Chapter 13-3-4: Noun and Pronoun Person

Personal pronouns always belong to one of three persons: first person if they refer to the speaker or writer (or to a group including the speaker or writer), second person if they refer to the audience of the speaker or writer (or to a group including the audience), and third person if they refer to anyone else (if the noun or pronoun is the subject, then its person will also affect the verb). Nouns and other types of pronouns are always in the third person. Note the differences in person in the following examples:

First Person

I will come tomorrow.

Bob showed the budget to us.


Second Person

You should not forget to vote.

Where is your coat?


Third Person

It arrived yesterday.

How can you stand working with them?


Traditionally, you were required to use the third person in formal academic writing, but some people now accept the first person. Whichever you choose, however, you must be consistent.


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