6.1 Personal pronouns in Italian

Personal pronouns in English are I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they (nominative) and me, you, him, her, us, you, them (object pronouns). But why they are called personal pronouns? They are called personal pronouns to distinguish them from other pronouns, for instance demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns, possessive pronouns, etc. etc.. All these pronouns represent a noun.

Example
  possessive pronouns
  This is Peters car.
  It is his car.
  demonstrative pronouns
  This is Peters car.
  This is his car.
  relative pronouns
  This is the car, which belongs to Peter.

All the pronouns mentioned above (possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns) represent a noun. 'His' substitutes Peter, 'this' substitutes the car and 'which' substitutes the car. But beside the function to represent a noun, they have another function. They indicate to whom something belongs (his), point to something (this) or establish a relationship between a relative clause and an element of the main clause. That' s what they distinguish from personal pronouns. A personal pronoun only represents something, that' s his only function, it does nothing but that.

  Overview    
1st person singular io I
  2nd person singular tu you
  3rd person singular masculin lui he
  3rd person singular feminine lei she
  1st person plural noi we
  2nd person plural voi you
  3rd person plural loro they

There is no Italian word for 'it', so there is no neutral noun that needs to be represented by a personal pronoun.





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