There's this idea in grammar called grammatical person that helps describe who's being talked about in a sentence. David, KA's Grammar Fellow, explains.
Want to join the conversation?
- is nothing and everybody pronouns?(20 votes)
- You got it, Spencer. They're called indefinite pronouns:
- why do you call it "first person pronoun", "Second person pronoun" and "third person pronoun"?(6 votes)
- Those are just names for different distances. The person closest to you is yourself, so "I" and "we" are first person. The next nearest person is the one whom you are speaking to or about, so "you" and all its forms are the second person. Farther away are people about whom you may be talking, so "he, she, it and they" are third person.
The pattern is exactly the same in every language I've either learned or "dabbled in".(9 votes)
- At1:08I got confused(you can pause there to see the chart) because I have heard about first-person books and third-person books. I still have two questions though: Can there be a book with second-person and how would it make sense? Would a narrator be third person because it falls in everybody else?(5 votes)
- A first person book is narrated by the person about whom the story happens: "When I was a little bitty baby my momma would rock me in a cradle..."
A third person book is narrated by someone totally outside the story: "Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he."
A second person book would be told TO the person about whom the narraive goes. "When you were a little bitty baby rockin' in the cradle, that merry old King Cole came by and you barfed on him."(10 votes)
- In the sentence "One ought not to place one's hands on a hot stove" would their work in the place of one's?(6 votes)
- It would work that way, BUT, using "their" as the pronoun in the place of "one's" is a new convention, typically used in order to avoid the use of a gender-specific pronoun like "his" or "hers".
Since the initial pattern of the sentence is set with the first word, "One", it just makes sense to parallel it with the later pronoun "one's". It's more sonorous.(7 votes)
- Shouldn't there be a 4th person or something? For one and oneself?(5 votes)
- One & oneself are 3rd person prounouns.
- One is like he, she, or it
- Oneself is like himself, herself, or itself
The 3rd person is used to indicate someone other than (1) the speaker or (2) the person/people being spoken to.
One & oneself are kind of tricky, but definitely fall into the 3rd person category.(7 votes)
- So David on1:01I am confused on the grammer are what you made. I am trying to do what you did but I am confused(5 votes)
- What David means by everybody else are pronouns like they, he, she, it, things like that. For example, "He ate dinner." He is a pronoun in 3rd person.(7 votes)
- do you mean we can't connect 3rd person to 2nd person?(6 votes)
- What if the sentence " One ought not to put your hands on a hot stove" where "you" is referring to a person who will harm or injure someone who does them harm.(3 votes)
- It’s possible to say “One [a person in general] ought not to put your [Ali Zasaad Romel’s] hands on a hot stove.” Of course, though, that sentence would not make sense in the same context as “One ought not to put one’s hands on a hot stove,” or “You ought not to put your hands on a hot stove.”(6 votes)
- [Voiceover] Serious question, grammarians. What's the difference between me and you? Well, in order to get, I mean I don't mean that, you know, in a snarky way, I mean that in like a conceptual way. What's the difference, in terms of these two pronouns, what separates them? Well, one's about me and one's about you, but that seems kind of like a pretty easy distinction that's right there on the face of it, right. English, like other languages, has this thing that grammarians call person. Obviously, we all know what a person is, it's a human being, but person as a grammatical concept is a way of distinguishing between me, you and everybody else. In fact, we have special terms for this. So, any group containing me is the first person. Any group containing you is the second person, and everybody else falls into the third person. So, whenever I talk about, you know, third person singular, or first person plural, all I'm really doing is going back to these columns of, am I involved, are you involved, or is everybody else involved? Right, so both me and us or I and we are first person pronouns, because they're about me or a group that contains me. Likewise, you is the second person. That's kind of it, both singular and plural. Everybody else, that's he, she, they, them, everybody, it, nothing, everything that is neither me nor you falls into the everybody else third person category. So, let's say you were giving someone advice in a kind of sideways way, like, one ought not to place one's hands on a hot stove. Alright, the temptation might be, in some cases, you might forget what pronoun you started out with. One is a third person pronoun and the temptation might sometimes be, you know, you forget about it, sounds like you're saying, a piece of advice, one ought not to place your hands on a hot stove. Well, you know, I mean this is still not a good idea to put your hands on a hot stove, but you have to remember which, what you're trying to connect here. This is a third person pronoun and this is a second person pronoun, and the two of them do not match up, they do not, as we say in grammar, agree, sad face. So, what you need to take care to do is to make sure that if you're, if you start off talking about one, even if you're being kind of silly and pompous, you've got to stick with one. If you start out talking about you, you got to stick with you, or I guess I could have changed this back to one but I wanted to pop with the pink. Because if you don't do this, then you run the risk of being confusing and unclear. So, you have to make sure that if you start off using one grammatical person, you have to maintain use of that grammatical person for as long as you're talking about the same notion, the same idea, the same person. I used to take harmony singing classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and I had this instructor who said that the best way to sing harmony was to remember to stay in your lane and I think that's a good way to conceive how to think about grammatical person is if you start in one lane, don't cross over by the end of the sentence. Begin, begin your sentence in the same lane as you started. You can learn anything, David out.