称代词可指称自己,指称谈话的对象或人们正在谈及的人或事物。人称代词分为两类:主语人称代词和宾语人称代词。

主语人称代词作句子的主语。下列为主语人称代词一览表:

人称 单数 复数
第一人称 I we
第二人称 you you
第三人称 he,she,it they

‘I’用来指称自己,总是大写。

I don’t know what to do.

I think I made the wrong decision.

May I ask why Stephens here?

‘you’指称谈话的对象(一个人或多个人)。注意,’you’的单复数同形。

You may have to wait a bit.

Would you come andhave a drink?

How did you get on?

‘You’也可泛指人们,而不是谈话或书写的对象。这在口语中尤为常见。

You can’t predict what these things are going to do.

You get some old people who are very difficult.

注意,‘you’还是宾语人称代词(object pronouns)。

‘He’指代男人或男孩;‘She’指代女人或女孩。

My father is fat— heweighs over fifteen stone.

Billy Knight was a boxer, wasn’t he?

Mary came in. She was a good-looking woman.

Is Sue there?— I ‘m sorry, she doesn’t work here now.

‘It’指代男性或女性以外的任何事物。例如,物体、地方、组织或抽象概念。

I’ve just bought Murdoch’s new book. Its a very long novel

‘Have you been to London?’ ‘Yes, it was very crowded.’

How many people saw the BBC when it startedbroadcasting in 1937?

It is not an idea that has much pubic support.

‘It’还常指代性别不详或性别无关紧要的动物。有人也用‘It’指代婴儿。

The bear came at Patrick; it had thick fur

If the shark is still around it willnot escape.

How Winifred loved the baby! Andhow Stephanie hated it!

‘It’还可用于一般陈述,如指情景、时间、日期或天气。

It is very quiet here.

It is half past three.

It is January 19th.

It is rainy and cold.

注意,‘It’也是宾语人称代词(obj ect pronouns)。

‘We’指代包括说话人自己在内的群体。这个群体可能是:

  • 自己和所交谈的一个或多个对象。

Where shall we meet, Sally?

  • 自己,所交谈的一个或多个对象和其他一个或多个当时不在场的人。

We aren’t exactly gossips, you and I and Watson

  • 自己和一个或多个其他人,但不包括交谈的一个或多个对象。

I do the washing; he does the cooking; we share the washing-up

  • 自己认为所属的任何集体,例如,学校、社区乃至整个人类。

We are in fact a multicultural society.

We all needmoney

‘They’指代不包括说话人自己或交谈的一个或多个对象的若干人或物。

All the girls think he’s great, don’t they?

Newspapers reach me on the day after they are published

Winters here vary as they do elsewhere.

‘They’也常常泛指人们。

Isn’t that what they call love?

‘They’还可指代不必说明其身份的人们。例如,在句子They’ve given John another pay rise.中,显而易见,‘They’指约翰的雇主们。

Don’t worry, I said to Mother,they are moving you from this ward soon.·

宾语人称代词 (object pronouns) 与相应的主语入称代词指代相同的人或物。

下列是宾语人称代词一览表:

人称 单数 复数
第一人称 me us
第二人称 you you
第三人称 him,her,it them

宾语人称代词作句子的宾语 。

The nurse washed me with cold water.

He likes you – he said so.

The man went up to the cat and started stroking it.

宾语人称代词可作句子的间接宾语。

Send us a card so we’ll know where you are.

A man gave him a car.

The children asked Simon if he would give them some money

宾语人称代词还可作介词的宾语。

There was a humorous article by me on the first page.

Madeleine, I want to talk to you immediately

We were all sitting in a cafe with him.

宾语人称代词还可与系动词(link verbs)连用。例如,‘It wasme’、‘It’s her’。不过,在正式或书面英语中,人们有时在系动词后用主语人称代词。例如,‘It was I’、‘It’s she’。

‘It’虽用作主语和宾语人称代词指代无性 别差异的事物,‘she’和‘her’也常常指轮船、汽车和国家。

When the repairs had been done she was a fine and beautiful ship.

Mr Gerasimov has a high regard for Britain and her role in Europe.

有时,人们并不想指明 所谈论的人的性别。

一种办法是使用‘they’或‘them’。 这种用法多见千‘someone’或‘anyone’等不定代词(indefinitepronouns)之后。注意,‘they’之后总是用复数动词,即使仅指一个人也是如此。

If anyone wants to be a childminder, they must attend a course

If I think someone may take an overdose, I will spend hours talking to them.

另一种办法是:用‘he or she’代替‘they’;‘him or her’替代‘them’。这种用法常见于正式或书面英语中。

‘Would a young person be able to get a job in Europe?”That would depend on which country he or she wanted to go to’.

The student should feel that the essay belongs to him or her.

有人认为使用‘they’和‘them’指代一个人是错误的 。但若重复‘he or she’和‘him or her’又嫌累赘 。如果作一般性的陈述,用复数名词代替单数名词即可避免这个问题。

例如,可用‘As soon as children go to school they are taught to read’代替‘As soon as a child goes to school he or she is taught to read’。

有人用‘he’和‘him’进行泛指或用其指代不定代词。但很多人不赞成这种用法,因为用‘he’和‘him’意味着所指代的是男性。

人称代词‘one’有时作单数人称代词 (personalpronouns)使用,但这是一种正式用法。它作主语和宾语时形式相同。

‘One’可泛指人们,可包括说话人在内。

One has to think of the practical side of things.

Going round Italy, one is struck by the number of opera houses there are

This scene makes one realize how deeply this community has been afflicted