Here are 5 easy rules and tips to help you avoid mistakes with English pronouns. For more comprehensive rules please look under the appropriate pronoun on our pronoun grammar pages.

1. A personal pronoun AGREES with the noun it replaces.

  • Those cars¬†are nice.¬†They ¬†look expensive.
  • John¬†works hard.¬†He ¬†will do well.
  • That woman¬†is my teacher. Do you know¬†her?
  • My friend and I¬†are going shopping. Like to join¬†us?

2. DO NOT place an adjective before a personal pronoun. A subject personal pronoun can have an adjective AFTER the verb. (Exceptions are fixed phrases like poor me, lucky you.)

  • NOT¬† handsome him, red them
  • NOT¬† beautiful she, dangerous it, clever they
  • She¬†looked¬† beautiful.¬† It¬†was¬† dangerous.¬† They¬†are¬† clever.

3. Pronouns NEVER have an apostrophe ('). Do not add an apostrophe to possessive pronouns like hers, ours, theirs. (If you see an apostrophe, you are looking at a contraction.)

  • The red bag is¬†hers ¬†and the blue bag is¬†ours.¬†( NOT The red bag is¬†her's¬†and the blue bag is¬†our's.)
  • One must do it¬†oneself. (NOT¬†one's self)
  • He's finished. (contraction = He is)
  • It's started. (contraction = It has)

4. My  is NOT a pronoun . A pronoun replaces a noun. In "This is my bag" the word my describes bag  (it is a possessive determiner). In "This bag is mine" the word mine replaces  my bag (it is a real pronoun). The same is true of your, its, our, their - they are possessive determiners. His and her  can be pronoun OR possessive determiner.

  • Is this¬†your ¬†car? (possessive determiner)
  • Where are¬†our ¬†keys? (possessive determiner)
  • Jo sold¬†his ¬†car. (possessive determiner)
  • He took my hand in¬†his . (possessive¬†pronoun)
  • She loved¬†her ¬†work. (possessive determiner)
  • I agreed to wait for¬†her . (personal¬†pronoun)

5. DON'T put yourself first! It is good manners to put the other person before you. (This is not a question of grammar - just manners.)

  • My wife and I¬†are going swimming. (NOT¬†I and my wife¬†are going swimming)
  • Ram, Tara and I¬†went home. (NOT¬†I, Ram and Tara¬†went home)
  • This is for¬†you and me. (NOT This is for¬†me and you)
  • They took¬†John and me¬†to the beach. (NOT They took¬†me and John¬†to the beach)

sources : Original Link