Object pronouns replace direct and indirect objects in a sentence. These pronouns help eliminate unnecessary repetition. Here are the English object pronouns used to replace both direct and indirect objects:
- singular: me, you, him, her, it
- plural: us, you, them
Let’s use some examples from the previous section to illustrate how pronouns work. If we suppose that we have a friend named Alex and we have been talking about him for a while, it is unnecessary to repeat his name each time.
- What time did you call Alex? (Whom did you call? Alex. Alex is the direct object.)
- What time did you call him? (Alex is replaced with the third person singular object pronoun, him.)
Here is another example, this time with an indirect object replaced with a pronoun:
- We spoke to the teacher. (To whom did we speak? The teacher. The teacher is the indirect object pronoun.)
- We spoke to him/her. (The pronouns him or her could be used to replace the indirect object here.)
Let’s see an example with two pronouns:
- I sent Margaret the letter yesterday. (We know from the first example above that the letter is the direct object pronoun. Now let’s ask, to whom did I send the letter? To Margaret. Margaret is the indirect object.) Alternative: I sent the letter to Margaret yesterday.
- I sent her it yesterday. Alternative: I sent it to her yesterday.