Sentence Sense home   part one index parts 2 part 4 part 4
blank     chapter #

13.5 Pronouns: Subject and Object Forms of Pronouns

A personal pronoun changes form when its role in a sentence changes.

Don't make faces at me now because I am trying to be serious.
In this sentence, the first person singular pronoun appears in two forms because it must play two different roles: object of a preposition (at me) and subject (I am trying). The chart above separates personal pronouns into subject and object forms. Use that chart as you do the exercises below.

Use the subject form for pronouns playing the role of subject in any clause.

She will graduate tomorrow.
My brother and I are going to the ceremony.
She hopes that we will stay for the reception.

The second example above show that the rule holds even with compound subjects. The third example shows that the rule holds for dependent as well as independent clauses.

Application 4      Application 5

In formal speech and writing, when a form of to be acts as a single-word verb or a main verb, any pronoun that acts as its completer will be in the subject form:

The Boltons weren't the ones who visited last year, even though you seem to think it was they.
"Hello, is this Mr. Bolton?" "Yes, this is he."

If these sentences sound strange to you, it's because informal English is loosening up on this use of the subject form. In formal writing, however, these pronoun forms are correct.

Use the object form for pronouns playing any role other than subject in a sentence.

The teacher led me to believe that the test would be postponed.
Brad says the conversation gave Tony and him the same idea.

The second example above shows that the rule holds even with compound structures.

Application 6      Application 7

To decide which pronoun form to use, ask yourself, "Is this pronoun the subject of a clause?" If so, use the subject form. If not, use the object form.

Remember that when you compound a pronoun with any other word, you should not change the pronoun's form.

Probably the Knicks game tonight will make me happy.
Probably the Knicks game tonight will make Frieda and me happy.

Application 8

home chapter 13  

Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15