In English, object pronouns show up everywhere—or that's how it feels! These forms of personal pronouns have two important uses, and English object pronouns have different forms compared to subject pronouns. It can feel like a lot to keep track of, but there are a couple of easy rules for knowing when to use object pronouns!

Here's what you need to know about object pronouns in English and when to use them.

In this post:

A refresher: subject pronouns vs. object pronouns

What are object pronouns in English?

When to use object pronouns in English

Tips for practicing English object pronouns

Examples of object pronouns in English

A refresher: subject pronouns vs. object pronouns

Pronouns are words that replace nouns so that we don't have to repeat ourselves as much—so instead of referring to me as "Mykhaylo" all the time, you can say "he" and "him." In English, personal pronouns have different forms depending on the gender and number (singular or plural) of the people or things you're talking about and on the role of the pronoun in a sentence (subject, object, etc).

The key difference between subject and object pronouns is their role in the sentence: Subject pronouns are used for the person or thing doing the action of the verb, and object pronouns are for the person or thing being acted upon.

Here's everything you need to know about how object pronouns work in English!

What are object pronouns in English?

Object pronouns replace nouns that are in object positions in a sentence. In these examples, the object pronouns are in bold:

  • I asked Lucy about object pronouns. I asked her about them.
  • The teacher read a new book over the weekend. The teacher read it over the weekend.
  • I usually give Junior ice cream after dinner. I usually give him ice cream.
Subject pronoun Object pronoun
I me
you you
he him
she her
it it
we us
you you
they them

You might have noticed that some object pronouns look identical to subject pronouns. Most English pronouns have different forms for subjects and objects, but a few forms don't change!

When to use object pronouns in English

There are 2 cases in which you'll need an object pronoun, and they include a lot of situations!

1️⃣ The pronoun comes after the verb.

  • The object pronoun receives the action of the verb—the verb is being done to the object pronoun.
  • In English, objects always come after the verb, so if the pronoun comes after the verb, you know it needs to be the object form!
  • Examples: We gave them to the dog (verb "give"), Please send me your flight information (verb "send"), I put her in the stroller (verb "put").

2️⃣ The pronoun comes after a preposition.

  • The object pronoun is part of a phrase with a preposition that adds more specific information.
  • Object forms are always used after prepositions.
  • Examples: We'll sit near him (preposition "near"), Now let's learn about you (preposition "about"), This whole pizza is for us (preposition "for").

These two cases—after verbs and after prepositions—mean that you'll probably encounter more object pronouns than subject pronouns.

Tips for practicing English object pronouns

Learners will need to remember the different forms of object pronouns and where they go in the sentence.

A good rule of thumb is that you'll put the object pronoun as close as possible to its verb or preposition.

Here are more ways you can learn and practice object pronouns:

  • Memorize the object pronouns. Since there are only a few forms of English object pronouns, it may be helpful to memorize them. Make flashcards from the table of pronouns above!
  • Include reading in your language practice. Reading books, articles, and even social media posts exposes you to lots of natural language—so you're sure to find object pronouns! For each object pronoun you read, decide what noun it's referring to. (Hint: You'll have to check the words and sentences that come before it!)
  • Rewrite sentences to include object pronouns. Write down sentences from your Duolingo lessons, and replace the nouns with personal pronouns. For example, if your Duolingo sentence is "The cow chases the children," rewrite it as "It chases them." This is a great way to practice recognizing the different uses of subjects and objects, too!
  • Write it out! Writing is a great way to practice object pronouns because it gives you time to think through the pronoun options and use them in sentences. Try writing short stories or dialogues, with groups of people of different genders, to get the hang of the different object pronoun forms.
  • Be patient and practice regularly. Learning any new grammatical concept takes time. Make a regular study schedule and be patient with your progress!

Make object pronouns the object of your study!

Learners will get a lot of practice with object pronouns because they are used in so many situations! Remember that object pronouns come after verbs and prepositions, and commit the object pronoun forms to memory. Be sure to practice subject pronouns, too, so you can learn these common forms and their differences!

Examples of object pronouns in English

After a verb

Subject | Object Example with object pronoun
I | me He told me a joke.
you | you I tell you jokes all the time.
he | him Don't tell him any jokes.
she | her Tell her jokes instead.
it | it The squirrel?! No, don't tell it any jokes, either.
we | us They finally told us their favorite joke.
you (all) | you (all) We told you all every joke we know.
they | them I tell them jokes when I am bored.

After a preposition

Subject | Object Example with object pronoun
I | me My dog loves going to the park with me.
you | you I bought new treats for you!
he | him I accidentally threw the ball right past him.
she | her This park is perfect for her.
it | it Our puppy could do laps around it all day.
we | us The dogs followed closely behind us.
you (all) | you (all) Ready? He's going to run to you all!
they | them Their dog always runs far ahead of them.