Development of Pronouns

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Feb 25, 2011

Learning the English pronominal system is a very complex process. This table offers the general order of pronoun acquisition, however, the actual order is variable with each child. As a group, subjective pronouns, such as he, she, and they, are acquired before objective pronouns, such as him, her, and them. These are followed by possessive pronouns, such as his, her, and their, and finally, around age 5, by reflexive pronouns, such as himself, herself, and themselves.

Approximate Age in Months Pronouns
12-26 I, it (subjective and objective
27-30 My, me, mine, you
31-34 Your, she, he, yours, we
35-40 They, us, hers, his, them, her
41-46 Its, our, him, myself, yourself, ours, their, theirs
47+ Herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

Sources: Adapted from Haas & Owens (1985); Huxley (1970); Morehead & Ingram (1973); Waterman & Schatz (1982); and Wells (1985).

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