First Person: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what first person is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on first person, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is first person?

According to Your Dictionary, first person is a point of view or perspective that belongs to the person who is speaking. This is called the first-person narrative perspective or first-person point of view. The first person pronouns are I, me, and mine, as opposed to the third-person pronouns he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves. Second person pronouns include you, yours, yourself, and your. Plural first-person pronouns include our and ours. You might hear the term first person in reference to a first person shooter game in which the camera is from the perspective of the main character. This is a great way to think of first person: it aligns you with the narrator or main character of the word. First person narrators are often used in fiction by a storyteller. Some examples of this include The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald which is told from the perspective of Nick Carraway, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which is told from the perspective of Scout Finch. Other authors like Faulkner and Markus Zusak also use the first person. As opposed to a third-person point of view or second-person point of view, a first-person narrator allows us to hear a character’s thoughts through more than just dialogue. The genre of work aligns us with the interior monologue of an important character, which gives them credibility, and is often used in detective fiction. This is often used in autobiographical writing and fiction writing, but is rarely used in academic writing. First person writing also uses the first person verb form.

Many different languages also contain words that mean first person. You may notice that some of these translations of first person look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of first person is provided by Word Sense

  •  Catalan: primera persona‎ (fem.)
  •  Polish: pierwsza osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Tagalog: unang panauhan‎
  •  Czech: první osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Icelandic: fyrsta persóna‎ (fem.)
  •  French: première personne‎ (fem.)
  •  Hebrew: מְדַבֵּר‎, גּוּף רִאשׁוֹן‎
  •  Dutch: eerste persoon‎ (masc.)
  •  Macedonian: пр́во ли́це‎ (neut.)
  •  Navajo: yáłtiʼígíí‎
  •  Albanian: veta e parë‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: prima persona‎
  •  Japanese: 一人称‎ (いちにんしょう, ichininshō)
  •  Mandarin: 第一人稱‎, 第一人称‎ (dìyīrénchēng)
  •  Korean: 일인칭‎
  •  Russian: пе́рвое лицо́‎ (neut.)
  •  Greek: πρώτο πρόσωπο‎ (neut.)
  •  Romanian: persoana întâi‎ (fem.), persoana primă‎ (fem.)
  •  Arabic: مُتَكَلِّم‎ (masc.)
  •  German: erste Person‎ (fem.)
  •  Estonian: esimene pööre‎
  •  Danish: første person‎
  •  Spanish: primera persona‎ (fem.)
  •  Lithuanian: pirmasis asmuo‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovak: prvá osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Bengali: উত্তম পুরুষ‎ (uttôm purush)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: ciad phearsa‎
  •  Sanskrit: उत्तमपुरुष‎
  •  Finnish: ensimmäinen persoona‎
  •  Portuguese: primeira pessoa‎ (fem.)
  •  Norwegian: første person‎ (masc.)
  •  Indonesian: orang pertama‎
  •  Telugu: ఉత్తమ పురుషము‎
  •  Norman: preunmié pèrsonne‎ (fem.)

What are examples of first person?

First person can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of first person that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use. 

  • I ate the cookies that were cooling on the tray. They smelled so good that I could not wait for them to cool down and had to taste one. 
  • We asked for clarity on the subject of a sentence our teacher wrote on the board. We did not understand what she was trying to tell us about the assignment.
  • Me and my dog traveled through the American South. It was an amazing road trip, and it allowed my dog and I to bond.
  • My friend and I wrote a script together. It is a murder mystery set in a creepy old school. We had a lot of fun writing it and learned a lot about screenplays and story structure. 
  • In July, we are going to the mountains. We are taking a month off of work with our saved vacation time to travel to different national parks around the country.
  • This weekend I plan on going to the grocery store, prepping some ingredients for the week, and getting brunch with a good friend on Sunday morning.  It’s going to be great!

What are other literary techniques and devices?

There are many different literary and grammatical techniques and devices that you might see when you are reading prose or poetry. It is important to recognize these devices because they are always used for some purpose. Knowing these devices can help readers understand the author’s deeper meaning and why they are using such a device. Take a look at the below list of literary devices from Reedsy and see how many you know! Then try researching ones that are unfamiliar to you. 

  •  Simile
  •  Malapropism
  •  Hypophora
  •  Synecdoche
  •  Symbolism
  •  Personification
  •  Euphemism
  •  Oxymoron
  •  Onomatopoeia
  •  Hyperbole
  •  Anaphora
  •  Anastrophe
  •  Satire
  •  Allegory
  •  Isocolon
  •  Frame story
  •  Tragicomedy
  •  Chiasmus
  •  Paradox
  •  Irony
  •  Juxtaposition
  •  Litotes
  •  Repetition
  •  Cumulative sentence
  •  Flashback
  •  Metaphor
  •  Tone
  •  Imagery
  •  Point of view
  •  Motif
  •  Metonymy
  •  Archetype
  •  Anthropomorphism
  •  Polysyndeton
  •  Exposition
  •  Aphorism
  •  Dramatic irony
  •  Foreshadowing
  •  Allusion
  •  Zoomorphism
  •  Tautology
  •  Tmesis
  •  In Medias Res
  •  Soliloquy
  •  Anachronism
  •  Colloquialism

Overall, first person is a perspective that uses pronouns I, me, mine, us, our, and ours. As opposed to second person POV or third person POV, first person aligns us with a protagonist and against an antagonist.


  1. Literary Devices | Reedsy
  2. first person: meaning, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Examples of Writing in First Person | Your Dictionary