Third Person Point of View

This page was first published on the 9th of March, 2017 and last updated on the 9th of March, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

When a story is narrated in the Third Person Point of View, the narrator is not a character in the story. He or she narrates the story from the perspective of an onlooker. The third person pronouns “he, she, it and they” are used.

Example:

It was a bright, sunny afternoon. Rachael lay relaxing in the hammock at the back of her house. She was tired and drifting away into the land of fantasies.

But she was awakened by a loud buzzing sound above her head.

There are two types of Third Person Point of View:

  1. Third Person Limited Point of View

In the Third Person Limited Point of View, the narrator is able to follow the experiences and thoughts of only one character. This is usually the main character. The unfolding of events therefore is limited to only the experiences of this one character. In the Third Person Limited Point of View, the narrator does not have the liberty of jumping from place to place or from time to time, as is possible in the Third Person Omniscient Point of View.

  1. Third Person Omniscient Point of View

A story is narrated from the Third Person Omniscient Point of View when the narrator is able to move back and forth in time and space and see everywhere and into the minds of everyone. The word “omniscient” means “knowing everything”. Therefore, the narrator narrates the story as though he or she knows everything in the past, present and future. Just like in the Third Person Limited Point of View, the third person pronouns “he, she it and they” are used.

The chart below shows the three types of Subject Pronouns

 

1st Person Subject Pronoun I
2nd Person Subject Pronoun You
3rd Person Subject Pronouns He, she it, they

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