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Object Pronouns

Object Pronouns

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Object pronouns


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn about object pronouns. In a previous lesson, we learned about the personal pronouns, which refer to ourselves and the people around us without using names.

In another lesson, we learned about the about the neuter pronoun “it” which refers to a range of places, things, and ideas.

Object pronouns also refer to ourselves and the people around us without using names. Object pronouns also refer to a range of place, things, and ideas. The object pronouns are "me, you, him, her, us, them," and "it". The object pronouns are neither formal nor informal.

The object pronoun for the personal pronoun "I" is "me".  For example, David might ask Jennifer "Do you understand me?".
The object pronoun for the personal pronoun "you" is "you". For example, Jennifer might answer David's question "Yes, I understand you.".

The object pronoun for the personal pronoun "he" is "him". For example, David might say "I see the boy.". Jennifer might say "I see the boy, too." or "I see him, too.".
The object pronoun for the personal  pronoun "she" is "her".   For example, Jennifer might say "I see a girl.". David might answer "I see her, too.".

The object pronoun for the personal pronoun "we" is "us". For example, David might say "The children see us.".
The object pronoun for the personal pronoun "they" is "them". For example, David might say "We see them." Unlike the previously mentioned object pronouns, the object pronoun "them" can refer to people, places, things, and ideas. It is not limited to people.

The object pronoun for the neuter pronoun "it" is "it". In a previous lesson, Jennifer asked David "Do you like chicken?" David could have answered "No, I don't like it." in order to answer her question without using the word "chicken".

Now that we have a basic understanding of object pronouns, let us become more familiar with them in a short dialog. In this dialog, Jennifer and David are looking out the window in their apartment.  While listening to the dialog, pay special attention to the object pronouns.

Jennifer:  Do you see the children?

David:  Yes, I see them. Do you see the trees?

Jennifer:  Yes, I see them. Do you see the man?

David:  Yes, I see him. Do you see the woman?

Jennifer:  Yes, I see her.

David:  She sees the window.

Jennifer. Yes, she sees it. The window is clean.

David:  Yes, the window is clean. You see her, and she sees you.

Jennifer:  She sees me, and I see her. Hello, Mrs. Jones!

Now that we have a basic understanding of object pronouns, let us look more closely at the sentences in the dialog.  

After Jennifer asked "Do you see the children?", David might have answered "Yes, I see the children.".  Instead, he answered "Yes, I see them." . Notice that the word "them" refers to "the children".  

After David asked "Do you see the trees?", Jennifer might have answered "Yes, I see the trees.". Instead, she answered "Yes, I see them." Notice that the word "them" refers to "the trees". As we learned earlier in the lesson, the object pronoun "them" can refer to people, places, things, and ideas. It is not limited to people.

After Jennifer asked "Do you see the man?', David might have answered "Yes, I see the man.". Instead, he answered "Yes, I see him." The word "him" refers to "the man".

After David asked "Do you see the woman?", Jennifer might have answered "Yes, I see the woman.". Instead, she answered "Yes, I see her.". The word "her" refers to "the woman".

After David said "She sees the window.". Jennifer might have said "Yes, she sees the window.". Instead, she said "Yes, she sees it.". The word "it" refers to "the window".

In the sentence "You see her, and she sees you.", the first time we see "you", it refers to Jennifer, and Jennifer sees the woman.  

The second time we see "you", it refers to Jennifer, and the woman sees Jennifer. Both when Jennifer sees the woman and when the woman sees Jennifer, David uses the word "you" when he speaks to Jennifer. However, in that same sentence "You see her, and she sees you.", we see that the first time David refers to the woman, it is when Jennifer sees the woman. Jennifer sees "her".

The second time David refers to the woman, it is when the woman sees Jennifer. In that case, the word "she" refers to the woman. We can see that the pronoun changes. When the woman is the actor, we say "she" to refer to the woman.

When the woman is acted upon, we say "her" to refer to the woman. The different words refer to the same woman, but her function in the sentence is different. Pronouns show the different functions of the same person, place, thing, or idea within the sentence.

Now listen to the conversation again, paying attention to the object pronouns.

Jennifer:  Do you see the children?

David:  Yes, I see them. Do you see the trees?

Jennifer:  Yes, I see them. Do you see the man?

David:  Yes, I see him. Do you see the woman?

Jennifer:  Yes, I see her.

David:  She sees the window.

Jennifer. Yes, she sees it. The window is clean.

David:   Yes, the window is clean. You see her, and she sees you.

Jennifer:  She sees me, and I see her. Hello, Mrs. Jones!

Great! Now that you can understand the object pronouns, it is time to practice using them in English.