2 Paragraph Practice: Who Are You?

cell phone with the word "Hello"

“You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”

That’s a familiar saying in English. But you introduce ourselves many times in many ways in your lifetime.

Often, you talk about yourself using the first person. That means you say things with I, me, my, we, us, and our.  That’s personal and informal.

Hi! I’m Yasmine. I’m your teacher! I have a lot of experience and knowledge to share with you. I know that we will have a great class together. Let’s start!

Sometimes, however (especially in some careers), you need to be more formal. For example, you might need to write a short biographical paragraph about yourself for staff page on a website or a program for an event. One way to present yourself more formally is to use the third person. That means you write about yourself as if you were another person. You use pronouns like he, his, him, she, her, hers, they, them, and their. It might feel strange at first, but sometimes it can help you look at yourself from another person’s perspective.

Try it

INSTRUCTIONS: Write a short paragraph to introduce yourself — in the third person! Follow the steps below:

1. Read this example from Arnolfo describing himself:

Arnolfo Ramos is from the Philippines. He has lived in Portland for only six months. One of his goals in life is to become a lawyer because he wants to help other people, especially immigrants, to find a happy and safe place to live and work. After he finishes ESOL at PCC, he will continue to study at a larger university until he can open his own office here in Portland. When he is not working at his local coffeeshop or in the library studying for an exam, Arnolfo enjoys hiking on Mt. Hood and spending time with his dog, Amy.

2. Answer these questions about yourself:

  • What is your name?
  • Where are you from originally?
  • How long have you been in Portland?
  • What is one of your goals? Think about your career or your life.
  • Why is that goal important to you?
  • How will you achieve that goal?
  • What do you like to do when you are not working or studying?

3. Now use your answers to these questions to write a paragraph to introduce yourself to your instructor and your classmates. Remember to write about yourself in the third person (don’t use I, me, my; use he, she, they).


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