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.