Chapter 10: Using Pronouns Correctly • Case • The nominative case • The objective case • The possessive case • Special Pronoun Problems • Who and whom • Appositives • Reflexive pronouns • Clear references
Case • Case is the form a noun or pronoun takes to show how it relates to other words in a sentence • 3 cases in English: • Nominative: subjects • Objective: objects • Possessive: belonging to someone
Nominative and objective nouns • Nouns used in the nominative case are formed in the same way as those used in the objective case: Ex: The football spiraled through the air. football is in the nominative case (it’s the subject) Ex: The quarterback threw the football. football is in the objective case (it’s the object) Notice: No change – a football’s a football whether it’s a subject or an object.
Possessive case nouns • Usually formed by adding an apostrophe and an s Pronoun case • Personal pronouns have different forms for all three cases Look at this sentence: I remembered to bring my homework with me. All three pronouns represent the same person, and all three are in a different case.
/our /your /their
Nominative or objective? • Subjects perform actions • Objects have actions performed upon them or receive the action of the subjects He is nominative and not objective because he would throw the ball, but you wouldn’t throw the ball to he. Himis objective and not nominative because him wouldn’t throw the ball, but you would throw the ball to him.
Exercise 1, p. 217 • Use your boards • Identify each personal pronoun in the sentences and classify it by case Ex: Uncle Theo gave us this book about rock stars of the 1950s and 1960s. A: us: objective #1: Why don’t we sit down and look through the book with Claire and him? A: we: nominative; him: objective
The Nominative Case • The subject of a verb should always be in the nominative case Examples: • I like Led Zeppelin. • Did he or she buy their live album? • They wrote Stairway to Heaven.
A predicate nominative should be in the nominative case • Predicate nominatives answer the question posed by linking verbs • They follow linking verbs, which are often forms of be (is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been) • These are the problematic-sounding telephone answers:“Yes, this is she.” (not her!) • The last one to leave was ________. (him/he) • Do you think the culprits may have been _______? (they/them) he they
Review A, p. 220 • Use your boards • Choose the correct pronoun in each sentence. Ex: (We/Us) think of Leonardo da Vinci. A: we #1: (Me/I) think you have seen some of his paintings. A: I
The objective case • A direct object should be in the objective case • Direct objects are nouns, pronouns, or word groups that tell who or what receives the action of the verb Examples: • Mom surprised them. • My mom took me to the arcade. • She drove us to the mall in her new car. • She chose you and me to be in charge.
Indirect objects should be in the objective case • Indirect objects often appear with direct objects • They tell to whom or for whom the action of the verb is done. • They usually come between the verb and the direct object Examples: • Dad gave us a lecture about saving our money. • We saw the arcade operator giving him change. • He taught them a lesson about patterns in Pacman.
Objects of prepositions should be in the objective case • Nouns that follow prepositions are called objects of the preposition • Preposition + object + modifiers = prepositional phrase Examples: When did you give the tokens to them? Are you still planning to go with us? The race to get to the skeeballmachines was between him and her.
Examples to try: Complete the following sentences with pronouns in the objective case. I made an appointment for ________ and you. Sabrina asked _______ questions about your pinball machine. Do you remember _______ and _______? Just between you and _____, I think we’re going to win the high score competition. On to today’s worksheet: LH 49
The possessive case • Personal pronouns in the possessive case are used to show possession • Personal possessive pronouns: my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs
Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs are used just like nominative and objective pronouns are used. Examples: SUBJECT: Your car and mine need tuneups. PREDICATE NOMINATIVE: This game is hers. DIRECT OBJECT: We painted ours yesterday. INDIRECT OBJECT: I gave theirs my complete attention. OBJECT of a PREPOSITION: Next to yours, my drawing looks amazing!
The possessive pronouns* my, your, his, her, its, our, and their are used before nouns to show ownership or possession Examples: • My CD player is old and dusty. • Do you know their phone number? *Some call these possessive adjectives.
Special pronoun problems 1. Who or Whom Choose based upon usage: Nominative: Who or Whoever Objective: Whom or Whomever
Some to try: Do you know (who/whom) they are? • (who/whom) they are is a subordinate clause • Subject: they; verb: are • Pronoun is the predicate nominative • Answer: who (nominative) The mayor, (who/whom) I have met, is nice. • (who/whom) I have met is subordinate • Subject: I; verb: have met • Pronoun is the direct object this time • Answer: whom (objective)
Special pronoun problems 2. A pronoun used as an appositive is in the same case as the word to which it refers. Appositive: a noun or pronoun placed next to another noun or pronoun to identify/describe it Examples: The runners–he, she, and I–warmed up on the track. (refer back to the subject: runners) Every student except two, him and her, joined the club. (refer back to the object of the preposition: two) The drama coach introduced the actors, Laura and me (refers back to the direct object: actors)
Special pronoun problems 3. Reflexive pronouns Reflexives, such as himself and themselves, can be used as objects. Avoid using nonstandard words such as hisself and theirselfs/theirselves
Review B, p. 228 • Use your boards • Choose the correct pronoun in each sentence. • Classify it by usage: Subject, predicate nominative, direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition Ex: Say hello to (she/her) and Anna. A: her; OP #1: Tulips surrounded (we/us) during May. A: us;DO
Clear references • Avoid ambiguous (unclear) references. Make sure your reader can tell which antecedent your pronouns refer to Ambiguous: Hannah proofread Melissa’s essay while she was at lunch. Better: While Hannah was at lunch, she proofread Melissa’s essay. Better: Hannah proofread Melissa’s essay while Melissa was at lunch.
Clear references • Avoid weak references. Make sure your antecedent is clear… suggesting an antecedent isn’t good enough! Weak: We sat quietly bird-watching all afternoon, but we never saw any. Better: We sat quietly bird-watching all afternoon, but we never saw any birds. Better: We sat quietly all afternoon watching for birds, but we never saw any.
Review E, p. 232 • Use paper; both partners’ names in the corner • Read each sentence. • Rewrite each sentence, correcting each ambiguous or weak pronoun reference. Ex: Diana e-mailed Melissa while she was traveling in the Czech Republic. A: While Diana was traveling in the Czech Republic, she e-mailed Melissa. #1: After reviewing the vegetarian cookbook, I selected some to make. A: After reviewing the vegetarian cookbook, I selected some dishes to make.
Chapter review A, p. 233 • Use your boards • Choose the correct pronoun in parenthesis #1: Just between you and (I, me), I think he’s wrong. A: me (between is a preposition, me is the object of the preposition, me is in the objective case) #2: I don’t know (who/whom) I’ll invite to the dance. A: whom (the clause whom I’ll invite to the dance is acting as the direct object of know; whom is in the objective case) #3: The winners in the contest were Amelia and (I, me). A: I (I is the predicate nominative (notice the linking verb were), I is in the nominative case)
Chapter review C, p. 234 • Use your boards • Identify each personal pronoun • Classify it by usage: Subject, predicate nominative, direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition #26: Of the three applicants, the most promising is she. A: she; Predicate Nominative