What Is Third Person? (with Examples)

What Is Third Person? (with Examples)

The term third person refers to someone else, i.e., not the writer or a group including the writer (I, me, we, us) or the writer's audience (you). Whenever you use a noun (as opposed to pronoun), it is in the third person.

The personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they) are grouped into one of three categories:

Note: First person refers to the speaker himself or a group that includes the speaker (i.e., I, me, we, and us). Second person refers to the speaker's audience (i.e., you).

Examples of Third Person Pronouns in Different Cases

Here are the third person pronouns in the subjective case, the objective case, and the possessive case:

PersonSubjective CaseObjective CasePossessive Case
Possessive Adjective
Possessive Case
Absolute Possessive Pronouns
Third Person Singular he / she / it

Example: He is not happy.
him / her / it

Example: We saw him.
his / her / its

Example: We were her support.
his / hers / its

These were hers.
Third Person Plural they

Example: They are leaving.
them

Example: We like them.
their

Example: We were their allies.
theirs

These are theirs.

With third person singular, the pronouns reflect gender.

First, Second, and Third Person Pronouns

The table below shows the first, second, and third person pronouns. The third person pronouns are shaded.

PersonSubjective CaseObjective CasePossessive Case
Possessive Adjective
Possessive Case
Absolute Possessive Pronouns
First Person Singular I me my mine
Second Person Singular you you your yours
Third Person Singular he/she/it him/her/it his/her/its his/hers/its
First Person Plural we us our ours
Second Person Singular you you your yours
Third Person Plural they them their theirs



See also:

What is gender?
What are personal pronouns?
What is the first person?
What is the second person?
What is the subjective case?
What is the objective case?
What is the possessive case?
What are possessive adjectives?
What are absolute possessive pronouns?
The different types of pronouns
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
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THE POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE IS ITS NOT IT'S

The contraction it's means it is or it has.

The neuter possessive adjective is its. It is not it's.

It is a grammatical howler to confuse it's and its.

Read more about its and it's.
 
 
WRITING IN THE THIRD PERSON

If you're asked to write in the third person, use he/she/it or nouns. For example:

  • Marks Ltd will handle your claim within 24 hours.
When talking about yourself, using the third person presents a formal air.

WRITING IN THE FIRST PERSON

If you're asked to write in the first person, use I and we. For example:

  • We will handle your claim within 24 hours.
In business writing, this is useful to portray a personal touch.