Personal Gender Pronouns: 9 Facts You Should Know


In this article we will get to know in detail about what personal gender pronouns are. With the help of personal gender pronouns examples we shall get to know how personal pronouns are classified under gender.

Personal gender pronouns are pronouns that are used in the place of a noun in order to represent the person’s gender. These personal gender pronouns help us in identifying the gender of the noun it is replacing or substituting.

Now do go through the personal gender pronouns utilized in the below sentences.

  • 1. She was cleaning the garden and planting new saplings.
  • 2. The book on the table belongs to him.
  • 3. We are planning to go on a tour next week.
  • 4. She herself will call the manager tomorrow.
  • 5. They will be here anytime soon.

The italicized words in the above sentences are personal gender pronouns which will help us identify the gender of the nouns they have replaced.

Can personal pronouns be gender specific?

Yes, of course, personal pronouns can be gender specific.

Example: Sonali loves her cat so very much.

‘Her’ is the personal gender pronoun utilized in this sentence. ‘Her’ is a feminine personal pronoun as it replacing a girl’s name –Sonali (noun).

Hence, personal pronouns do specify the gender of the noun that they are substituting.

Why personal pronouns are specific to gender?

Personal pronouns are specific to gender as they ought to represent the gender of the noun that they are replacing. Only then, will the readers get to know which noun (name of a person) they have substituted.

Example: He is a national level football player.

In this sentence, ‘he’ is the personal gender pronoun utilized to represent the masculine gender. ‘He’ helps us get to know that the noun it has replaced is the name of a man or a boy.

Personal pronouns are gender specific just to reveal to us the gender of the nouns they are substituting.

What are the personal gender pronouns?

The various personal gender pronouns are I, my, mine, myself, we, our, ours, us, ourselves, you, your, yours, yourself, he, his, him, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves.

Example: She has painting classes every evening.

‘She’ is the personal gender pronoun utilized in this sentence to represent the feminine gender. ‘She’ here helps us get to know that the noun it has replaced is the name of a woman or a girl.

Example: You have to complete all the work by tonight.

‘You’ is the personal gender pronoun utilized in this sentence to represent the gender-neutral. ‘You’ here does not take any particular gender. It can refer to both masculine and feminine nouns.

personal gender pronouns
Personal Gender Pronouns Examples

Types of personal gender pronouns

1. Masculine gender pronouns or male gender pronouns

2. Feminine gender pronouns or female gender pronouns

3. Neutral gender pronouns (epicene or gender-neutral)

Example: Ram will do his homework by himself.

‘His’ and ‘himself’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence to represent the masculine or the male gender. ‘His’ and ‘himself’ here help us get to know that the noun they have replaced is the name of a man or a boy.

Personal gender neutral pronouns

The personal gender neutral pronouns are pronouns that remain the same for both the masculine and the feminine gender. They are commonly used with an unspecified or unmentioned antecedent. All first person and second person pronouns are personal gender neutral pronouns. The third person plural pronouns are also gender neutrals as it might consist of both female and male. The various personal gender neutral pronouns are I, me, my, mine, myself, we, our, ours, us, ourselves, you, yours, your, yourself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves.

Examples: We have to return their laptop today.

‘We’ and ‘their’ are the personal gender neutral pronouns utilized in this sentence. ‘We’ and ‘their’ do not represent any particular gender (masculine or feminine) as their antecedent is unknown and they will remain same irrespective of whether they replace a female or a male noun.

Personal gender feminine pronouns

The personal gender feminine pronouns are pronouns that exclusively take the place of female nouns. The personal gender feminine pronouns are she, her, hers, and herself.

Example: She is the student who lost her purse.

‘She’ and ‘her’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence to represent the feminine gender. The personal gender feminine pronoun ‘She’ and ‘her’ here helps us get to know that the nouns they have replaced is a woman’s or a girl’s name.

Personal gender male pronouns

The personal gender feminine pronouns are pronouns that are used as a replacement to the nouns that have male gender. The personal gender masculine pronouns are he, him, his, and himself.

Example: He loves the cycle that was gifted to him on his birthday.

‘He’, ‘him’ and ‘his’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence to represent the male gender. The personal gender male pronouns ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his’ here helps us get to know that the nouns they have replaced is the name of a boy or man.

Personal gender pronoun examples

Read the following examples to get to know the various personal gender pronouns.

  • 1. He is one of very fine artists I have ever seen.
  • 2. She has been searching for her record notebook since afternoon.
  • 3. She is going to their house for a stay over.
  • 4. We have to be patient till he finishes all his work.
  • 5. I saw you playing with him last evening.
  • 6. Rajesh hurt himself by falling down while riding his bicycle.
  • 7. Priya herself agreed that she is responsible for the delay.

Personal gender pronoun examples with detailed explanations

1. He is one of very fine artists I have ever seen.

‘He’ and ‘I’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in the above sentence. ‘He’ is a personal gender masculine pronoun as it is replacing the name of a boy or a man (a male noun). ‘I’ is a personal gender neutral pronoun as the gender is unknown and it remains the same for both masculine and feminine.

2. She has been searching for her record notebook since afternoon.

The personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence are ‘she’ and ‘her’. ‘She’ and ‘her’ are personal gender feminine pronouns. ‘She’ and ‘her’ here help us get to know that the nouns they have replaced are the name of a woman or a girl (female nouns).

3. She is going to their house for a stay over.

‘She’ and ‘their’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in the above sentence. ‘She’ is a personal gender feminine pronoun as it is taking the place of the name of a girl or a woman (a female noun). ‘Their’ is a personal gender neutral pronoun as the gender is unknown and it is plural and they may contain both masculine and feminine nouns.

4. We have to be patient till he finishes all his work.

‘We’ and ‘he’ are the personal gender pronouns utilized in the above sentence. ‘We’ is a personal gender neutral pronoun as the gender is unknown and it is plural and they may contain both masculine and feminine noun names.  ‘He’ is a personal gender masculine pronoun as it is replacing the name of a man or a boy (a male noun).

5. I saw you playing with him last evening.

The personal gender pronouns utilized in the above sentence are ‘I’, ‘You’ and ‘him’. ‘I’ and ‘you’ are personal gender neutral pronouns as their gender is unknown and it remains the same for both male and female nouns.  ‘Him’ is a personal gender masculine pronoun as it is substituting the name of a man or a boy (a male noun).

6. Rajesh hurt himself by falling down while riding his bicycle.

The personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence are ‘himself’ and ‘his’. ‘Himself’ and ‘his’ are personal gender masculine pronouns. ‘Himself’ and ‘his’ here help us get to know that the nouns they have replaced are the name of a boy (male nouns).

7. Priya herself agreed that she is responsible for the delay.

The personal gender pronouns utilized in this sentence are ‘herself’ and ‘she’. ‘Herself’ and ‘she’ are personal gender feminine pronouns as they are used in the place of the noun ‘Priya’ which is the name of a female.

Can reflexive pronouns be gender specific?

Yes, indeed, reflexive pronouns are also gender specific as they do tell us the gender of the subject (noun).

Example: Rashi cooked the dinner all by herself.

‘Herself’ is the reflexive pronoun in this sentence. The reflexive pronoun ‘herself’ does tell us the gender as feminine. Thus the reflexive pronoun ‘herself’ is a personal gender feminine pronoun.

Conclusion

From the above examples and explanation we came to know that personal gender pronouns are pronouns that reveal to us the gender of the nouns that they are replacing thereby aiding us identify the gender of nouns that they are substituting.

Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran

Hi... I am Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran, a university rank holder in M.A. English Literature. I have also done my master's in Business Administration. Inquisitive as I am, my interest in action-oriented research helped me publish research papers in reputed journals. Now, as a career, I am an instructor where I teach young and adorable students the intricate technicalities of Public Speaking and Creative Writing. I also enjoy writing articles on topics I specialize and research in. You can connect with me through LinkedIn.-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sowndharya-j-972378233

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