Using Pronouns Correctly Solving the riddle of who/whom, Him/he
Pronoun Case, p. 637 • Use the nominative (subject) case for a personal pronoun in a compound subject. Ann and I play tennis. She and I are equally matched. • To check, delete the other subject. I play tennis. I am equally matched.
When used before a gerund, (-ing forms used as nouns) use the possessive form. Yoursinging relaxes the baby. He is amused by mytalking.
Pronoun Case, p. 638 • After a form of the linking verb be, use the nominative case of a personal pronoun. The winner was he. (Think: He was the winner.) Ann hoped that it would be she. (Think: She hoped that it would be Ann.)
Pronoun Case, p. 638 • Do not spell possessive pronouns with apostrophes. This paddle is yours. The table is ours. Use possessive pronouns before gerunds. Your singing relaxes the baby. He is amused by my talking.
Pronouns with and as Appositives • An appositive is a noun or pronoun placed next to another noun or pronoun to identify or give additional information about it. • Appositives My cousins Lonnie and he are going to Colorado.
Pronouns After Than and As, p. 641 • In adverb clauses using than and as, choose the case of the pronoun that you would use if the missing words were fully expressed. You finished the puzzle faster than he. (finished it) The movie frightened John as much as them. (as much as it frightened them)
Who and Whom, p. 642 • Whois the nominative case of the pronoun; it is used as the subject of a verb or as predicate pronoun. • Whom is the objective case; it is used as the direct object or as the object of a preposition.
Who/whom, a shortcut Take the sentence, turn it into a question. Problem: The gentleman (who, whom) Elizabeth Bennet married was Mr. Darcy. Question: Who did Elizabeth marry?
Who/whom, a shortcut • If you can answer the question with “he” the correct pronoun is “who.” • If you can answer the question with “him” the correct pronoun is “whom.”
Who/whom, a shortcut • The gentleman (who, whom) Elizabeth married was Mr. Darcy. • Who did Elizabeth marry? • She married him. • He=whoHim=whom • The gentleman whom Elizabeth married was Mr. Darcy.
Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, p. 644 • An antecedent is the word or group of words to which a pronoun refers or that a pronoun replaces. All pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number, gender, and person. • Langston Hughes published his first volume of poetry in 1926. • He wants to know where he’s going, who he’ll be with, because he plans to kill him. He needs to know his whereabouts.
Agreement in Number and Gender • A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter). Emily Bronte published her novel in 1847. (singular, feminine pronoun) Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte published their poems in 1846. (plural pronoun)
Agreement in number and gender • The spruce, because of its strong wood, is used to make paper. (singular neuter) • Spruce and aspen are economical to raise because of their rapid growth. (plural pronoun)
When the gender of the antecedent is not known or when it may be either masculine or feminine, a masculine pronoun has traditionally been used. • A skier must keep his legs strong and limber. • A skier must keep his or her legs strong and limber. • Skiers must keep their legs strong and limber. • Skiers must have strong and limber legs.
Agreement in Person, p. 645 • A pronoun must agree in person with its antecedent. • Do not use the second person pronoun you to refer to an antecedent in the third person. Richard and Clara are going shopping where you can buy cheap clothes. Richard and Clara are going shopping where they can buy cheap clothes. Richard and Clara are going shopping where shoppers can buy cheap clothes.
Agreement with Indefinite Pronoun Antecedents, p. 647 • Use a singular pronoun when the antecedent is a singular indefinite pronoun, plural pronouns for plural indefinite pronouns. Neither of the men wants to drive his car. Each of the girls rides her bike to school. Several of the neighbors make their commute by train.
Agreement with Indefinite Pronoun Antecedents, p. 647 • Use gender-neutral wording when no gender is specified. Everyone should ride his or her bike to school. Everyone should ride a bike to school. All students should ride their bikes to school.
Clear Pronoun Reference, p. 649 • Make sure that the antecedent of a pronoun is clearly stated and that a pronoun cannot possibly refer to more than one antecedent. Luisa is a fine athlete, and this was obvious from her performance. Luisa is a fine athlete, and her athletic ability was obvious from her gymnastic feats.
Katrina and Yuki were arguing, which started from a misunderstanding. Katrina and Yuki were having an argument, which started from a misunderstanding. Earl wants to be a doctor because it interests him. Earl wants to be a doctor because medicine interests him.
Clear Pronoun Reference, p. 649 • If a pronoun seems to refer to more than one antecedent, either reword the sentence to make the antecedent clear or eliminate the pronoun. When the apples fell among the leaves, they were hidden. The apples were hidden when they fell among the leaves. When the apples fell among the leaves, the apples were hidden. The fallen apples were hidden among the leaves.
Clear Pronoun Reference, p. 650 • Avoid the indefinite use of the pronouns you and they. In areas that get little rain, you must irrigate the crops. In areas that get little rain, farmers must irrigate the crops. In some companies, they do not work on Fridays. In some companies, employees do not work on Fridays.