I Me Mine: Pronoun Declensions

3rd December 2021

Any excuse for a Beatles-related photo.

The English language, despite having a multitude of idioms, slang, vernacular, dialects, neologisms etc, can be easier to learn than other languages when it comes to the definite article. I am referring to the word ‘the’.

English nouns have no gender; the language doesn’t have the complex German structure of declension when the word ‘the’ changes depending if the noun is the subject, object or indirect object.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. English speakers employ declension when it comes to pronouns. Please allow me to illustrate:

A cuckoo clock, invented in Germany (not Switzerland, as is often believed).

I bought this clock from a friend so it now belongs to me. It is my clock, it is mine.

However, with the wrong declension:

Me bought this clock from a friend so it now belongs to mine. It is I clock, it is my.

Last night, a level 6 class (aged around 10) were having a lesson on conservation. The examples were all in the second person (your), and the students were having problems changing the pronoun. Hence, this blog:

School Kids Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images from PhotoDune
Let’s go to work

Let’s keep it simple. There are three cases:

the subject, the object and the possessive

I, Me, Mine

In our example I bought this clock from my friend, the first noun is ‘I’ (subject)

so it now belongs to me. (object)

It is my clock, it is mine. (possessive)

Now … let’s practice

I // me // my or mine

you // you // your or yours

he // him // his

she // her // her or hers

we // us // our or ours

they // them // their or theirs

EXAMPLE: What can you do to stay healthy ?

black-lady-weights - Carla Fields Fitness

I can exercise. Being healthy is important to me. These are my weights. They are mine.

How about changing the pronoun ? Tell me about this man:

Charlie Chaplin Archives - Redsvn.net

He is very funny. Many people like him. It is his dog. The dog is his.

Tell me about this lady

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared after denouncing rape - Tennis  - Sports - Nenroll-Nenroll

— is very happy. I can not beat — in a game. — racket (bat) is very expensive. It is —-.

Let’s use ‘you’

Ayushmann Khurrana wanted to shave his head for Bala, says 'I resembled my  grandfather after prosthetics' | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

— can wash your hair. I will buy some cologne for — . It is —- cologne, it is —– .

Tell me about these people

—- are American. If you go to the USA, maybe you will meet —-. This is —– flag, it is ——.

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