Personal pronouns are very direct substitutes for nouns and may be the easiest of the pronouns for a beginner to understand. They are words like 'he', 'she' and 'it'. There are personal pronouns for each person, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and in both singular and plural forms.
- One (for example 'I') is the subjective form, used for whoever is ‘doing’ the action of the verb in the sentence;
- another case, for example, 'me' is the objective form - the person to whom it is being ‘done’; and
- the third form ('mine', 'my') says ‘belonging to’ (the possessive). The possessive is usually used, like an adjective, with a noun.
- The adjectival form is used with a noun. In the first person singular, it is ‘my’. It means "This [noun] belongs to me." (Some grammarians label this the determinative form.)
- The adjectival, or determinative, form should not be confused with the independent form, mine, that needs no noun.
- The possessive form is often treated as a word class in its own right, the possessive pronoun.
- reflexive pronouns are the form of the personal pronoun that refers back to itself, as myself is the reflexive form of I, me or mine. Reflexive pronouns add the suffix '-self' to a personal pronoun.