This form was standard in Old Egyptian. By Middle Egyptian, it had been replaced by ntk, and was retained only as an archaism. When used thus as an archaism in Middle Egyptian, it could be masculine or feminine, even though in Old Egyptian it was strictly masculine.
Unlike the suffix pronouns and dependent pronouns, the independent pronouns are not tied to any other element of the sentence. Nevertheless, the meaning of an independent pronoun depends on context:
After an infinitive, it is the subject of the verb.
Before a noun, its meaning can be ambiguous:
In the first and second person, it could be the subject of a noun phrase.
Alternatively, in all persons, it can be the predicate of a noun phrase.
If the noun is a participle, then in all persons it could be either the subject or the predicate of a noun phrase.
If the demonstrative pronoun pw is placed between the pronoun and the noun, the pronoun is definitely the predicate.
Before an adjective, in the first person only, it is the subject of an adjectival phrase.
When the independent pronoun is the subject it may, but does not always, indicate an emphasised subject.