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Audience

Audience

Depending on the purpose of your writing, your audience may change. As your audience changes, the language that you use, especially the pronouns you use, in your writing should also change. For example, when telling a personal story in a letter, you will utilize a lot of personal pronouns such as "I" or "me." In contrast, when writing instructions for how to do something, you would use pronouns like "you" to address the person following the instructions.

There are three main types of audience: first-person, second-person, and third-person.

First-Person Pronouns

Contexts: personal story, letter, journal

  Subject Object

Possesive

Adjective

Possessive

Pronoun

Singular I me my mine
Plural we us our ours

Second-Person Pronouns

Contexts: instructions, steps

  Subject Object

Possesive

Adjective

Possessive

Pronoun

Singular you you your yours
Plural you you your yours

Second-Person Pronouns

Contexts: third-person story, academic

  Subject Object

Possesive

Adjective

Possessive

Pronoun

Singular he/she/it him/her/it his/her/its his/hers/its
Plural they them their  theirs

Things to Remember

You vs. Your

"You" is the subject/object pronoun and does not come before nouns. "Your" is a possessive pronoun and is placed before a noun.

For example:

You should always ask someone to read over your essay before submitting it.

You, in the example sentence, is referring to the subject of the sentence, the person who should be having their paper read over.

Your, on the other hand, is connected to the noun essay. It is showing that the essay is the possession of the subject, you, in the sentence.

Pronoun Reference

Your pronouns need to stay the same. If you start with one pronoun, you should not change it. Also, make sure your pronoun matches the noun it refers to.