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Writing 3 - First Person Narrative
"I have a new puppy." From whose point of view is this statement - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

Writing 3 - First Person Narrative

Earlier quizzes have touched upon the fact that English is a beautiful language allowing for creativity to flourish. One of the 8 parts of speech is pronouns. Pronouns take the place of nouns and they help in communicating with the utmost economy of words. Linked to pronouns intimately are the terms first person, second person and third person.

First person uses the pronouns I and WE and other pronouns that are related to these. Second person uses the pronouns YOU, YOUR and YOURS. Third person uses the pronouns HE, SHE and IT. These are grammatical requirements. First person assumes importance when you use it to write.

If you have read many detective novels you will have found that the story is told with the detective as the main character who solves the murder. Did you notice that in some novels you are able to empathise more with the detective as the story is told in the first person? When the detective finds an important clue it is as if you yourself have found the clue. Why is this? Let's see...

One of the reasons for this feeling is that throughout the story the word ‘I’ is used and this makes you feel that you are the detective and it is you who is solving the murder. Everything that happens in the story is from your perspective and you almost live the story. Often, you can relate much better because the first person narrative makes you think about reliving your own experiences and your interest in the story is heightened.

First person narrative is popular with both writers and readers. However, first person narrative has its limitations in the sense that only one character’s point of view is highlighted. Can you think of novels that are examples of first person narrative? Take this quiz and see if you'd like to be a first person narrative reader or writer.

1.
Which pronouns are used in first person narrative?
'He', 'she' and 'it'.
'I', 'me' and 'my'.
'You', 'your' and 'yours'.
'Him', 'her' and 'it'.
Writers use 'he', 'she', 'it' or 'him', 'her', 'it' when referring to a person, place, thing, or idea in the third person narrative. Writers use 'you', 'your' or 'yours' when referring to a person, place, thing, or idea in the second person narrative
2.
How would you describe the narrator in a story which uses a first-person narrative?
The narrator is a character in the story.
The narration addresses the audience.
The story emphasizes the hero's perspective.
The narrator is not involved in the story.
A narrative where a story is told by one character at a time is a first person narrative. The narrator is a character who speaks for and about themselves
3.
Which of these sentences is not in first-person?
M S Dhoni is the captain of the Indian cricket team.
I am the captain of the Indian cricket team.
I am the wicket keeper in the Indian cricket team.
I want to play cricket for India.
When a story about Indian cricket is told through M S Dhoni, then it is in third person. The other options are in first person
4.
Which of these sentences has a third-person narrative?
I want to go fishing in the lake.
As far as I can see India is going to lose the cricket match.
We were stuck in a huge traffic jam.
Kaushik took his uncle to the hospital.
The sentences in the other options represent a first person narrative. Remember both 'I' and 'We' can be used in first person narration
5.
Which of these sentences has a third-person narrative?
We wish we had a fast car.
He thought the weather in Bangalore was really cool.
If we had a house, we would let you stay with us.
We will go to the movies tonight.
The sentences in the other options represent a first person narrative. Remember 'We' is used in first person narration
6.
Which of the following statements is false?
A third person narrative is told from all of the characters observations, thoughts, and feelings.
In first person point-of-view, the story is told in the first person.
In first person narrative, the character may not have knowledge of all the events.
First person point of view is not reader-friendly.
First person narrative is always reader-friendly as the reader empathises with the character
7.
The perspective from which a story is told is known as what?
Narration.
Hyperbole.
Idiom.
Persuasion.
The action or process of narrating a story is known as narration. Narration can be in first person, second person or third person
8.
Which of these statements is false?
First person narrative is reader friendly.
First person narrative is intimate.
Stories told in first person attracts young readers.
First person narrative uses the pronoun he, she.
First person narratives use 'I' or 'We'. Since the story is told in the first person the reader empathises with the character and becomes intimate with the character. The writer uses first person narration to befriend the reader. Because of the first person narration being intimate and friendly, such stories attract young readers
9.
Which of these statements is false?
First person narrative uses the pronouns I and We.
First person narrative uses the pronoun You.
Autobiography is an example of first person narrative.
Biography is not an example of first person narrative.
You is used in the second person narrative
10.
Which sentence is in the first-person narrative?
Mustaq walked his pet dog.
I have a new puppy.
Laksmi likes to dance.
The tiger cub was lost.
First person narrative uses the personal pronoun 'I'
Author:  V T Narendra

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