Його/її/їх vs. нього/неї/них
While trying to master Ukrainian pronouns in all the different cases, I came across some places that said that його, її, and їх turned into нього/неї/них in some cases. Would somebody be able to give some more specific examples of when to use the second set of 3rd person pronouns, as well as some more general examples of pronouns in different cases?
You asked an interesting question, and quite complicated. I'll try to answer...
The pronouns Його/її/їх we use together with an object, and without it.
Його робота - his job;
її сукня - her dress;
їхня кішка (feminine gender) - their cat, їхній син (masculine gender) - their son, їхнє вікно (neuter gender) - their window.
Ми спитали його - we asked him;
я запросив її на побачення - I invited her on a date;
я спитав їх котра година - I asked them what time it is now.
When його/її/їх are used with a preposition, they change to нього/неї/них:
Я прийшов до нього - I came to him;
Пісня про неї - a song about her;
Я хвилююся за них - I worry for them.
This does not apply, however, when його/її/їх function as possessive pronouns, e.g. в його руках (in his hands), до її батьків (to her parents), as the preposition applies to the noun, and not to the possessive pronoun.
I hope this clarifies :)
Thank you! Does the preposition rule still apply with У __ є to mean "have?"
Yes, it does; sorry, I forgot to write about it:
У нього є машина - he has a car
У неї є сукня - she has a dress
У них є цуценята - they have puppies
Hello! Just wanted to point out that for "somebody has something" you can also use structure with actual word "to have" - "мати". For example, Він має машину - He has a car Вона має сукню - She has a dress Вони мають цуценят - They have puppies.
"У _ є" is accepted but this one is preferred)
I think його/її/ їх is used either to indicate that person possess something or person is a direct object of verb. Нього/неї/них is used when persons are indirect objects of verbs. In both Ukrainian and English prepositions are placed before indirect objects, as it was mentioned by Parubok.