personal pronouns (I, me, it etc)

  • The words I, me, you, he, him, she, her, it, we, us, they and them are
    called ‘personal pronouns’. This is not a very good name: these words are used for both persons and things.
  • Me, you, him, her, us and them are not only used as objects. We can use them in other ways .
      ‘Who’s there?’ Me I’m older than her
  • We can use it to refer to a person when we are identifying somebody (saying who somebody is). Compare:
      Who’s that?’ It s John Cook. He s a friend of my father’s.’

    We use it to refer to nothing, everything and all.

      Nothing happened, did it?
      Everything’s all right, isn’t it?
      I did all I could, but it wasn’t enough.
  • We use it as an ’empty’ subject (with no meaning) to talk about time, weather, temperature and distances.
      Its ten o’clock.
      It’s Monday again.
      It rained for three days.
      It s thirty degrees.
      It’s ten miles to the nearest petrol station.
  • It can mean ‘the present situation’.
      It’s terrible — everybody’s got colds, and the central heating isn’t working.
      Isn’t it lovely here!
  • We cannot leave out personal pronouns.
      It s raining.
      She loved the picture because it was beautiful. (NOT . . because was beautiful.)
      They arrested him and put him in prison.
      (NOT . . . put in prison.)
      ‘Have some chocolate. ‘ ‘No, I don’t like it ‘
      (NOT . . . -hdon’t like.)
      Note that we do not always put it after I know.
      ‘It’s getting late.’ I know
  • One subject is enough. We do not normally need a personal pronoun if there is already a subject in the clause.
      My car is parked outside. (NOT My car it is parked . . .) The boss really makes me angry (not The boss he reah The situation is terrible.
      For the use of it as a ‘preparatory subject’ for an infinitive or a clause,
  • We do not use personal pronouns together with relative pronouns.
      That’s the girl who lives in the flat upstairs.
      (NOT That’s the girl who she lives . . .)
      Here’s the money (that) you lent me.
      (NOT Here’s the money (that) you lent-it me.)