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What are Subject and Object Pronouns, and How to Recognize Them?

There are three types of personal pronouns, two of which are used in almost every sentence — subject pronoun and object pronoun.

Milena Lazova
Milena Lazova

Without personal pronouns, the English language would be boring and full of repetitions. There are three types of personal pronouns, two of which are used in almost every sentence — subject pronoun and object pronoun.

If you want to learn the English language better, you may want to know how to recognize them.

Subject pronoun vs. object pronoun

In order to understand subject and object pronouns and be able to differentiate between them, you need to know that pronouns are a set of words used as substitutes for nouns.

Object pronoun—definition and example

An object pronoun is a personal pronoun used instead of an object in the sentence. The object, on the other hand,  is the receiver of the action described by the verb. Objective pronouns are you, me, him, her, it, them, and us.

For example, in the sentence “The girl danced with her partner,” the object is “the partner.” The word that can replace “the partner” in this sentence would be an object pronoun. In this case, that would be him.

Example:

The girl danced with him.

Subject pronoun—definition and example

A subject pronoun is a personal pronoun used instead of the subject in the sentence. The subject is the doer of the action, and it’s usually found at the beginning of the sentence. These pronouns are we, you, it, she, he, and they.

If we use the same sentence, “The girl danced with her partner,” the subject would be “The girl,” which can be replaced with the subject pronoun “she.”

Example:

She danced with her partner.

How to know which one to use

If you’re looking for a word that would replace the doer of the action (the lecturer) described by the verb (gave), you need a subject pronoun (she).

If you need a word to replace the receiver of the action (students), you need an object pronoun (them, us – depending on the situation). The following are object and subject pronoun examples:

Examples:

The lecturer usually gives a lot of homework to students.
She usually gives a lot of homework to students.
The lecturer usually gives them/us a lot of homework.
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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.