Friday, September 14, 2007

Pronoun Case (such as I versus me)

Hey, guys!

Do you ever find yourself wondering, "Is it Lisa and me or is it Lisa and I?"

I've always had a hard time with pronoun case, so I decided to look it up in my Bedford Handbook by Diana Hacker. These are a list of rules that help me remember which pronoun case to use:

  • Compound word groups

    • Mentally strip away the rest of the compound word group.

      • While diving for pearls, [Donald and] she found a treasure chest.

      • The most traumatic experience for [her father and] me was the accident.

  • Pronoun after is, are, was, or were

    • Remember to use the subjective-case pronouns I, he, she, we, and they, after the linking verbs is, are, was, and were.

      • The panel was shocked to learn that the undercover agent was she.

  • Appositives

    • Mentally strip away the word group that the appositive renames.

      • [The chief strategists], Dr. Brown and I, could not agree on a plan.

      • The company could afford to send only [one of two workers], Dr. Davis or me.

  • Pronoun after than or as

    • Mentally complete the sentence.

      • The supervisor claimed that she was more experienced than I [was].

      • Gloria admitted that she liked Greg’s brother better than [she liked] him.

  • We or us before a noun

    • Mentally delete the noun

      • We [women] really have come a long way.

      • Sadly, discrimination against us [women] occurs in most cultures.

  • Pronoun before or after an infinitive

    • Remember that both subjects and objects of infinitives take the objective case.

      • Ms. Wilson asked John and me to drive the senator and her to the airport.

  • Pronoun or noun before a gerund

    • Remember to use the possessive case when a pronoun modifies a gerund.

      • There is only a small chance of his bleeding excessively during this procedure.

And here's a handy little table, too. :)

subjective caseobjective casepossessive case
he / she / ithim / her / ithis / her / its

In short, when you're confused about a sentence like,

"Geoffrey went with my family and ( me / I ) to Aloha Stadium."

you just take out the part that makes the subject complicated, which, in this case, is "my family and." So what you have left is

"Geoffrey went with ... me to Aloha Stadium."

You wouldn't say "Geoffrey went with I to Aloha Stadium" because it sounds funny. But sometimes when you throw in other things in the middle like, "my family and," it gets confusing and it makes it hard to choose the correct pronoun case.

Although this explanation only really covers the first rule, which is to mentally strip away the rest of the compound word group, the rest of the rules are demonstrated in the example sentences, so you guys can check those out. :) I think the first one though is the one that I found easiest to fix by just taking out the confusing parts.

Hope this helps you guys, too! :)

No comments: