Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns

This article continues our series on pronouns by delving into the world of object pronouns. Object pronouns are quite simply pronouns that are the object of a sentence. An object is a noun that is affected in the sentence.  You can tell if a noun is the object of the sentence by checking if it has received an action from the verb. Keep this information in mind as we proceed.

USING PRONOUNS IN ENGLISH: OBJECT PRONOUNS

THE ‘ME’ PRONOUN

The ‘me’ pronoun is used when someone is talking about themselves.

Example 1

If someone gave you an item, you would use the ‘me’ pronoun.

  • ‘My mum gave … a laptop.’
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns - Simply Better English
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns – Simply Better English

As you can see from the sentence above, the mum is the focus and the person who received the gift is the object. Therefore, we must use the ‘me’ pronoun.

  • ‘My mum gave me a laptop.’

Example 2

  • ‘The older lady spoke to ….’

Again, the older lady is the subject of this sentence. The second person in the sentence is being spoken to.  This means we need to use the ‘me’ pronoun.

  • ‘The older lady spoke to me.’

THE ‘YOU’ PRONOUN

The ‘you’ pronoun is normally used when you are communicating directly with someone. A simpler explanation is if the person is the subject of a sentence, we use the ‘you’ pronoun. If the person is the object of a sentence, we also use the ‘you’ pronoun.

Example 3

  • ‘You need to clean the kitchen.’

In this sentence, the person (you) is the subject. It works the same way if the person is the object.

  • ‘I told you to clean the kitchen.’

Example 4

  • ‘I wanted to invite … to the party.’

Again, in this instance, we could use the ‘you’ pronoun if we were talking or writing to someone.

  • ‘I wanted to invite you to the party.’
Quiz Sign - Simply Better English
Quiz Sign – Simply Better English
Activity 1

Each sentence has a word missing. Rewrite the sentence and include the missing word.

  • I gave the pen to … (You are talking directly to someone.)
  • He spoke to … nicely. (You are talking about yourself.)
  • Tony gave the basketball to … (You are talking about yourself.)
  • I need to have a meeting with … (You are talking directly to someone.)

THE ‘HIM’ PRONOUN

The ‘him’ pronoun is used for a male person or sometimes a male animal.

Example 5

  • ‘I gave the ticket inspector my ticket.’
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns - Simply Better English
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns – Simply Better English

In this sentence, the ticket inspector is the object of the sentence and he is a man. This means we can replace the noun with the ‘he‘ pronoun.

  • ‘I gave him my ticket.’

Remember: in this instance, we need to remove the determiner ‘the’ too.

THE ‘HER’ PRONOUN

The ‘her’ pronoun is used for a female person or sometimes a female animal.

Example 6
  • ‘Sally gave Kim some chocolate.’

Kim has received the chocolate so that means that she is the object of the sentence. This means we can use the ‘her’ pronoun.

  • ‘Sally gave her some chocolate.’
Quiz Sign - Simply Better English
Quiz Sign – Simply Better English
Activity 2

Replace the object of the sentence with a pronoun.

  • Catherine baked Anna a cake.
  • Vince gave Brian the money.
  • Jonus passed the ball to Douglas.
  • Andrew gave Julie the keys.

THE ‘IT’ PRONOUN

The ‘it’ pronoun is used for nouns that are not human. It is similar to the ‘you’ pronoun. This is because the same word can be used when the item is a subject or an object of a sentence.

Example 7

  • ‘The mountain was huge.’

In this instance, ‘the mountain’ is the subject of the sentence but we can use the ‘you’ pronoun too.

  • ‘It was huge.’

Example 8

  • ‘Jamie found the theatre.’

In this instance, the theatre is the object of the sentence. This means that we can replace the noun with the ‘it’ pronoun.

  • ‘Jamie found it.’

Example 9

  • ‘I bought the anniversary card.’

The determiner and the nouns can be replaced with the ‘it’ pronoun here too.

  • ‘I bought it.’

THE ‘THEM’ PRONOUN

The ‘them’ pronoun is used when more than one person is being discussed.

Example 10

  • ‘Actually, Janice liked the angry elephants.’

In this case, we can replace the end phrase with the ‘them’ pronoun.

  • ‘Actually, Janice liked them.’

Example 11

  • ‘Eventually, we saw the actors.
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns - Simply Better English
Using Pronouns in English: Object Pronouns – Simply Better English

In this sentence, there is more than one actor, so we can use the ‘them’ pronoun.
‘Eventually, we saw them.’

THE ‘US’ PRONOUN

The ‘us’ pronoun is also used when discussing more than one person but only when the speaker or writer is part of the group.

Example 12

  • The judge told the family the verdict.’

‘If the speaker was a member of the family, we could use the ‘us’ pronoun.’

  • The judge told us the verdict.’

Example 13

  • ‘The waiter gave Joy and I the bill.’

In this case, the ‘us’ pronoun is used too.

  • ‘The waiter gave us the bill.’
Quiz Sign - Simply Better English
Quiz Sign – Simply Better English
Activity 3

In this article and another, we have looked at using pronouns as a subject and as an object in a sentence. The sentences below contain both options. Rewrite the sentence so that each pronoun is used correctly.

  • Him liked the film.
  • Us gave granddad a present.
  • The cat sat on he lap.
  • Them visited the museum.
  • The singer sang the song to she.

RECAP

This article explains how to use object pronouns in English. Remember, pronouns can be used instead of nouns. Pronouns are often used in order to have a variety of nouns in a sentence. The object of a sentence has had an action done to them or an action is received by them. When you find the object of a sentence, you can replace it with an object pronoun.

Here are the answers to the activities in this article. Feel free to write your answers in the comments section.

Activity 1
  • I gave the pen to you.
  • He spoke to me nicely.
  • Tony gave the basketball to me.
  • I need to have a meeting with you.
Activity 2
  • Catherine baked her a cake.
  • Vince gave him the money.
  • Jonus passed the ball to him.
  • Andrew gave her the keys.
Activity 3
  • He liked the film.
  • We gave granddad a present.
  • The cat sat on his lap.
  • They visited the museum.
  • The singer sang the song to her.

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