Personal Pronouns, First and Second Person

Definition:  A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun.  "It is red."  "It" is a pronoun referring back to something.

A personal pronoun is a pronoun that replaces a noun referring to a person "My name is Bob. I will learn Greek as well as possible." "I" is a personal pronoun referring back to me, Bob.

Pronouns can be first person, second person, or third person.

There is no gender in the first or second person.  "I" or "you" can be either a woman or a man.  The third person pronoun has gender, but I will talk about this in another lesson.


First Person


Second Person

nom. sg. ἐγώ I σύ you
gen. sg. μου (ἐμοῦ) my σου (σοῦ) your
dat. sg. μοι (ἐμοί) to me σοι (σοί) to you
acc. sg. με (ἐμέ) me σε (σέ) you
nom. pl. ἡμεῖς we   ὑμεῖς you all
gen. pl. ἡμῶν our ὑμῶν your
dat. pl. ἡμῖν to us ὑμῖν to you
acc. pl. ἡμᾶς us ὑμᾶς you


The forms in parentheses are emphatic forms.  So then:

Matt. 5:11 μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ διώξωσιν καὶ εἴπωσιν πᾶν πονηρὸν καθ’ ὑμῶν ψευδόμενοι ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ.

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.

Because of Jesus' use of ἐμοῦ, we could translate this using an emphatic typeface, as in: 

...on account of me.

Jesus is emphasizing, with ἐμοῦ rather than μου, the importance of loyalty to him.

Because bold-face and italic fonts are not usually used in Bible translations, the contrast between ἐμοῦ and μου is usually difficult to bring into English.


First and second person plurals are identical, except that the first person forms all begin with ἡ while the second person forms start with .  To keep from getting confused, I remember that the in the second person forms rhymes with "you" in English...which reminds me that the forms are all about "you".

Except in the nominative, first and second person singulars are also identical except for the first letter.  μου and σου.

You may find that you already know most or all of these words from your translation work so far. If not, you may prefer to simply memorize this paradigm.