The personal pronouns in English take various forms according to number, person, case and natural gender. Modern English has very little inflection of nouns or adjectives, to the point where some authors describe it as an analytic language, but the Modern English system of personal pronouns has preserved some of the inflectional complexity of Old English and Middle English. Unlike nouns, which are undeclined for case except for possession (woman/woman's), English personal pronouns have a number of forms, which are named according to their typical grammatical role in a sentence:[n 1] subjective (nominative) case (I, we, etc.), used as the subject of a verb (see also Case usage below). objective (oblique) case (me, us, etc.), used as the object of a verb or of a preposition (see also Case usage below). The same forms are also used as disjunctive pronouns. reflexive form (myself, ourselves, etc.). This typically refers back to a noun or pronoun (its antecedent) within the same clause (for example, She cut herself). This form is also sometimes used optionally in a non-reflexive function, as a substitute for a non-reflexive pronoun (for example, For someone like myself, . . ., This article was written by Professor Smith and myself),[1][2] though some style guides recommend avoiding such use.[3] The same reflexive forms also are used as intensive pronouns (for example, She made the dress herself). two possessive (genitive) forms, used to indicate the possessor of something (in a broad sense). The first group (my, our, etc.) are used as determiners (possessive determiners, also called possessive adjectives), coming together with a noun, as in my house. The second group (mine, ours, etc.) are used as pronouns (as in I prefer mine) or as predicate adjectives (as in this book is mine). For details see English possessive.

As noted above, most of the personal pronouns have distinct case forms[8][9] – a subjective (nominative) form and an objective (oblique, accusative) form.[n 1] In certain instances variation arises in the use of these forms. As a general rule, the subjective form is used when the pronoun is the subject of a verb, as in he kicked the ball, whereas the objective form is used as the direct or indirect object of a verb, or the object (complement) of a preposition.[8][9] For example: Sue kicked him, someone gave him the ball, Mary was with him. When used as a predicative expression, i.e. as the complement of a form of the copula verb be, the subjective form was traditionally regarded as more correct (as in this is I, it was he), but in practice the objective form is used predominantly (this is me, it was him), and the use of the subjective in such instances is normally regarded as very formal[8][9] or pedantic; it is more likely (in formal English) when followed by a relative clause (it is we who sent them to die). In some cases the subjective may even appear ungrammatical, as in *is that we in the photograph? (where us would be expected). When a pronoun is linked to other nouns or pronouns by a coordinating conjunction such as and or or, traditional grammar prescribes that the pronoun should appear in the same form as it would take if it were used alone in the same position: Jay and I will arive later (since I is used for the subject of a verb), but between you and me (since me is used for the object of a preposition). However in informal and less careful usage this rule may not be consistently followed;[10] it is common to hear Jay and me will arrive... and between you and I. The latter type (use of the subjective form in object position) is seen as an example of hypercorrection, resulting from an awareness that many instances of and me (like that in the first example) are considered to require correction to and I.[8][9] Similar deviations from grammatical norm are quite common in other situations where the pronoun does not stand alone as the subject or object, as in Who said us Yorkshiremen [grammatical: we Yorkshiremen] are tight? When a pronoun stands alone without an explicit verb or preposition, the objective form is commonly used, even when traditional grammarians might prefer the subjective: Who's sitting here? Me. (Here I might be regarded as grammatically correct, since it is short for I am (sitting here), but it would sound formal and pedantic, unless followed by am.) A particular case of this type occurs when a pronoun stands alone following the word than. Here the objective form is again predominant in informal usage[8] (they are older than us), as would be expected if than were analyzed as a preposition. However traditionally than is considered a conjunction, and so in formal and grammatically careful English the pronoun often takes the form that would appear if than were followed by a clause: they are older than we (by analogy with ...than we are), but she likes him better than me (if the intended meaning is "...than she likes me"). For more examples of some of these points, see Disjunctive pronoun.