What Are Second-Person Pronouns? - Definition & Examples Video

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  • 0:04 What are Pronouns?
  • 1:18 Second-Person Pronouns
  • 2:06 Using Second-Person Pronouns
  • 4:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

In this lesson, you will learn to recognize and use the three specific second-person pronouns. You will also read about some of the ways they are used in speech and in writing.

What Are Pronouns?

It's nearly impossible to get through a conversation or written paragraph in a book without hearing or seeing a pronoun. Pronouns include words like I, me, my, us, she, his, him, you, and mine (and this isn't even a complete list).

Pronouns take the place of more specific words for people, places, or things (nouns, in other words). These are words like Joe, Susan, table, cookie, house, and Cincinnati. Pronouns help to simplify our writing and speech, making it easier to read or listen to. Instead of repeating a person's name, a certain city, or the name of an object over and over, a writer can use a pronoun.

Pronouns are divided into categories, called person, according to who or what they stand for. These categories are first person, second person, and third person. First person pronouns refer to the writer or speaker (I, me, we, etc.). Second person pronouns refer to the reader or listener (you, your, yours). Third person pronouns refer to people or objects not directly involved (he, she, it, him, they, theirs, etc.).


This lesson is about the second-person pronouns. Let's take a look at how they are used now.

Second-Person Pronouns

You, your, and yours - these are the three second-person pronouns. Second-person pronouns are the words writers use when they are addressing one or more readers directly. They are also used when we speak directly to people.

I am talking to YOU!

Second-person pronouns make writing sound much better. Consider the following example:

  • Hello, student. How is student doing today? Is student ready to learn about second-person pronouns? These words will make student's writing sound a lot better!

Now let's try this again using second-person pronouns:

  • Hello, student. How are you doing today? Are you ready to learn about second-person pronouns? These words will make your writing sound a lot better!

Language just sounds better when pronouns are used. Second-person pronouns keep writers from having to write the reader's name over and over. They are also pretty helpful when the writer does not know the name of the reader or readers.

Using Second-Person Pronouns

Second-person pronouns can be used as subject pronouns, object pronouns, or possessive pronouns. This simply means that the words 'you,' 'your,' and 'yours' can be used in different parts of a sentence.

Sometimes pronouns take the place of the subject in a sentence. Here are some examples of second-person subject pronouns:

  • YOU are my best friend.
  • YOU are the largest class at this university.
  • YOU wear size 10 blue jeans.
  • Where do YOU and your sister live?

Sometimes pronouns take the place of an object in a sentence. Here are some examples of second-person object pronouns:

  • The dog likes to follow YOU.
  • Daniel bought YOU a present.
  • This test is for YOU.
  • I love YOU.

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