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Him vs. His: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 3, 2024
"Him" is a pronoun used to refer to a male object of a verb or preposition, while "His" is a possessive pronoun indicating something belongs to or is related to a male.
Him vs. His

Key Differences

"Him" is used in sentences as an object pronoun, referring to a male individual previously mentioned. "His" is a possessive pronoun used to attribute ownership or association to a male individual.
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Feb 03, 2024
"Him" is typically found after verbs or prepositions, indicating the action is directed towards him. "His" is used before nouns to indicate possession or a descriptive relationship.
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Feb 03, 2024
In the sentence "I gave the book to him," "him" is the recipient of the action. In "His book is on the table," "his" shows that the book belongs to the male individual.
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Feb 03, 2024
While "him" is often stressed in a sentence to emphasize the object, "his" is usually not stressed, as it primarily functions to show possession.
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"Him" remains unchanged regardless of its position or context in a sentence. "His" can also imply a descriptive relationship, as in "His work is renowned," where it describes something associated with him.
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Comparison Chart

Grammatical Function

Object pronoun
Possessive pronoun
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Sentence Position

Follows verbs and prepositions
Precedes nouns
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Indicates

Refers to a male individual
Ownership or association related to a male
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Pronunciation

Often stressed
Usually not stressed
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Contextual Use

Remains unchanged
Can imply possession or a descriptive relationship
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Him and His Definitions

Him

It is used to indicate the male recipient of an action.
She handed the letter to him.
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Jan 12, 2024

His

It can describe characteristics or qualities of a male.
His intelligence is well-known.
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Him

"Him" is employed after a preposition referring to a male.
The gift was for him.
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His

It is used to describe something associated with a male.
His performance was outstanding.
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Him

"Him" refers to a male individual as the object of an action.
The teacher asked him to answer the question.
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His

"His" indicates possession or belonging to a male individual.
His car is parked outside.
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Him

It serves as an indirect object in sentences.
I told him the story.
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His

"His" precedes a noun to indicate male ownership.
His house is at the end of the street.
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Him

"Him" can be emphasized to highlight the object.
It was him who solved the puzzle.
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His

"His" is used in expressions of relationships.
His sister is my classmate.
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Him

A male
The dog is a him.
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His

Used as a modifier before a noun
His boots.
His plans.
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Him

A masculine pronoun; he as a grammatical object.
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His

Belonging to him.
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Him

With dative effect or as an indirect object.
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His

Belonging to a person of unspecified gender.
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Him

Following a preposition.
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His

(obsolete) Its; belonging to it. (Now only when implying personification.)
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Him

With accusative effect or as a direct object.
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His

(archaic) Used as a genitive marker in place of ’s after a noun, especially a masculine noun ending in -s, to express the possessive case.
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Jan 12, 2024

Him

Used reflexively: (to) himself.
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His

That which belongs to him; the possessive case of he, used without a following noun.
The decision was his to live with.
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Him

With nominative effect: he, especially as a predicate after be, or following a preposition.
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His

Alternative spelling of His
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Him

Alternative case form of Him
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His

Belonging or pertaining to him; - used as a pronominal adjective or adjective pronoun; as, tell John his papers are ready; formerly used also for its, but this use is now obsolete.
No comfortable star did lend his light.
Who can impress the forest, bid the treeUnfix his earth-bound root?
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Jan 12, 2024

Him

(informal) A male person or animal.
I think this bird is a him, but it may be a her.
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His

The possessive of he; as, the book is his.
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Him

Them. See Hem.
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Him

The objective case of he. See He.
Him that is weak in the faith receive.
Friends who have given him the most sympathy.
I never saw but Humphrey, duke of Gloster,Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
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Jan 12, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is it grammatically correct to start a sentence with "him"?

Typically, "him" is not used to start a sentence as it is an object pronoun.
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Can "his" be used for females?

No, "his" is specifically used for males. For females, "her" or "hers" is used.
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Can "his" be used without a following noun?

Usually, "his" is followed by a noun, but it can stand alone in some cases.
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Can "his" refer to something non-physical?

Yes, "his" can refer to non-physical attributes, like "his thoughts."
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Is "him" used in formal and informal contexts alike?

Yes, "him" is appropriate in both formal and informal contexts.
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Is "him" always an object in a sentence?

Yes, "him" is used as an object pronoun in sentences.
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Does the meaning of "him" change in questions?

No, "him" retains its function as an object pronoun in questions.
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Can "his" denote something temporary?

Yes, "his" can denote temporary possession, like "his seat."
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How is "him" used in passive constructions?

In passive constructions, "him" serves as the object receiving the action, like "He was told by her."
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Are there any exceptions to using "him" as an object?

"Him" is consistently used as an object pronoun without exceptions.
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Feb 03, 2024

Can "his" be used in possessive pronoun contractions?

No, "his" does not form contractions like "it's" or "that's."
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Feb 03, 2024

Is "him" used differently in British and American English?

No, the use of "him" is the same in both British and American English.
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Feb 03, 2024

Can "him" be replaced with "he" in a sentence?

No, "he" is a subject pronoun and cannot replace "him," the object pronoun.
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Is "his" used in all tenses?

Yes, "his" is used across all tenses without change.
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Does "his" change form in plural contexts?

No, "his" remains the same regardless of singular or plural contexts.
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Can "his" indicate a general possession?

Yes, "his" can be used for general possession, like "his rights."
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Is "his" used in idiomatic expressions?

Yes, "his" appears in idioms, like "his bark is worse than his bite."
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Does the pronunciation of "him" change in a sentence?

The pronunciation of "him" may vary slightly for emphasis but generally remains the same.
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Feb 03, 2024

Can "his" function as a subject in a sentence?

No, "his" is a possessive pronoun and cannot function as a subject.
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How is "him" used in imperative sentences?

"Him" can be used in imperative sentences as an object, like "Tell him to come."
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Feb 03, 2024

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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