Subject Pronoun Definition: A subject pronoun, also called a subjective pronoun, is a word that replaces a personal noun in a sentence. Specifically, this pronoun must be the subject (not the object) of the sentence.
What is a Subject Pronoun?
Definition of Subject Pronoun: Subject pronouns are used as grammatical subjects in a sentence.
A subject pronoun does the action of the sentence instead of receiving the action, as an object/objective pronoun does.
The primary purpose of subject/subjective pronouns in English is to avoid redundancy.
Example without Subject Pronoun
Susan is thankful for Scott and Samuel. Susan appreciates them immensely. Susan is going to buy a gifts for them.
In this example, “Susan” is the subject and “Sarah and Stephanie/them” is the object/object pronoun of each sentence. The repetition of “Sarah” causes unnecessary wordiness.
After the first use, replacing “Susan” with the subject pronoun, “she,” is appropriate.
Example with Subject Pronoun
Susan is thankful for Scott and Samuel. She appreciates them immensely. She is going to buy a gifts for them.
In this example, “Susan” is the subject of the first sentence but is replaced with the subject pronoun “she.” The subject pronoun is only used after the original subject (antecedent) has been identified.
Subject Pronoun Examples
What are the subject pronouns? Here is a list of subject pronouns. These are the most common and generic examples of subject pronouns used in writing.
- you (plural)
Subject Pronoun Examples in Sentences
- Jacob bought lunch for Jane.
Here, “Jacob” is the subject doing the action of the sentence and “Jane” is receiving the action. When “Jacob” is replaced with a subject pronoun, the sentence reads:
- He bought lunch for Jane.
“He” is the subject pronoun replacing the personal noun, “Jacob.”
- Daniel and Cathy went to California with John.
Here, “Daniel and Cathy” is the subject doing the action of the sentence and “John” receives the action. When “Daniel and Cathy” is replaced with a subject pronoun, the sentence reads:
- They went to California with John.
“They” is the subject pronoun replacing the personal nouns, “Daniel and Cathy.”
- Founders Ryan Lester and Joshua Boehm began toying with the idea in their teenage years without any plans to monetize it before they both ended up as engineers at SpaceX. They eventually left SpaceX and started their own company. –The Washington Post
“They” is the subject pronoun replacing “Ryan Lester and Joshua Boehm.”
What Are Subject Pronouns Used For?
Subject pronouns are used in English to avoid wordiness and awkward sentences. Subject pronouns make writing and speaking more clear and efficient. For example,
- Jack went to school then Jack went to get some coffee.
- Jack went to school then he went to get some coffee.
It is much better to say and write “he” instead of naming “Jack” every time you refer to him.
Pronouns may only be used when there is an antecedent. The audience must know to whom or what the pronoun refers before the noun can be replaced with a pronoun.
What is a subjective pronoun? Here are few quick reminders so you can remember exactly what are subject pronouns and how to use them.
- Use subject pronouns after you have identified an antecedent.
- Subject pronouns differ from object pronouns because they complete the action in the sentence.
- You should be able to interchange the subject pronoun and the original personal noun and the sentence should still be grammatically correct.