Grammatically, pronouns are words that we use in place of nouns, to avoid repeating those nouns. In this case, we’re talking about the third person singular pronouns: he, him, his, she, her, and hers. In standard English (and many other languages), third person singular pronouns are always gendered.
Cisgender (adj.): Non-trans*.
He/him/his: can indicate that the subject identifies as male.
Andrew is going to be my roommate in Gender-Neutral Housing. He is bringing the mini-fridge.
Tyler would like for us to meet him at Odegaard to study for the exam.
Todd can’t go to the movie tonight because his partner is sick.
She/her/hers: can indicate that the subject identifies as female.
Monica called me to say that she is applying to be on the ASUW Queer Student Commission.
Sarah brought her new puppy to campus!
I think Brittany left her phone on the table. Do you think this is hers?
They/them/theirs: do not indicate the subject’s gender. Functions as both singular and plural pronouns.
Carl is interested in studying abroad. They want to talk to you about what to expect.
Kris is going to the Gender Discussion Group meeting with us. We shouldn't leave without them.
Jo’s fraternity is recruiting new members. Are you interested in checking out their organization?
Other pronoun combinations can include:
Ze/hir/hirs, Co/co/cos, and Per/per/pers: do not indicate the subject’s gender.
Someone may also just wanted to be referred to only by their name: Sarah went back to Sarah’s house to take care of the puppy. Jo asked if I liked the members of Jo’s fraternity. I told Jo that they seemed like fun people.
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