Posted by: episystechpubs | March 29, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Pronoun Quiz

It’s quiz time! Today’s quiz (brought to you by Daily Writing Tips) is about pronouns. But before we start, a little review.

I hear from many of you that it’s hard to know whether to use I or me. Likewise, it can be difficult to know when to use us or we. We don’t have as much trouble with he vs. him or they vs. them, but the same rule applies to all.

I, we, he, and they are all subject pronouns, while me, us, him, and them and are all object pronouns. Maybe it’s easier to look at it this way:

Subject pronouns Object pronouns
I me
we us
she/he her/him
they them

Basically, you just need to remember that we use subject pronouns to refer to the subject of the sentence (the subject is the person or thing doing the action). Object pronouns are a little harder to define, but it might help to think of them this way: an object pronoun is not the subject of the sentence. It is usually the object that is affected in some way by the subject of the sentence.

Examples:

  • I threw the ball. (I is a subject pronoun; I am the person doing the action.)
  • The ball was thrown at me. (Me is an object pronoun; “me” is the person the ball was thrown at.)

Typically, figuring out which pronoun to use gets harder when a second person is involved, but if you imagine the sentence without the second person, it is easier to determine the correct pronoun.

Examples:

  • He threw the ball at John and me. (Remove John, and you are left with “He threw the ball at me.” We would not say, “He threw the ball at I.”)
  • John and I played catch. (Remove John, and you’re left with “I played catch.” We would not say, “Me played catch.”)

And with that, you are now fully prepared to take the test. As I usually do, I’ve provided the answers, but you’ll need to scroll down to see them. Best of luck, buckaroos!

Choose the correct pronoun to fill the blank.

1. Neither Bill nor _______ showed up for the concert.
a) him
b) he

2. The boys brought _______ girls flowers that they’d picked in the meadow.
a) us
b) we

3. Just between you and _______ let’s not repeat the rumor that’s going around.
a) me
b) I

4. Why don’t you give the dollar that you found to _______?
a) her
b) she

5. The Thompsons and _______ both appeared in photos on the society page.
a) they
b) them

Answers and Explanations

1. Neither Bill nor he showed up for the concert.

b) he

He is the subject (nominative case). When a personal pronoun is the second name in the compound subject, a good way to check is to say only the pronoun along with the rest of the sentence. Probably your ears would object to hearing “Him showed up for the concert.”

2. The boys brought us girls flowers that they’d picked in the meadow.

a) us

The pronoun us is in apposition to the noun girls. Because girls is an object (indirect object of the verb brought), the pronoun must also take the object form.

3. Just between you and me let’s not repeat the rumor that’s going around.

a) me

The pronoun is the object of the preposition between, and me is the object form.

4. Why don’t you give the dollar that you found to her?

a) her

The pronoun is the object of the preposition to, and her is the object form.

5. The Thompsons and they both appeared in photos on the society page.

a) they

Because the pronoun is part of the subject, it takes the subject form they.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

Symitar Documentation Services

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