English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

What is the third person? (with examples)

What is the third person? (with examples)

The term“third person“refers to another person, i.e. not the writer or a group that includes the writer (“yo“,“mi“,“us“,“us“) or the writer’s audience (“you“). Anytime you use a noun (as opposed to a pronoun), it’s in the third person.

“Third person“appears most commonly in sentences“third person narrative“,“write in the third person“y“third party insurance (or people)“.

  • Third Person Narrative. A third person narrative is a story told using the pronouns“the“,“ella“,“it’s“o“they“or using nouns. In other words, the story is not told from a personal perspective. A third-person narrative contrasts with a first-person narrative, which is a story told from a personal perspective using the pronoun“yo“(and sometimes“us“).
  • To Write in the Third Person.“Write in the third person“means to use nouns or the pronouns“the“,“ella“,“it’s“o“they“. It is common in business writing.
  • Third Party Insurance. Third party insurance protects against third party claims. Look at the following sentence: I (the first party) am insured by you, the insurer (the second party), to protect myself against them (the third party).

Third Person in Grammar

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

  • First person:“I“and“we“
  • Second person:“you“
  • Third person:“He/She/It“and“They“

Note: First person refers to the speaker himself or to a group that includes the speaker (i.e.,“yo“,“mi“,“us“y“us“). The 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:

Person Subjective Case Objective Case Possessive Case
Possessive Determiner
Possessive Case
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.


Example: We like them.


Example: We were their allies.


These are theirs.

With third person singular, the pronouns reflect gender.

  • Masculine gender: He, him, his of him
  • Feminine gender: She, her, hers
  • Neuter gender: It, its

First, Second, and Third Person Pronouns

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

Person Subjective Case Objective Case Possessive Case
Possessive Determiner
Possessive Case
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 Plural you you your yours
Third Person Plural they them their theirs

Why Should I Care about the Third Person?

Aquí hay cuatro buenas razones para preocuparse por la tercera persona.

(Reason 1) Understanding the person categories is useful for learning a foreign language.

The vast majority of teachers and reference books use person categories to explain how grammar works (particularly verbs). Therefore, understanding terms like“first person of singular“y“third person plural“It is useful when learning a foreign language. Here are some examples of how categories of people appear in language books:

Person English German French Spanish
First Person Singular I play ich spiele je joue yo juego
Second Person Singular you play du spielst tu joues tu juegas
Third Person Singular he/she/it plays er/sie/es spielt il/elle joue el/ella/usted juega
First Person Plural we play wir spielen nous jouons nosotros jugamos
Second Person Plural you play ihr spielt vous jouez vosotros jagais
Third Person Plural they play Sie spielen ils/ells jouent ellos/ellas/ustedes juegan

(Reason 2) Using the third person presents a formal air.

Al hablar de uno mismo, el uso de la tercera persona presenta un aire formal. Por ejemplo:

  • Avro Corps will handle your complaint within 48 hours.

In contrast, writing in the first person is useful for portraying a personal touch. For example:

  • We will handle your complaint within 48 hours.

(Reason 3) Using the third person for storytelling can make you seem all-knowing.

The use of the third person in the narration can portray the author as omniscient. By using the third person, an author can highlight flaws and make observations about his characters from a position of judge or God. As a result, the reader will not consider the limitations of the author when learning about the characters, only the limitations of the characters. So if a character makes a basic mistake or says something stupid, the author can judge it without being tarnished by it.

Thus, while writing in the first person can be appealing, writing in the third person allows the author considerable liberties.

Key Points

  • In business, write in the first person for a personal touch.
  • When writing fiction, write in the first person to engage your audience quickly.
  • Do not say or write“between you and me“… nunca.

(Reason 4) The third-person possessive determiner“its“not“it’s.“

  • The contraction“es“means“es“o“have“.
  • The neuter possessive determiner is“its“. It is not“es“.
  • It is a grammatical howl to confuse“es“y“are“.

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