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Personal pronouns, possessives
First, there's the VERB. Then we have all the different words around it... and first of all, determiners which give us a lot of information about the nouns accompanying them... Determiners can be of different natures: articles (definite or indefinite), adjectives (demonstrative, possessive). Alas, very often, "advanced" beginners happen to mix them all and to use one for the others...
1) First, the PERSONAL PRONOUNS (SUBJETCS):
1st pers. subject I look at ...
2nd pers. subject you look at ...
3rd pers. subject masc. he looks at ...
3rd pers. subject fem. she looks at...
3rd pers. subject neutral it looks at ....
1st pers. plural we look at ...
2nd pers. plural you look at ...
3rd pers. plural they look at ....
2) Now, let's add a Direct Object Complement ( or PREDICATE)=> PERSONAL PRONOUNS (COMPLEMENTS)...
1st pers. complement ...look at me ...
2nd pers. complement ...look at you ...
3rd pers. complement (masc) ...look at him (= person in the masculine)
3rd pers. complement (feminine) ...look at her (= person in the feminine)
3rd pers. complement (neutral) ...look at it (neutral object or animal)
1st pers. complement plural ...look at us (= persons in the plural)
2nd pers. complement plural ...look at you (persons in the plural)
3rd pers. complement plural ...look at them (persons in the plural)
3) Now, let's see the POSSESSIVES: (which indicate a possession between the possessor (the owner) and its possessed object.
a) « Possessive adjectives» are just placed before a noun (the possessed object) . BEWARE! In English, they agree with the OWNER.
1st pers. singular = ....my car ...
2nd pers. singular =... your car...
3rd pers sing – masculine possessor = ... his car...
– feminine possessor = ... her car ...
– neutral possessor = ... its master
1st pers. plural – masc. and/or fem. possessors = ...our car
2nd pers. plural – masc. and/or fem. possessors = ...your car
3rd pers. plural - masc. and/or fem. possessors = ... their car...
b) «Possessive pronouns » are similar to nouns and replace them: - This car is mine = It's my car.
1st pers. singular= mine
2nd pers. singular= yours
3rd pers. singular= his = (possessor in the masculine)
= hers = (possessor in the feminine)
= its = (neutral possessor in the singular)
1st pers. plural= ours
2nd pers. plural= yours
3rd person plural= theirs
4) What's the problem??? THE problem? I should say THE problemS...
I've coloured them for you! Let's have a look!
a) In the first step: there's a similitude between subject and complement which can lead to confusion.
- You looked at the boy and the boy looked at you.
The first "you" is the subject of the verb (looked). It's preceding the verb. On the contrary, the second "you" is a complement pronom and is positioned at the end of the sentence,
The phenomenon is similar with it (subject) and it (complement.)
- Rex searched the garden and found a bone. It had hidden it there the month before.
The first it is preceding the verb, which is the subject whereas the second one is following it and is the complement.
b) The SECOND "it" shows a similitude between the 3rd pers, masc. sing. possessive adjective: his and the possessive pronoun: his. It's easy to make a difference between them since the possessive adjective is preceding the possessed object (a noun) whereas "his", possessive pronoun replaces it.
- He showed me his car, but I discovered it wasn't really his, but his father's.
5) And what about a recap?
|3rd sing (masculine)||he||him||his||his|
|3rd sing (feminine)||she||her||her||hers|
|3rd sing (neutral)||it||it||its||its|
Once you have systematically analysed them thoroughly and thought a little, it all becomes quite elementary... Now go for the test light-heartedly!
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