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Chapter 8 - Pronouns English 67 Professor Jean Garrett
Pronoun Case Case is the form a pronoun takes as it fills a position in a sentence. Like nouns, pronouns can function as either subjects or objects in a sentence. When a pronoun is used as a subject, use the subjective case. Subject pronouns perform the action in a sentence. When a pronoun is used as an object, use the objective case. Object pronouns receive an action or complete a thought.
Subjective Case Pronouns Subjective-case pronouns can fill three possible positions in a sentence. In the subject position, subjective case pronouns are easy to spot at the beginning of a sentence. I like horror movies. You are my best friend. He is the student in the my history class. We found the wallet in the parking lot. They are the students with the highest honors. Who is going the movies? SingularPluralRelative 1 st personIwewho, whoever 2 nd personyou 3 rd personhe, she, ittheywho, whoever
Subjective Case Pronouns Some subjective case pronouns will appear as the subject of a second clause in the sentence. Emily is the student who won the scholarship. I think whoever wants more should say so now. Other subjective case pronouns will appear as the subject of a second clause with an implied verb when making comparisons using than or as. Bob is taller than he (is). (not him) They are playing as hard as we (are). (not us)
Subjective Case Pronouns Still other subjective case pronouns will refer back to the subject of the sentence when they follow forms of the verb to be (is, are, was, were, am) in the sentence. It was she who answered the phone. The players were they. Finally, some subjective case pronouns refer back to earlier subjects without referring back through a verb. The runners, Maria, Tina, Sara and I, are tired after the race.
Objective Case Pronouns Objective-case pronouns can also fill three possible positions in a sentence. In the object position, objective case pronouns come after the verb. A direct object pronoun answers the question what or whom in connection with the verb. The instructor taught me to dance. [Whom did the instructor teach?] He gave it to Robin. [What did he give to Robin?] SingularPluralRelative 1 st personmeuswhom, whomever 2 nd personyou 3 rd personhim, her, itthemwhom, whomever
Objective Case Pronouns An indirect object pronoun answers the question to whom in connection with the verb. Alice gave him the letter. [To whom did Alice give the letter?] The professor told us the plan. [To whom did the professor tell the plan?] Objective-case pronouns may also be objects of a preposition. José is standing by her. We left with them. Objective-case pronouns can also refer back to object words or object pronouns. At the animal shelter, the firemen helped the victims—the animals and us. Since the lawyer questioned its practices, the company had the statistics ready for them—the board members and him.
Techniques for Using the Correct Pronoun Case Four considerations are useful for deciding which pronoun case to use. Compound Subject Elements Compound Object Elements Choosing Who or Whom Let’s = Let us
Compound Subject Elements If you have a compound subject element, consider only the pronoun part. Melissa and (she, her) will join us at the party. Say the sentence by dropping “Melissa and.” Her will join us at the party. [This sounds incorrect.] She will join us at the party. [This sounds correct.] Therefore, “Melissa and she will join us at the party” is correct. Note: Subject pronouns are I, we, who, you, he, she, it, and they.
Compound Object Elements If you have a compound object element consider only the pronoun part. They will visit you and (I, me). Say the sentence by dropping “you and.” They will visit I. [This sounds incorrect.] They will visit me. [This sounds correct.] Therefore, “They will visit you and me” is correct. Note: Object pronouns are me, us, whom, you, him, her, it, and them.
Choosing Who or Whom If the next word after who or whom in a statement is a verb, the word choice will be who. The person who works hardest will win. If the next word after who or whom in a statement is a noun or pronoun, the word choice will be whom. The person whom we like the best will win.
Choosing Who or Whom To use this technique, you must also ignore qualifier clauses such as It seems and I feel. The candidate who, we think, worked the hardest won. [Ignore the qualifier clause we think.]
Let’s = Let us Let’s is made up of the words let and us and means “You let us.” When you select a pronoun to follow it, consider the two original words and select the object pronoun—me. Let’s you and me go to town. In other words: You let us, you and me, go to town.
Apply the Formulas subject pronouns = I, we, who, you, he, she, it, they object pronouns = me, us, whom, you, him, her, it, them Apply the following four formulas: Subject pronoun + verb Verb + object pronoun Preposition + object pronoun Noun + object pronoun + noun (Subj. pronoun)
Four Formulas subject pronouns = I, we, who, you, he, she, it, they object pronouns = me, us, whom, you, him, her, it, them Subject pronoun + verb You won the race Verb + object pronoun Leticia found him in the park. Preposition + object pronoun Mike was doubtful about them. Noun + object pronoun + noun (subj. pronoun) (subj. pronoun) The actor whom we wanted was not available.