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Him vs. His: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 19, 2024
"Him" is an object pronoun used to refer to a male subject, while "his" is a possessive pronoun indicating ownership or relation to a male subject.

Key Differences

"Him" is used as an object pronoun in sentences, meaning it is the recipient of the action. For example, in "I saw him at the store," "him" is the object of "saw." On the other hand, "his" is a possessive pronoun used to show ownership or association, as in "His car is new," where "his" indicates that the car belongs to the male subject.
"Him" cannot indicate possession, it only functions as the object of a verb or preposition. For instance, "She called him yesterday," here "him" is the object of "called." Conversely, "his" is used to modify a noun, suggesting a relationship of belonging or association, like in "His book is on the table," implying the book belongs to him.
When using "him," the focus is on the male subject as the recipient of an action or as the object of a sentence, such as in "They gave him the award." In contrast, "his" is employed to attribute ownership or a characteristic to the male subject, as in "His performance was outstanding," where "his" describes the performance associated with him.
"Him" is often used in the structure of direct and indirect objects, like in "Laura sent him a letter." Here, "him" is the indirect object receiving the letter. In contrast, "his" is typically found before a noun, acting as a determiner, like in "His ideas were innovative," where "his" determines who the ideas belong to.
In questions and statements, "him" serves as the answer to 'whom?' or 'to whom?', for instance, "Whom did you call?" "I called him." Whereas "his" is used to answer questions like 'whose?', as in "Whose jacket is this?" "It's his."

Comparison Chart

Grammatical Role

Object pronoun
Possessive pronoun

Function in a Sentence

Serves as the recipient of an action
Indicates ownership or association

Position in a Sentence

Usually follows a verb or preposition
Precedes a noun

Indication of Possession

Does not indicate possession
Directly indicates possession

Example Usage

"They saw him at the event."
"His opinion was well received."

Him and His Definitions


A pronoun referring to a previously mentioned male person or animal.
I will give him the message.


Applied in contexts where a male's ownership or association is emphasized.
His skills in chess are remarkable.


Utilized in sentences where the male is the recipient of an action.
They blamed him for the mistake.


Utilized to indicate that a particular quality belongs to a male.
His work is always thorough.


Applied in the context of directing action towards a male subject.
The teacher asked him a question.


Used in front of a noun to show a male's possession.
His house is at the end of the street.


Used to refer to a male as the object of a verb.
She was looking for him.


Employed to demonstrate a male's relationship with something.
His attitude has improved.


Employed as the object of a preposition referring to a male.
This gift is for him.


A possessive pronoun used to signify that something belongs to or is related to a male.
His car is parked outside.


A male
The dog is a him.


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


Can 'his' be used for females?

No, 'his' is exclusively used for males.

Does 'his' always come before a noun?

Yes, 'his' is typically used before a noun.

What is 'him' classified as in grammar?

'Him' is an object pronoun.

Is 'him' used to show possession?

No, 'him' does not show possession.

Can 'him' be a subject pronoun?

No, 'him' is not used as a subject pronoun.

Can 'his' refer to objects?

Yes, if the objects are associated with a male, like "His computer."

Can 'him' start a sentence?

Rarely, unless in a command like "Him, I trust."

Can 'him' be used for animals?

Yes, if the animal is male.

Is 'him' appropriate in formal writing?

Yes, 'him' is appropriate in both formal and informal contexts.

Are 'him' and 'his' interchangeable?

No, they serve different grammatical functions.

Is 'his' a pronoun or an adjective?

'His' is a possessive pronoun.

Does the use of 'his' depend on context?

Yes, it must refer to a previously identified male subject.

Is 'his' used in questions?

Yes, in questions like "Is this his book?"

How is 'him' used in a sentence?

As an object, like in "I saw him."

Can 'his' be omitted in a sentence?

Not if it leads to ambiguity or loss of clarity in possession.

Do 'him' and 'his' change in plural form?

Yes, they change to 'them' and 'their' respectively.

Can 'him' follow a preposition?

Yes, like in "We walked with him."

Does 'his' always imply ownership?

It implies ownership or association.

Is 'his' used for inanimate objects?

Only if the object is associated with a male subject.

Is 'him' used in indirect speech?

Yes, like in "She told him the news."
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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