Bad Grammar? Do Me Care?

pronouns3OK, I’ve had it with people who misuse pronouns. I’ve vowed many times to stop correcting, but the teacher in me (in I? — ha ha) persists. So, here again, for those who care or for those who’d rather I shut up, are some simple-to-follow rules about pronouns. Skip any parts that are either too obtuse or too simple. Let’s start improving our speech NOW!

To begin with, there are four kinds of pronouns – subject, object and two possessives. We’ll deal with only the first two in this post; I have enough headaches without discussing the possessives.pronounschart

Subject pronouns serve as the subject (duh) of the sentence, like I, you, she, we, it and he. The following sentences demonstrate their proper use.

I had a strange dream.
She is dancing the cha cha.
It is part of my education.
We went to a concert.

Notice something? Look carefully: subject pronouns are always at the BEGINNING of the sentence. There’s one minor exception, we’ll come to that later.pronouns1

The second kind of pronoun is the object pronoun, like me, you (uh, oh, that’s confusing!) her, us, it and him. They are called OBJECT pronouns because they are the objects of some action. Here are some examples:

Sock it to me.
Sock it to her!
Do you hear him?
I looked for them.

Again…notice something? Object pronouns are almost always at the END of the sentence. Now, confusion mostly arises when a second noun or pronoun is used as in: Give that ticket to George and ___ I? Me? Hmmm how shall we discover the right pronoun? Well, there are TWO clues. First, it is a pronoun that appears at the END of the sentence. Secondly, take George away. The sentence then becomes “Give that ticket to ___.” Obviously, the correct answer is ME! So the general rule is: if there are TWO and you’re not sure, test each one:pronounswith2

_____ and Marilyn are my best friends… Again, 2 clues: beginning of sentence and leave out Marilyn. Try: She is my best friend. Her is my best friend. No contest.

And by the way, the lyricist might write “the stars shine for you and I” but that’s NOT CORRECT ENGLISH!!! Stars don’t shine for I; they shine for ME!

That’s all for now. As for the exception I noted about subject pronouns, that will be the subject (ha ha) of another blog, along with possessive pronouns.

5 Comments

  1. Me agree with she. 😛

  2. Linda Levine

    Fun column! instructive and illustrative! Thanks to superior education in the forties in the public schools of New York City,my grammar is pretty good.
    I’m remembering some lyrics from “Pajama Game” The song “Her Is”: ” Her is the kinda sorta girl…..
    “Her is running away, but him is gonna get her yet!”

  3. Rita Seaton

    LOVE it – I find the use – or misuse – of Me and I is the biggest culprit….. soooooo annoying…

  4. Larry

    Good job. I and Linda really liked it. Me heard on the radio a while ‘we found the need for that is unnecessary’. Can you top that?!!

    >

    • Oh, I can top that …. don’t get me started!

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