou and how are they used?
32
votes
4answers
7k 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?
31
votes
5answers
48k views

Did English ever have a “you” plural?

Apart from the dialect form used in the Southern US, "y'all," has English ever had a plural "you"? If not, how does English get around using this form?
31
votes
9answers
2k views

The hidden flaw in “singular they”—what to do about reflexive pronouns?

We have a highly regarded answer by nohat to a question about gender-neutral pronouns, in which he points to the "singular they" and its long history of use in English. (Note that he also advises ...
28
votes
2answers
78k views

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

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"?
27
votes
8answers
69k 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....
19
votes
5answers
286k views

When to use “me” or “myself”?

Which one is correct: Someone like me... or Someone like myself... Is "like myself" ever correct?
18
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
50k 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
51k 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" ...
17
votes
1answer
177k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
939 views

Is the signature of a letter a subject or an object?

I want to sign a letter jokingly not by name, but by a personal pronoun. Is the signature a subject or an object? I feel like using object pronoun (me) sounds better, but why? The signature looks more ...
15
votes
8answers
21k views

“Bob and us” or “Bob and we” or “Bob and ourselves”?

In the singular, it is quite clear that one uses "I" when referring to a third party and oneself, as in: Bob and I are going to build an aircraft. However, in the plural, it is a lot less clear. ...
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: " ...
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 ...
13
votes
7answers
33k 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
5answers
36k views

“Us Americans” or “We Americans”?

If there is a group of individuals identified by a name, what's the right way for one of the group to refer to them all? For example, if one of a group of 10 Americans wants to refer to the group, is ...
12
votes
2answers
69k views

“Me and my wife” or “my wife and me”

Which is correct: me and my wife or my wife and me? The sentence in which this is used is Ms. Smith informed me and my wife that she was afraid of being accosted.
12
votes
4answers
6k 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 possessive ...
12
votes
5answers
833 views

Can a pronoun and its referent have different plurality?

My question is as the title says: Is it allowed for a pronoun and its referent to have different plurality? A specific example I am considering is a sentence like this: I love this cookie so much ...
12
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
372 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
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a grammatical name for the third-person 'you'?

I've had this conversation several times in my life, where I use a second-person pronoun when actually using the third-person: "If you were dressed up as a clown at night holding black balloons, I ...
9
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
24k 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
271 views

Reflexive pronoun use when subject is a subset of the prepositional object

If a pronoun is in object position in a sentence, you don't normally use the reflexive form of the pronoun - Sally bought a ticket for him. unless the subject and object of the sentence are the ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
67k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

“Being [he/him] is not easy.” Which is prescriptively “correct”?

"It is I" follows a well-known prescriptivist rule This question is about prescriptive grammar. It’s a fairly well-known prescriptivist rule that “me, him, her, them” (in other words, pronouns in the ...
8
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
43k 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
168k views

“Alex and I” vs. “me and Alex” [duplicate]

Is it improper to say "me and Person X"? I always hear it said as "Person X and I", but have personally learned to say "me and Person X". Is there a difference between the two versions and is one of ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 advocate ...
8
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
18k views

Should I use a singular or plural “one” here?

Sometimes I get confused over how and when we should use plurals. For example, should we say: They are the only one who is capable of doing this Or They are the only one who are capable of ...
7
votes
5answers
7k 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
1answer
5k views

Pronunciation of “xe” and “xyr”

I've been reading a book that includes extraterrestrials that shift from female to male during the course of their lives. During the transition phase, the other characters in the book use the neutral ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

“your and Mr X's publication” vs. “you and Mr X's publication”

I came across your and Mr X's publication or I came across you and Mr X's publication
7
votes
8answers
536 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 using ...