What is a pronoun? It’s one of the eight parts of speech! Keep reading to learn about personal pronouns.

This comic explains that pronouns take the place of nouns.

1st Person Pronoun Example

I hope that chimp doesn’t want to kiss me.

The pronouns and me indicate the speaker, so these are first person pronouns.

2nd Person Pronoun Example

You can’t imagine how strong chimps are.

This example uses a second person pronoun, as it indicates the person being addressed by using you.

3rd Person Pronoun Example

Jane Goodall studied chimps; she found them fascinating.

In this example, she and them refer to Jane Goodall and chimps, respectively. She is singular, as it indicates the sole Jane Goodall, and them is plural, as it refers to multiple chimps. These are third person pronouns.

This comic explains that it's a best practice to disclose your preferred pronouns.

A Discussion of the Singular “They”

For centuries, people have used they and them as singular pronouns. Many people do this when they don’t know the gender of the person about whom they are speaking or writing. 

Example

The doctor performed emergency surgery in the morning, and they checked on their intensive care patients in the afternoon.

Though it was, and still is, incredibly common to use they in this way, it was considered grammatically incorrect by grammar sticklers until recently. That changed in 2019 when Merriam-Webster added an entry for they as a singular, gender-neutral third person pronoun. Included in this new definition is the pronoun for a person whose gender identity is nonbinary.

Example 

This is my friend, Grant. They are a doctor.

In this example, Grant’s gender identity is nonbinary, so the speaker uses their preferred pronoun they

In the example above, the possessive noun chimp’s is replaced by the possessive pronoun his. Both are used to indicate ownership of selfishness. (Chimps tend to be that way.)

Additionally, the possessive pronoun mine is used without a noun, but it tells us that the chimp is claiming ownership of the tree. 

Finally, the plural their is used to indicate that all chimps possess selfishness.


More Pronouns!

Need a refresher on pronouns? Check out this quick review!

Adapted from the Parts of Speech Review Review & Notes Presentation


 

Parts of speech

Pronouns Thumbnail
Verbs Thumbnail
Adverbs

Adjectives
This is a thumbnail for the prepositions page.
Interjections

Teacher Resources

Hey, ELA Teachers! Check out the classroom resources for parts of speech and other ELA concepts at the Super ELA! Teachers Pay Teachers store