First, second and third person writing

First, second and third person writing

Work can be written in the first, second or third person. This is who is telling the story.

  • First person means “I” or “we”. The narrator of the account will be a character in the work. We will also tend to relate to and sympathize with the character’s feelings because of this.
    Example: “I couldn’t run fast enough the day of the race because my mom said I could win if I set my mind to it. She was my biggest fan.”
  • Second person means “you”. Stories are not usually written in the second person. Second person is often used in instructions. The written work speaks directly to the reader.
    Example: “You will win the race if you run fast enough. Keep your mind on what you’re doing and realize you’ve trained for this day.”
  • Third person means “he”, “she”, “it” or “they”. The narrator of the story will usually be the writer. The text may give many different characters’ viewpoints. Some stories focus on one character, the hero or heroine, and we usually relate to and sympathize with them more than others.
    Example: “Pete stayed positive. He knew he’d trained hard and long for this race. Besides, his mom sat in the stands watching. She was his biggest fan and he could not let her down. He quieted his nerves as best as he could and concentrated on what he had to do.”

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