He

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He (/ˈh/, unstressed /i/) is a third-person singular pronoun used to talk about a male. "He" can be used in place of a male's name. When the name of a man has been the subject, then "he" can be used instead of that name. While "he" is the subject form, the word "him" is the object or possessive form (see table below). The word "he" is used for a man (or boy) where the word "she" would be used for a woman.

In the past, "he" and "him" were often used as gender-neutral pronouns. In other words, the word may have been used in a general way, to refer to any person, male or female.[1][2]

Personal pronouns in standard Modern English
Singular Plural
Subject Object Reflexive Possessive
*Adj./Object
Subject Object Reflexive Possessive
Adj./ Object
First I me myself my / mine we us ourselves our / ours
Second you you yourself your / yours you you yourselves your / yours
Third Masculine he him himself his / his they them themselves their / theirs
Feminine she her herself her / hers
Neuter it it itself its / its

* - Possessive forms are also known as "possessive adjectives" rather than pronouns.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Susanne Wagner (2003) Gender in English Pronouns: Myth and Reality, PhD thesis, Albert Ludwigs Universität, page 41.
  2. Patricia T. O'Conner; Stewart Kellerman (July 21, 2009). "All-Purpose Pronoun". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/magazine/26FOB-onlanguage-t.html.