Correct usage of Personal Pronouns

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Grammar

Agreement with the noun

Personal pronouns must agree with the nouns they stand for in number, gender and person.

Note that here the pronouns he, she and they are of the same number, gender and person as the nouns John, Alice and children respectively.

Singular nouns connected by and

When two singular nouns are connected by and, but refer to the same person, the pronoun should be singular.

When two singular nouns connected by and represent different individuals, the pronoun should be in the plural.

Position of I

Good manners require that I should come last in expressions like, John, Peter and I, Harry and I, You and I etc.

The rule is: the person addressed should come first, the person spoken of second and the speaker himself last.

They with singular reference

They/them/their is often used to refer to a singular indefinite person who has already been mentioned. This is particularly common after indefinite pronouns like a person, anybody/one, somebody/one, nobody/one, whoever, each, every, either, neither and no.

This use of they/them/their is convenient when the sex of the person referred to is unknown.

See also

Kinds of pronouns
Personal pronouns
Possessive pronouns
Reflexive pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns
Relative pronouns
Correct usage of personal pronouns