Vicky: Hello, Andrew. Have you seen Rachel? Andrew: I don't think so. No, I haven't seen her today.
Vicky: We're supposed to be going out at half past seven, and it's nearly eight now. Andrew: Maybe she's just forgotten. You know Rachel.
Vicky: We're going out for a meal. Matthew and Emma said they might come too. I hope they haven't gone without me.
I/me means the speaker, and you means the person spoken to. We/us means the speaker and someone else. Here, we = Vicky and Rachel. He/him means a male person and she/her a female person. Here, she = Rachel. It means a thing, an action, a situation or an idea. Here, it = the time. They/them is the plural of he, she and it and means people or things.
We can also use they/them for a person when we don't know if the person is male or female. If anyone calls, ask them to leave a message.
B Subject and object forms
FIRST PERSON SECOND PERSON THIRD PERSON
singular Subject I you he/she/it
Object me you him/her/it
plural Subject we you they
Object us you them
We use the subject form (I, etc) when the pronoun is the subject and there is a verb.
I don't think so. Maybe she's just forgotten. We use the object form (me, etc) when the pronoun is the object of a verb or preposition.
/ haven't seen her today. I hope they haven't gone without me.
The pronoun on its own or after be usually has the object form.
Who spilt coffee all over the table? ~ Me./Sorry, it was me. Compare this answer.
Who spilt coffee all over the table? ~ I did.
C You, one and they
We can use you or one to mean 'any person' or 'people in general', including the speaker.
You shouldn't believe what you read in the newspapers.
or One shouldn't believe what one reads in the newspapers.
You don't like/One doesn't like to have an argument in public. You is normal in conversation. One is more formal.
We can use they for other people in general.
They say too much sugar is bad for you. We can also use it for people in authority.
They're going to build a new swimming-pool here. They is informal and conversational. We use the passive in more formal situations.
A new swimming-pool is going to be built here (see Unit 56B).
99 There and it page 380 You and one in British and American English
1 The meaning of the pronouns (A)
Read the conversation between Melanie and Rita. Then say what the underlined pronouns mean.
Melanie: Have (►)you been in that new shop? ► you = Rita
Rita: No, not yet.
Melanie: Nor have I, but (►)it looks interesting. There's a lovely dress ► it = the shop
in the window, and (1) it isn't expensive. 1 it =
Rita: Laura bought some jeans there. (2) She said (3) they were 2 she =
really cheap. 3 they =
Melanie: (4) You ought to go along there and have a look, then. 4 you =
Rita: (5) We'd better not go now or we'll be late. (6) I told Mike 5 we =
and Harriet we'd meet (7) them at half past five. 6 I =
Melanie: Oh, Tom said (8) he's coming too. 7 them =
8 he =
2 Subject and object forms (B)
Complete the conversation. Put in the pronouns.
Nick: Did (>)you say that you and Harriet wanted some coloured lights for your party?
Mike: Yes, but (►) it's OK. Melanie's neighbour Jake has got some, and
(1) ................... 's going to lend (2)....................... to (3)
Nick: Great. Is Rita coming to the party?
Mike: We've invited (4) . of course, but (5) isn't sure if (6) . can come or
not. Her parents are flying somewhere on Saturday evening, and she might be taking
(7) to the airport.
Nick: And what about Laura's friend Emily? Mike: 1 expect (8) .. ..'11 be there. And her brother. (9) both came to our last party.
Nick: Do (10) ................ mean Jason? I don't like (11) ...................... very much.
Mike: Oh, (12) 's OK. But (13) don't have to talk to (14)
3 Subject and object forms (B)
Put in the pronouns.
► There's no need to shout. I can hear you.
1 You and I work well together........................ 're a good team.
2 We've got a bit of a problem. Could .. help . .. , please?
3 This is a good photo, isn't.................. ? ~ Is Jessica in . ? ~ Yes, that's . .. ...,
look.................... 's next to Andrew.
4 Who did this crossword? ~ .I did .. this morning.
5 Is this Vicky's bag? ~ No, . didn't bring one. It can't belong to
6 ..'m looking for my shoes. Have seen ? ~ Yes, ... re here.
4 You and they (C)
Complete the conversation. Put in you or they.
Trevor: I'm not going to drive in this weather. It's too icy.
Laura: (►) You don't want to take any risks. (1)......................... can't be too careful.
Trevor: I've just heard the weather forecast and (2) say there's going to be more snow.
(3) ............... 're better off indoors in weather like this.
Laura: I think (4) ought to clear the snow off the roads more quickly.