English Grammar Guide for ESL

Object Pronouns (e.g.: me, her, us)



Object pronouns are pronominal forms that usually appear after a verb or a preposition (e.g.: Mary saw me; John spoke to her). The particular form an object pronoun takes depends on the grammatical notions of person, number and gender. This is illusrated in the following table:

pronoun person number gender
me 1st singular
us 1st plural
you 2nd singular
you 2nd plural
him 3rd singular masc.
her 3rd singular fem.
them 3rd plural

Types of Object Pronouns

To keep things simple, let's say there are two main types of object pronouns: a) direct objects and b) indirect objects. Direct objects follow the verb directly (e.g.: I ate an apple), while indirect ones are usually preceded by a preposition (e.g.: I went to the store).

Pronoun Order

When there is more than one object pronoun, the direct object usually comes first, e.g.: I put the book on the table. That said, certain verbs allow the indirect object first (without its preposition). For example, you can say I gave the book to him or I gave him the book. In both cases, him is the indirect object and the book is the direct one. This structure tends to be found with one-syllabe verbs of Germanic origin. Longer verbs of Latin origin don't allow the indirect object first. For example, one says I donated the money to the charity and not I donated the charity the money.

Make sure me, us, him and her are not used as subjects, e.g.: write He and I are friends and not Me and him are friends.

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