Understanding Pronoun Case - Mis

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					Understanding Pronoun Case


                By
           Alfred Taylor
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Students often believe that they must study until
they drop to understand pronoun case; however,
mastering pronoun case is not a difficult task as
long as students remember a few simple rules.
Pronoun case is never determined by how a
sentence sounds or what a sentence looks like.
  Understanding Pronoun
          Case

Most of the time pronoun case is determined by
the function of the pronoun in the sentence. If the
pronoun is the subject of a sentence or a subject
compliment, then it is in the subjective case. If
the pronoun is the object of a sentence, an
indirect object, or an object of a preposition,
then it is in the objective case. If the pronoun is
showing possession, then it is in the possessive
case. This is true most of the time.
    Understanding Pronoun
            Case

Subjective   I, He, She, It, We, You, They, Who,
Case         Whoever
Objective    Me, Him, Her, It, Us, You,
Case         Them, Whom, Whomever
Possessive   My, His, Her, Its, Our, Your,
Case         Their, Hers, Whose, Mine, Ours,
             Yours, Theirs
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Kirk slapped Spock for drinking too much Pepsi.
Since “Kirk” is doing the action in this sentence
that makes him the subject. Because “Kirk’ is the
subject of the sentence, “Kirk” must be replaced
with a pronoun from the subjective case: he.
Spock is receiving the action of being slapped, and
that makes him the object of the sentence. Since
Spock is the object, It must be replaced by a
pronoun from the objective case: him.
He slapped him for drinking too much Pepsi.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A subject compliment is noun, pronoun, or
adjective that follows a linking verb*. If a
pronoun is attached to the subject by a linking
verb, it is subjective because the whole phrase is
considered to be the subject, not just the noun.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

*A linking verb is a verb that does not perform
an action, such as: is, are, was, were. Some
words can be both action verbs and linking verbs
depending upon how they are used. These words
include: looked, seem, appear, feel, and grew.
These words are called linking verbs because
they only function to connect the subject to a
word that describes it.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

To test if a word is a linking verb or an action
verb, substitute a “be verb” such as “was” for the
verb in the suspect sentence. If the sentence
makes sense, then the verb was a linking verb. If
the sentence doesn’t make sense, then it was an
action verb.
    Understanding Pronoun
            Case

Spock grew a beard.         Spock grew old.
Spock was a beard.          Spock was old.
This makes no sense.        This makes sense.

In this case “grew” is an   In this case “grew” is a
action verb.                linking verb.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

It was Kirk who saved the girl.
“It” is the subject, and “Kirk” is the subject
compliment, since they are joined by the linking
verb “was” the whole phrase “it was Kirk who”
is subjective. The pronoun replacement for
“Kirk” must come from the
subjective case.
It was he who saved the girl.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case



    Spock hung Kirk over killer sharks.
    “Kirk” is the direct object of the sentence,
since he is receiving the action of being hung;
therefore, a pronoun replacement for “Kirk”
must come from the objective case.
Spock hung him over killer sharks.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

The indirect object of a sentence is the person
or thing an action is directed or for whom it is
performed.
Spock built Kirk a killer robot.
In this case “Kirk” is the indirect object since
the robot was built for “Kirk.” A pronoun
replacement for “Kirk” must come from the
objective case.
Spock built him a killer robot.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A preposition is a word that joins a noun,
pronoun, or gerund to another word and shows
the relationship between the words joined.

A prepositional phrase is a preposition plus the
noun or pronoun following it. The noun or
pronoun following the preposition is referred to
as the object of the preposition.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A preposition is anything a squirrel can do to a
hollow log, or a bird can do to a cloud. Common
prepositions include words such as: of, by, at,
for, through, to, up, down, around, near, far. A
preposition usually carries a meaning of
direction, time, or some other abstract
relationship.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A bird may be above the cloud, below the cloud,
beside the cloud, near the cloud,
in the cloud, far from the cloud,
close to the cloud.



All of these words are prepositions.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Spock built an army of killer robots for Kirk.
Since “Kirk” is the object of the preposition
“for,” then it must be replaced with a pronoun
from the objective case: him.
Spock built an army of killer robots for him.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

This rule is true even when the prepositional
phrase appears at the beginning of a sentence.
For Kirk, Spock built an army of killer robots.
For him, Spock built an army of killer robots.

You are calling for whom?
For whom are you calling?
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

This rule is true with a compound subject.
Between you and me, Spock is crazy.
“Between is a preposition, so “you and me” are
the objects of the preposition which means they
must be in the objective case. What confuses
many students is that “you” is the same form in
both cases.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Compound subjects and objects, that are not the
objects of prepositions, are handled the same
way as singular subjects and objects.
Kirk and Spock danced with Rand and Chapel.
“Kirk and Spock” is a compound subject, so a
pronoun must be subjective. “Rand and Chapel”
is a compound object, so a pronoun must be
objective.
Kirk and he danced with Rand and her.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

An easy way to avoid confusion with compound
subjects and objects is to eliminate one of the
nouns, then the pronoun case becomes clear.
 Kirk and Spock danced with Rand and Chapel.
             He danced with her.
No one would ever say “Him danced with she,”
so the correct pronoun replacement must be:
Kirk and he danced with Rand and her.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Than or As clauses are unique situations, yet
they still follow the rules of pronoun case once
their unique situation is understood. Most “Than
or As” clauses are part of an elliptical phrase.
An elliptical phrase is a phrase that is
incomplete, but its message is still clear because
the reader can logically complete the sentence.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

 When I came to work today, I didn’t think I’d
have to. Have to what? The reader can gather
from the rest of the sentence that the missing
word is “work.”
In the case of “Than or As” the missing parts of
the sentence determine the pronoun case for the
parts that remain.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Kirk likes Spock more than me.
Kirk likes Spock more than I.
Both of these sentences are correct because they
each have a different missing part.
Kirk likes Spock more than [Kirk likes] me.
Kirk likes Spock more than I [like Spock.]
 Understanding Pronoun
         Case

When clauses are joined by “Than or As” don’t
think of them as a single clause, but two clauses
joined together. Each clause has its own subject
and object.
Kirk likes Spock more than [Kirk likes] me.
subject verb   object        subject   verb     object

Kirk likes Spock more than I [like Spock.]
subject verb   object     subject verb object
 Understanding Pronoun
         Case

In the case of Who and Whom, treat them as any
other pronoun.
Spock and who danced with Rand and whom?
(placement in the sentence)
For whom are you calling.
(object of the preposition for)
I wonder who is responsible.
(wonder is a linking verb)
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that
renames or explains the subject. The case of the
appositive is determined by the case of the noun
the appositive refers to. If the appositive refers
to a subjective noun, then the appositive is
subjective. If the appositive refers to an object,
then the appositive will be objective. This is true
regardless of where the appositive appears in the
sentence.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

The Pepsi was stolen by two Starfleet Officers,
Kirk and him. In this example “two Starfleet
Officers” is objective, so the case of the
appositive is objective.

Two Starfleet Officers, Kirk and he, stole the
Pepsi. In this example “Two Starfleet Officers”
is the subject of the sentence, so the appositive is
subjective.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

Placing “we” or “us” in front of a noun is often
confusing for students; however, the confusion
can often be cleared up by removing the noun,
choosing the correct pronoun case, then
replacing the noun. [We/Us] men must be tough.

We must be tough.     Us must be tough.
        yes                no
We men must be tough.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

An antecedent is the noun or noun phrase that
gives the pronoun its meaning. Without a clear
reference to a noun, a pronoun is at best
meaningless and at worst confusing.
Spock drank a Pepsi. He enjoyed it.
In this example, the pronoun “he” refers to the
noun “Spock,” and the pronoun “it” refers to the
noun “Pepsi.” So “Spock” is the antecedent for
“he,” and “Pepsi” is the antecedent for “it.”
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

An ambiguous antecedent is a pronoun without
a clear reference to the noun that gives the
pronoun meaning. Spock drank a Pepsi. Kirk
ate a pizza. He enjoyed it. In this example, there
is no clear antecedent. The pronoun “he” could
refer to either “Kirk” or “Spock.” The pronoun
“it” could refer to either “pizza” or “Pepsi.”
Technically speaking, the pronouns should refer
to the closest nouns, but often this is not be true.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A remote antecedent is an antecedent that is so
far away from its pronoun that when the reader
reads the pronoun, she has already forgotten
about the antecedent.
Spock, with a Pepsi in hand, ordered his army of
killer robots, all armed with the latest kill-o-zap
guns, to bring home take-out from a Chinese
restaurant on the corner of Fifth and Madison,
for it was his turn to make dinner.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

A nonexistent antecedent is exactly what it
sounds like. A sentence that employs a pronoun
without an antecedent.
Kirk decided to steal Spock’s plans for the killer
robots because they needed them.
Who are they?
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

In general, “who” refers to people or animals
who have names.
Kirk is the one who saved the girl.

“Which” and “that” refer to unnamed animals or
things.
The robot that plays chess lost three games.
Understanding Pronoun
        Case

     The End
Understanding Pronoun
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Understanding Pronoun
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Understanding Pronoun
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Understanding Pronoun
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Understanding Pronoun
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