Resources for Pronoun Case


Writing Lab PowerPoints

Rules for Pronoun Case

Three PETs – Pronoun Editing Tricks

PRONOUN EDITING TRICK 1:      When a pronoun is part of a compound group—for, example, her and her husband, delete and and the other person.  Then read the sentence.

Incorrect: Reita said her and her husband will donate the dental hygiene items for the children’s travel packets. [Reita said her will donate the dental hygiene items . . . .]

Correct: Reita said she and her husband will donate the dental hygiene items for the children’s travel packets.

 

PRONOUN EDITING TRICK 2:      When a pronoun follows than or as, complete/insert the elliptical/missing part of the sentence.

Incorrect: You’ve read more novels this year than me. [You’ve read more novels this year than me (have)]

Correct: You’ve read more novels this year than I.

 

PRONOUN EDITING TRICK 3:      When deciding between who and whom or whoever and whomever, follow these steps:

Isolate the part of the sentence in which the “wh” word is functioning.

Change who and whoever to he and whom and whomever to him.

Read the sentence.

He’s a candidate who/whom is dependable.

1.       He is dependable OR Him is dependable.

2.       He is a candidate who is dependable.

 

Use the nominative case (subjective pronouns)

1.  For the subject of a sentence

Example:  We students studied until early morning for the final.

Example: Ronnie and I "burned the midnight oil," too.

2.  For pronouns in apposition to the subject

Example: Only two students, Beatrice and I, were asked to report on the meeting.

3.  For the predicate nominative/ subject complement

Example: The employees nominated for the award were she and I.

4.  For the subject of an elliptical clause

Example: Shirley is more experienced than she.

5.  For the subject of a subordinate clause

Example: Valerie is the driver who reported the accident.

6.  For the complement of an infinitive with no expressed subject

Example: I would not want to be he.

Use the objective case (objective pronouns)

1.  For the direct object of a sentence

Example: Sarah invited us wallflowers to her party.

2.  For the object of a preposition

Example: The books that were torn belonged to her and her sister.

Example: The duties are divided between the staff director and me.

3.  For the indirect object of a sentence

Example: Calvin gave me and his other girlfriend a dozen red roses.

4.  For the appositive of a direct object

Example: The committee elected two delegates, Doris and me.

5.  For the object of an infinitive

Example: The young boy wanted to help James and me paint the fence.

6.  For the object of a gerund

Example: Enlisting him was surprisingly easy.

7.  For the object of a past participle

Example: Having called the other students and us, the secretary went home for the day.

8.  For a pronoun that precedes an infinitive

Example: The supervisor told him to work late.

9.  For the complement of an infinitive with an expressed subject

Example: The fans thought the best player to be him.

10.  For the object of an elliptical clause

Example: Calvin tackled Eddie harder than me.

11.  For a pronoun in apposition to the object of a verb

Example: Terrace invited two extra people, Minnie and me, to her party.

Use a possessive case pronoun

1.  Before a noun in a sentence

Example: Our friend moved during the semester break.

2.  Before a gerund in a sentence

Example: Her running helps to relieve stress.

Example: We have no record of your having called our office.

Example: We don't mind your taking carts to the parking lot.

3.  As a noun in a sentence

Example: Mine was the last test graded that day.

Use a reflexive pronoun

1.  As a direct object when its antecedent is present in the sentence

Example: I kicked myself.

2.  As an indirect object when its antecedent is present in the sentence

Example: Julian bought himself a tie.

3.  As an object of a preposition when its antecedent is present in the sentence

Example: Monte and Aja baked the pie for themselves.

4.  As a predicate pronoun when its antecedent is present in the sentence

Example: She hasn't been herself lately.

NOTE: Do not use a reflective pronoun to substitute for a personal pronoun.

Incorrect: Send the report to either the manager or myself at your earliest convenience.

Correct: Send the report to either the manager or me at your earliest convenience.

Use who and whoever

As the subject of a dependent clause

Example: He is the person who I think has outstanding leadership skills.

Example: Give the money to whoever wins.

Example: He is a person who is dedicated to his principles.

Use whom and whomever

As the object of a dependent clause

Example: Voters will elect a person whom they think they can trust.

Example: She is the person for whom I have a great deal of respect.

Example: Give the ticket to whomever the group chooses.