Personal pronouns and possessives

Alfie's got a new bike and invites Oliver and Daisy to go out for a ride. Sophie is working in Istanbul.


As you watch the video, look at the examples of personal pronouns and possessives. They are red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, personal pronouns and possessives correctly.


Oliver: Hey, Alfie. How's things?  
Alfie: Cool, great. You? What are you up to?
Oliver: Me? Nothing much. I'm just sitting here with a coffee and the laptop.
Alfie: Ah. Are you doing that project Doc. Taylor gave us? An analysis of motivation in ...
Oliver: No, I'm reading the newspaper on it. Politics ... the world economy ...
Alfie: Oh right, the football results.
Oliver: Exactly. “International relations”, but on a football pitch! Anyway, what can I do for you?
Alfie: Well, I've got a new bike! My uncle bought it for me – it's my birthday present.
Oliver: Wow! Did you tell him he's more than six months late?
Alfie: No, I'm not complaining – a present's a present, and it's a nice bike. He got me a helmet too, and I've got some cool cycling gloves as well – the man in the shop gave me them free. So, why don't you come round with yours and we can take them for a ride?  
Oliver: The gloves?
Alfie: Ha ha. The bikes ... take the bikes for a ride. See if Daisy wants to bring hers too.
Oliver: Daisy's out with that new friend of hers, Amy. Hang on. Mum's calling. She's in Turkey. Let me talk to her and I'll call you back.
Alfie: OK. Say 'Hi' to her from me.

Oliver: Will do. Hi, Mum.
Sophie: Honey! Hi!
Oliver: How's Istanbul?
Sophie: I'm loving it.
Oliver: But you love everywhere you go ...
Sophie: True! But seriously, it's great fun – you'd love it ... all the different 'meze' at lunch, oh the colours, and they bring you lots and you choose which ones you want – look, here's a photo.
Oliver: Oh, wow!
Sophie: And I've been to the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofía – of course, with my name! Um, the Topkapi Palace... That's what you can see behind me. Oh, and I'm going on a night cruise on the Bosphorus tonight. It's really an amazing city, modern but traditional, full of culture and colour and …
Oliver: So take me there. Or take us. Daisy'd like it too, wouldn't she?
Sophie: She would, yes, I'm sure.
Oliver: And have you been to a Turkish Bath yet?
Sophie: Yes, a hammam. I went to one yesterday, I loved it! Now, the taxis here – they drive a bit differently from ours back in Britain. They’re a bit scary! Anyway, love, I've got to go. How's Daisy? Give her my love!
Oliver: OK, Mum. Bye. Hi, it's me again. So tell me about this bike of yours, is it anything like mine?

We use personal pronouns (I, me, he, him, etc.) to replace names or nouns when it is clear what they refer to. We use possessives (my, your, her) when it is not necessary to name the person the thing belongs to.

We use personal pronouns to avoid repeating nouns.

 Mum's calling. She’s  in Turkey.
How’s Daisy? Give her my love.

You used she because it’s the subject and her because it’s the object.

Very good. Here’s the list of all the personal pronouns and possessive adjectives:

Subject pronoun Object pronoun Possessive adjective Possessive pronoun
I me my mine
you you your yours
he him his his
she her her hers
it it its -
we us our ours
they them their theirs

We use pronouns to avoid repetition when it is obvious what we are talking about.

Is this your bike? > No, that one’s mine. (= my bike)
Those red gloves are yours; the blue ones are hers. (= her gloves)


Can I use two pronouns together?


Yes, for example:

The man in the shop gave me them free.

So, what do I need to be careful about?

Well, sometimes we use me when it might seem logical to use I. We also use it sometimes to refer to people.

I love house music > I do too / Me too.
Who’s that? > Me. / It’s me. / It’s Fran.

Sometimes we use they instead of he or she, them instead of him or her and their instead of his or hers.

When you meet your new teacher, they will give you the books. 
If anyone asks where I am, tell them I’m in Istanbul this week.
Someone left their gloves in the classroom.

I thought someone was singular.

Yes, you’re right, but nowadays we avoid using he for people in general, and he or she is very long, so we use they instead, especially when we’re speaking.

Can you also say:

“The English cricket team lost again. They  were rubbish.”? 

Yes. We sometimes use they for single nouns which refer to groups of people.

What about animals?

We usually use it/they  for animals, but  when people are talking about their own pets, they use  he  or she. 

The dog must be thirsty. Give him some water.

Yes, one thinks that animals are just like people, doesn’t one?

Ah, we don’t use one to mean everyone very much. It sounds very old-fashioned and too formal. We use you to mean people in general.

You can see the sea from the top of that mountain.    (you = people in general)

But the Queen uses one?

That's true. But, I haven’t met the Queen and you should use you!



What's the best present you've ever had? What was it and who gave it to you?

Average: 3.6 (12 votes)
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Submitted by cherry00 on Sat, 07/23/2022 - 13:53

The best present I've had is my smartphone. My parents gave me it two yesrs ago. It is so cool!

Submitted by Shorty on Sun, 07/17/2022 - 03:28

The best present I ever got was a jacket that my mum bought me

Submitted by Baldbanana on Wed, 07/13/2022 - 22:12

I think, that the best present I ever had is my current phone and it's really beneficial. But maybe not the best present, because 1/3 of prices I gave to my parents, but now I have phone with all functions I need. It was only my choice and, for me, optical stabilization is extremely essential to make cool photos.
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Submitted by Capixt on Tue, 05/31/2022 - 21:24

The best present that I have is my electric guitar it was a gift from my granmothers in christmas

Submitted by Ema_tavo on Tue, 08/31/2021 - 13:12

The best present that I've ever had is the computer that I'm using to type right now.
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Submitted by FlowerQueen on Sun, 06/27/2021 - 09:19

I don't have a best present ever, I like all presents a lot. The last present I got was my first own eyeshadow palette. My mother bought it for me.

Submitted by Arivelde on Tue, 03/16/2021 - 19:57

The best present that I've ever got, was my first pet, a puppy dog, an Akita Inu. My parents made this as a suprise because they knew that I would love this breed. An now she is already 7 years old.
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Submitted by Cfvdv on Thu, 03/11/2021 - 21:52

My best present I´ve ever had was a laptop, which I am using now. My mum and my dad gave it to me. :)

Submitted by Ashley_122 on Wed, 03/10/2021 - 19:17

The best present I've ever had was my mobile phone! My uncle bought it to me.
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Submitted by Kostantinus on Sat, 01/23/2021 - 09:40

The best present I've ever got was the gift which my girlfriend sent to me. It includes the collection of the colorful socks, three pair of undewear with a logo "Superman", dark-red hoody, two bars of chocolate and many romantic cards with wishes written by her hand. It was an amazing gift what I've ever had!
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Submitted by Giovannichoi on Sun, 06/14/2020 - 08:58

I think my cellphone and Bluetooth earphones are the best present I've ever had.

Submitted by TR790 on Fri, 05/22/2020 - 13:25

The best present I ever had is a laptop. My father gave it to me last year.
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Submitted by Sherry4869 on Sun, 05/10/2020 - 14:15

My father gave me a laptop.It was my best present.
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Submitted by Sherry4869 on Sun, 05/10/2020 - 14:11

I don’t understand this one- (nowadays we avoid using he for people in general, and he or she is very long, so we use they instead, especially when we’re speaking.)

Submitted by mayifogue on Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:44

When i was 4 years old, my dad gave me and my sister a one meter high doll. the doll she gave me looked like me in frizzy hair, i had a red dress from the powerpuff girls, i liked it a lot.

Submitted by FedericoB8 on Wed, 03/25/2020 - 18:58

The best gift I received in my life was a week's holiday at the Torino FC Camp, it was a week of football training, my parents gave it to me last summer.

Submitted by marchese on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 10:02

I think the best present I received is what my grandfather gave me years ago. It is a simple bag of Barbie that I had seen at the supermarket with him while we were shopping, and that had bought me. I will always remain the most precious and most appreciated gift!

Submitted by Micheleanto on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 17:28

The best present i’ve ever had is the Ps4, Was a console and my parents gave it to me but the best gift I’ve ever had ,for me, are my friends.

Submitted by gattifederica on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 17:00

The best present I’ve ever had was the study trip to Edinburgh, in Scotland. My old school organized this holiday. Many of my friends participated with me. We had a lot of fun and saw many places. We stayed in host families to sleep and have breakfast. My parents gave me this holidays for my birthday and I was very happy.

Submitted by asiasantin on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 16:20

I think that material gifts are not worth much, so I don't consider them as good gifts. The best gift I've ever had is my family

Submitted by BttChiara on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 16:04

The best present that I ever had was my dog, Moka. My parents gave me Moka at Christmas. I was really surprised of that present. Now, I love her so much.

Submitted by bea_mara on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:50

My parents many years ago at Christmas gave me a tablet. I asked it for a lot and when I opened the gift I was very happy.

Submitted by Naogiosu7 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:36

My best present sas a computer fell my cousins

Submitted by Carolina000 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:44

The best gift I ever received was my cat. My parents gave it to me for Christmas and from that moment on we never parted.

Submitted by MatildePace on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:39

The best gift I've ever received is my doggy. My parents gave it to me. Her name is Giulietta, She is 5 months old and it is tricolor, white, brown and black. She is very soft, sweet and playful. I love her very much and I love spending time with her. We take long walks together and she Always keeps me company.

Submitted by rrfalletto on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:38

the best present that i have ever had is a computer

Submitted by beasam0109 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:37

I don't have a favorite present, it changes every year, but I think the most useful one is the computer, it helps me to search for school and to surf the web more easily my parents gave it to me last christmas.

Submitted by JasmineD03 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:49

The best gift they ever gave me was my cat. It was my eleventh birthday and they gave me a beautiful surprise because I didn't know anything and my parents showed up at home with this kitten and I immediately fell in love with it.

Submitted by Desy on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:24

The best present that I have received will happen this summer and it is the holiday in Greece, that my parents gave me because my dream is go in Greece. We should go this summer and I can't wait!

Submitted by Ely on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 18:47

the best present that i receved is Nintendo 3ds when i was five years.
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Submitted by Youjiro on Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:35

Best gift I've had is computer.

Submitted by giorgia_marchetti on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:17

The best present that i’ve ever had is my new mobile phone. It’s a present of my parents for my birthday.

In reply to by Youjiro

Submitted by _auro_ on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:57

the best gift I received was my dog ​​that I found under the Christmas tree. My parents gave me because I wanted one for some time

In reply to by Youjiro

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Submitted by lifestar230 on Mon, 08/27/2018 - 00:24

Oh Yes, I love to go out for a bike ride, But I broke my leg, so, 3 Months

Submitted by Pippatwo on Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:31

There's so many it could be (because any heartfelt gifts bring me joy), but one of my favorite presents were three of my best friends when I was little; pet rats(not the violent ones) that an old relation gave me, and they have a special place in my heart to this day.

Submitted by GiovanaSarai on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 18:50

We must to know when we will to use a personal or possessive pronouns with the other part of the sentence.

Submitted by Lucy1983 on Wed, 01/03/2018 - 18:02

My best present was a personal computer, my boyfriend bought it for me. I needed urgently it!
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