Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Subjective Pronouns


Subjective pronouns are used as the subjects of sentences (whom or what you're talking about).


I am going to leave for my appointment.
She is late already.
They will never make it on time.

A problem occasionally arises when subjects are compound. You might read, for instance:

His brothers and him are going to the ball game.
Margaret, Elizabeth, and me were at the mall for four hours yesterday.
Me and her see eye-to-eye on lots of things.

These pronouns are used incorrectly. Because the pronouns are used as subjects of the sentence, they should all be in the subjective case: I, you, he, she, it, we, or they. So, the sentences should read:

His brothers and he are going to the ball game.
Margaret, Elizabeth, and I were at the mall for four hours yesterday.
I and she see eye-to-eye on lots of things.
(It's considered polite to put the other person first, so it's better to word this sentence like this: She and I see eye-to-eye on lots of things.)

If you're not sure if you've used the right pronoun, try writing or saying the sentence with only one subject. You'd never say:

Him is going to the ball game.
Me was at the mall for four hours yesterday.

Change the pronouns to the ones you'd normally use when there's just one subject (he and I).

Smile and Spread Some HAPPY!


Source: The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need


  1. I wish the people who say 'me and her went to the mall' and 'mama and them went to the park' would read this.

  2. Carol: ARGH! Right? Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that way!

    Mason: Thanks! :)

  3. Hey, that's a great way to test if I've used it correctly - thanks!

  4. Well said. It's amazing how many people use "I" because they think "me" can't be used in the context they're writing. I think a jr hi English teacher pointed out this test years(and years and years and years and years) ago.

  5. I hated it when I was little, but I don't know how many time my mom corrected me when I would say, "Peggy and me are going to..."

    I physcially CRINGE now when I hear them the wrong way. The one I get WRONG occassionally is when the pair is the OBJECT because 'and I' was so deeply ingrained. Nothing like that 'by itself' test!

  6. I knew I should have paid attention in English classes. But there was a squirrel with a fuzzy tail outside the window. Could have been real. Probaly was imaginary. But hey, that's what editors are for.

    Stephen Tremp

  7. Alex: Anytime! LOL!

    Terry: I agree! This follows with what Hart said...

    Hart: I'm with you on that one! There is nothing (to me) as helpful as the "by itself" test!

  8. Stephen: Hmmm. PROBALY was imaginary! Good thing there are editors out there! :)

  9. I know that everytime I write "Me and Charlie" I'm giving myself an F++!! LOL!!

    I just like how silly that pairing sounds - and the fact that I am talking about my cat and I!


    take care

  10. Another great post and yes the "test" may have been pointed out years ago but it's always nice to be reminded of it now and again. Now, if only you could teach all these rednecks I live around how to speak proper English....

  11. I just love that kitty photo! I still remember this rule from high school English, about writing the sentence the way you would with only one subject. It's a very easy way to remember it!


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