Conversation would be very difficult without pronouns. On the left are some sentences without pronouns; on the right are the same sentences with pronouns.

Steven is an accountant. Steven has a wife named Michele. Steven has two dogs. Steven loves Steven’s wife and Steven’s dogs.

Steven is an accountant. He has a wife named Michele. He has two dogs. Steven loves his wife and his dogs.

Makes quite a difference, doesn’t it? Here are the pronouns in Japanese.

they (masc)
they (fem)

While English uses pronouns to eliminate repetition, Japanese does not use its pronouns as much. Instead, if the pronoun is understood, it is simply omitted. If you need to make a subject or object explicit, then you repeat the person’s name. Thus, when you want to say “Nakamura-san eats sushi. He drinks water,” you do not need the word “he” in the second sentence.

nakamurasanga sushiwo tabemasuza
Nakamura-san sushi eats.
mizuwo nomimasuza
water drinks.

If you need to unambiguously refer to Nakamura-san again, you use his name with the ha (topic) particle.

Culture Note

You will rarely use anata to refer to others; instead, call them by name. If you are talking to a teacher, do not under any circumstances use the pronoun. Instead, use sensei or the teacher’s full name, such as izumisensei.