There are several types of sentences that cause confusion about whether to use a subject or object pronoun: sentences with a compound subject or object; sentences with a pronoun followed directly by a noun; and sentences that use pronouns after than or as. After this lesson, you’ll be much more confident about which pronouns to use in these tricky situations.
Pronouns in Compounds
In sentences that use two pronouns or a noun and a pronoun together, it’s easy to become confused about which pronoun to use. If you’re not sure which one is correct, consider whether it’s part of the subject (doing the action) or part of the object (either receiving the action or after a preposition). Sometimes a pronoun may sound right to you, but you can’t always trust your ears. Be especially careful with I and me, which are two of the most common offenders.
Common Error #1: Using Object Pronouns in Place of Subject Pronouns
||Steve and I went to the park.|
||We buy chocolates.|
||He and I broke a pencil yesterday.|
Common Error #2: Using Subject Pronouns in Place of Object Pronouns
|Bob is smarter than
||Bob is smarter than me.|
|Our teacher had dinner with my friend and
||Our teacher had dinner with my friend and me.|
|All the work done by
||All the work done by us.|
Pronouns Before Nouns
Sometimes for clarity or emphasis, writers use a pronoun and a noun together. People often use an object pronoun when they mean to use a subject pronoun, and vice versa.
|The doctor provided service to
||The doctor provided service to us patients.|
||We friends enjoy marriage party.|
Pronouns After Than or As
When sentences use than or as to compare, it can be difficult to choose the correct pronoun.
|Howard cooks better than
||Howard cooks better than I.|
|John likes Mary more than
||John likes Mary more than I.|
Find out pronouns from the examples for exercise:
- Mary wants to talk to you about your homework.
- She is telling him a joke.
- Where are Jill and Cherie? Didn’t you invite them?
- We will give them extra cookies next week.
- The spider bit me on my ankle.
- Who do you give the money to?
- The bread is stale. You can feed it to the birds.
- I went to the movies.
- The plate shattered when John dropped it on the floor.
- I make cookies every Sunday for my co-workers.