Mammoth Memory

First, second and third person

When someone writes a book, one of the first things they have to decide is what point of view it will be written from. This is known as perspective or viewpoint.

Point of view = the perspective from
which a work is written

You can write using the perspective of:

The first person (using pronouns such as I, me, my, mine). Often used in autobiographies – “I am a footballer.”

The second person (you, your, yours). Often used in advertising – “You need to buy this.”

The third person (he, she, it, its, him, his, her, hers, their, theirs). Often used when writing fiction – “Her spaceship was profound.”

Written passage

Although a passage of writing can contain first, second and third person pronouns, to work out which of the three “persons” is doing the writing, you need to identify the pronouns that provide the perspective from which a piece is written.

For example:

I walked through the meadow and saw her sitting on the river bank beside a man who said he was a friend of hers.

“I” is the pronoun that reveals the perspective from which this sentence is written (first person), although it contains several other pronouns.

First, second and third person pronouns

First person: I, me, my, myself, mine, we.

Second person: you, your, yours

Third person: he, she, it, its, him, his, her, hers, they, their, theirs.


The same rules apply to the plural forms of first person, second person and third person that you are about to learn. The only difference is that they are pronouns for more than one person:

First person plural: we, us, our, ours.

Second person plural: you, your, yours (NOTE: these are identical to the singular ones).

Third person plural: they, them, their, theirs.

More Info