Posts Tagged ‘First’

What is First Person? Second? Third?

If you’re learning English, you’ve probably seen 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person. But do you know what these mean? In this easy video, you’ll learn to easily recognize first, second, and third person by understanding that these refer to the personal pronouns or the subject of the sentence. You’ll see many examples and we’ll practice finding out whether sentences are in first person, second person, or third person. You may have heard of “FPS” or “first person shooter” games. The idea is the same, and you will understand it after this lesson! Continue the exercise by doing the quiz at


First, second, third, whether it be “I”, “you”, or… Hi. James from engVid. Today I’d like to teach you about the first, second, and third pronouns. Well, subject pronouns, to be exact. And: What do we mean by first person, second person, and third person? A lot of students have trouble with that, and that’s why they use the pronouns incorrectly. This is a very simple, straightforward lesson, and I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s go to Mr. E. As you can see, he’s standing on the podium. A “podium” is a box you stand on once you want to… When you want to speak or when you want to… Or when someone has got a position, like in the Olympics, they get first, second, and third position, so they stand up on a podium. E is on the podium with all three medals. Well, there’s a reason for that, because you are important. And when we talk about subject pronouns, we’re going to see how the first, second, and third person works. Ready? Let’s go to the board.

I mentioned Mr. E was wearing all the medals, and you’re going to probably ask why. I’ll show you. When we talk about personal pronouns or subject pronouns, the speaker is important, and who the speaker is speaking to is important, and this is how we can tell if something is first, second, or third person.

Let’s take a look at the first case. When I speak-or when E would speak-and I speak with friends, it’s called the first person, and this is where we use for the singular, “I”; and for the plural, “we”. Because I’m involved in the speaking, I am speaking with a group of people, and/or I am personally speaking. So we use “I” and “we” to say first person. Okay?

When we talk about the second person, it’s when I speak to you or I am speaking to a group of people. That means I, remember E is wearing the medals, I am directing my speech to somebody that I’m speaking to right now. I’m talking to you right now. Now, you, if you’re watching at your house, I’m talking to you, that could be one person. But really, we know I’m on the internet, so there’s thousands of people watching, but I’m speaking to you as well. So I am important and I am speaking to you, where I direct my speech, and that’s why we call it the second person. The second person in the conversation, you might say. It could be one person or a group of people. And in this case, we use the same pronoun, “you” and “you” to talk about you, I’m directing my speech directly to you. Good? All right.

Let’s do the third person. The third person is when I speak about something or someone. You can think of it as they’re not directly involved in the conversation. I could be talking about “it”, that’s the third person. Or I could be talking about “he” or “she”, as in the third person. So this is when I speak about someone or something. For the singular, we have “he”, “she”, and “it”, because we do talk about things. For the plural, we say “they”. Cool? Great. That was a simple lesson. Let’s go do a quiz on it. Are you ready? [Snaps].

Ready for the quiz? Now, be very careful, this is a two-part quiz. First we’re going to fill in the blanks with a proper or appropriate pronoun. Okay? Then we’re going to try to see: Is that a first, second, or third pronoun? That’ll be the second part we do. Are you ready? Let’s try this quick quiz.

“__________ am talking to them later.”
What would that be? Correct. “I am talking to them”, we know this because the “am” is there. So that means the subject is speaking. Okay? The subject is speaking.

How about the next one?
“I saw them yesterday and __________ said they were going home today to see their families.”
I’ll give you a little bit of a hint, here. We have “them”, “they”, and “their”. That’s right. These are all plural words, so we can make a safe guess that this would be “they”. In this case, I am talking about them; not to them. Try to remember that when we do the second part, if I am talking about them, what does that mean?

Number three:
“_________ are the type of person that makes friends easily.”
Okay, well we can see it’s one, “the” article says one type of person, so we have a choice between “I” and “you”. Well, I don’t think I’m talking about me. I think I’m talking to you. I think you’re the friendly type of person, you watch engVid, you got to be a good guy or girl.