Pronouns in a sentence

Read fast! “Pronouns in a sentence,” and it sounds like “pronouncing a sentence.” If that’s an indication of the coming verdict, I judge a need for language reform!

Pronouns can be a big perpetrator of bad English grammar. In speech, songs, sermons, and writings in all genres, confusion occurs from case to case, as in Subjective Case versus Objective Case.

Subjective Case, as it sounds, involves a case where the pronoun is the subject of a sentence. For example: I believe. He/she believes. We believe. They believe. You believe.

Objective Case, as the phrase suggests, refers to a case where the pronoun is the object of a sentence. For example: You (the subject) believed Him (the object of your belief.) Or, the audience applauded us.

Confusion seems to arise, though, if we have more than one subject or object. For example:

People wanted help from he and I. (Wrong!)

Simply removing either of those subjective pronouns incorrectly used as objects makes it much easier to see/ hear the difference:

People wanted help from him. (Yes!)
People wanted help from me. (Okay)
People wanted help from him and me. (Correct)

Another way to avoid these tricky cases is to own them!

Possessive Case, as the name suggests, involves the case of a pronoun owning it – I.e., in possession of something. For example:

People wanted his help.
People wanted my help.
People wanted our help.

Here’s a poem from my Poetry Dictionary For Children & For Fun e-book that might help too:

Wanting Grammar

The objective
case changes I
to me. No, you

go first. The
objective case
changes you

and me, not I
always, always
only subject.

The possessive
case changes
I to what is

my or mine,
mine, mine
: A
subject closes.

Mary Harwell Sayler

Poetry Dictionary For Children and For Fun

Faces in a Crowd

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