Appendix:English third-person singular pronouns

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This is a list of third-person singular pronouns which are used in English. First the common, traditional pronouns are listed: he, she, it, the singular they and periphrastic or combined forms. Then, attested gender-neutral pronouns are listed. Proposed but unattested pronouns are listed separately.

nominative (subject) accusative (object) possessive adjective possessive pronoun reflexive
Traditional pronouns
masculine he laughed I kissed him his head hurts that is his he feeds himself
feminine she laughed I kissed her her head hurts that is hers she feeds herself
neuter it laughed I kissed it its head hurts that is its it feeds itself
singular "they" they laughed I kissed them their head hurts that is theirs they feed themself / themselves
Combined forms
"he or she" he or she laughed I kissed him or her his or her head hurts that is his or hers he or she feeds him or herself, himself or herself
"he/she" he/she laughed I kissed him/her his/her head hurts that is his/hers he/she feeds him/herself, himself/herself
"she/he" she/he laughed I kissed her/him her/his head hurts that is hers/his she/he feeds her/himself, herself/himself
"s/he", "(s)he" s/he, (s)he laughed
Invented pronouns
Elverson[1] ey laughed I kissed em eir head hurts that is eirs ey feeds emself
Spivak (original)[2] e laughed I kissed em eir head hurts that is eirs e feeds emself
Spivak variants ey / e laughed I kissed em eir head hurts that is eirs ey / e feeds emself / eirself
s/he and hir[3] s/he laughed I kissed hir hir head hurts that is hirs s/he feeds hirself
sie and hir[4] sie laughed I kissed hir hir head hurts that is hirs sie feeds hirself
ze and hir[5] ze laughed I kissed hir hir head hurts that is hirs ze feeds hirself
per[6] per laughed I kissed per per / pers head hurts that is pers per feeds perself
co[7][8] co laughed I kissed co co’s head hurts that is co’s co feeds coself
thon[9][10] thon laughed I kissed thon thons head hurts that is thon's thon feeds thonself
"heorshe" heorshe laughed I kissed himorher hisorher head hurts heorshe feeds himorherself


  1. ^ "Transgender" pronouns coined by Christine M. Elverson of Skokie, Illinois, to win a contest in 1975. (Black, Judie, "Ey has a word for it", Chicago Tribune, 1975-08-23, p. 12.). Promoted as preferable to other major contenders (sie, zie and singular they) by John Williams's Gender-neutral Pronoun FAQ (2004).
  2. ^ Popularized by LambdaMOO in 1991, based on the use of E, Ey, and Eir in The Joy of TeX by Michael Spivak (1983).
  3. ^ Used in science fiction like Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier book series.
  4. ^ First recorded use on Usenet: 1981-05-26, Chip Hitchcock, “receptors”, fa.sf-lovers[1], retrieved on 2007-01-01,
  5. ^ Example:
    1997 December 18, Kate Bornstein, My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely[2], London, New York: Routledge, LCC HQ1075.B69 1998, ISBN 9780415916738, LCCN 98134184:
  6. ^ MediaMOO's "person" gender, derived from Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time (1979), in which people of 2137 use "per" as their sole third-person pronoun.
  7. ^ Coined by feminist writer Mary Orovan in 1970; in common usage in intentional communities of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.Baron, Dennis, "The Epicene Pronouns", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
    Kingdon, Jim, "Gender-free Pronouns in English", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
  8. ^ "Skyhouse Community – Bylaws", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
    "Bylaws – Sandhill – 1982", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
    "Bylaws – East Wind – 1974", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
    "Bylaws – Twin Oaks", URL accessed on 2010-06-22.
  9. ^ proposed in 1884 July 23, C. C. Converse, “A New Pronoun”, The Critic and Good Literature, number 31, page 55: 
  10. ^ 1889 November, C. Crozat Converse, “That Desired Impersonal Pronoun”, The Writer, volume 3, number 2, pages 247-248: