PRONOUNS You, Me, I, Myself

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1 Just between you and me. PRONOUNS You, Me, I, Myself Or should it be "Just Between You and I"? Are you sure? Well, let s settle it by saying "Just Between Us." There s no question about that, it couldn t be "Just between we." Notice that as soon as you replace the two pronouns with one, the answer "sounds". However, with two pronouns you and me / you and I it s harder to tell which one belongs. Which is right? John and I? or John and me? him and her? or he and she? or he and her? Only one of the preceding combinations is the last. You can t tell about the others until they are used in sentences. Most pronoun errors occur when two or more are used together or when the name of a person is used with a pronoun. You will usually make the appropriate choice if you imagine one of the two words left out and then decide whether the sentence "sounds right." Examples: John and me went to the movies. John and I went to the movies. Leave John home and you will immediately know that Me went to the movies doesn t sound right. Give the papers to John and I at once. Give the papers to John and me at once. Leave out John and you will immediately know that Give the papers to I at once doesn t sound right.

2 Sometimes the nouns and pronouns are used together without a conjunction between them. This happens when a noun and a pronoun that mean the same thing are used together for emphasis or clearness. Which is right? we secretaries we boys us secretaries us boys The preceding combinations are all standard English. You can t tell which form to use until you see the rest of the sentence. You will usually make the appropriate choice if you imagine the noun left out and then decide whether the sentence "sounds right." Examples: Us secretaries need a longer lunch period. We secretaries need a longer lunch period. Omit the noun secretaries and you will immediately know that Us need a longer lunch period doesn t sound right. Will you please give we secretaries a longer lunch period? Will you please give us secretaries a longer lunch period? Omit the noun secretaries and you will immediately know that Will you please give we a longer lunch period doesn t sound right. If you find applying the trick methods shown above to be awkward in a particular sentence, you can refer to this more formal explanation. The two columns below show the personal pronouns that are sometimes confused when used with another pronoun or with a noun. The ones on the left always fit as the subject of a sentence. The ones on the right always fit as an object of a preposition or of a verb. For an easy test, just remember this sentence: I love him. Any pronoun that fits at the beginning of the preceding sentence will be a "subject" pronoun. If it fits at the end, it is an "object" pronoun. Subjects Objects 1 st person I, we me, us

3 2 nd person you you (You can t go since they re the same) 3 rd person he, she they her, him, them You can now answer the question in the opening paragraph of this unit. Since "Just between us" sounds right, any pronoun in the Objects column above would be suitable; therefore, "Just between you and me" is. The grammar explanation is that since "between" is a preposition, the object pronoun me is used instead of the subject pronoun I; the pronoun me would be the "object" of the preposition. Exercise 1 Use the simple methods described in this unit to determine the pronoun; then underline it. 1. If you assign the report to John and (I, me), it will never be completed. 2. Please tell Anna and (I, me) when you are ready to leave. 3. The supervisor and (she, her) are working on the project. 4. Please give more homework to (we, us) students. 5. You and (I, me) should work together frequently. 6. (We, Us) shipping clerks should affiliate with the union. 7. Mr. Gomez telephoned Mr. Potter and (I, me). 8. The manager is sorry that he assigned the work to you and (her, she). 9. Do (we, us) parents get a chance to vote? 10. You and (her, she) should plan to take the trip together. 11. Mrs. Hamilton gave Kenneth and (I, me) the books. 12. Peggy asked you and (we, us) to visit her. 13. (They, Them), as well as Mr. Scott, will serve on the committee. 14. Everyone except Mr. Jones and (he, him) will be at the San Francisco session. 15. (Him and me, He and I) have an advantage in this situation. 16. The money should be divided between you and (I, me). 17. Mr. Heffron saw you and (she, her) arrive late to class. 18. (We, Us) accountants can no longer work under these conditions. 19. Please allow Ms. Fisher and (I, me) to attend the conference. 20. All the responsibility was given to the auditor and (I, me). Answers 1. me 8. her 15. He and I 2. me 9. we 16. me 3. she 10. she 17. her

4 4. us 11. me 18. We 5. I 12. us 19. me 6. We 13. They 20. me 7. me 14. him me, myself, and I When you were a child, you probably asked your mother questions like "Can Johnny and me go to the movies?" Your mother may have replied "Johnny and I" and wouldn t give you the money until you changed that evil word "me" to "I." Although she was right, a number of incidents like that through your years of growing up may have made you a firm disbeliever in the word "me." It really is quite a respectable word and does not deserve an X rating, even though some people when trying their best to be will try to avoid "me." In this unit we ll practice making additional choices between various pronouns. A. When you are unsure about the choice of a pronoun, decide whether there are some "understood" words that could be used to complete the thought. You ll notice that when "completion" words are helpful, the sentence usually involves a comparison that is, comparing somebody with someone else. 1. No one wants to please you more than the manager and me. right No one wants to please you more than the manager and I (do). B. If you add the "understood" word "do" after the questionable pronoun, you can easily decide to use I instead of me. 2. Do you like him better than I? Do you like him better than me? Do you like him better than I (do)? Do you like him better than (you like) me? C. If you add the "understood" word "do" after the questionable pronoun, you can easily decide to use I instead of me. D. BUT Selection of the pronoun can determine the meaning.

5 E. If you add the understood words "you like" before the questionable pronoun, you can easily decide to use me instead of I. 1. Although he is older than her, he is shorter. right Although he is older than she, he is shorter. F. If you add the "understood" word "is" after the questionable pronoun, you can easily decide to use she instead of her. G. When self or selves is added to a pronoun, the resulting word is called a compound pronoun. Here are the standard English compound personal pronouns. Any other spellings for these words are unacceptable in business and professional communications. myself yourself, yourselves himself herself itself oneself ourselves themselves H. Careful writers use compound pronouns only when no other pronouns with the same meaning will make sense in the sentence. The "self" pronouns are used either for emphasis or for clearness. The manager and myself will attend the meeting. The manager and I will attend the meeting. I. A careful writer would not use myself because I makes sense. She does the easy work by herself. She herself does the easy work. J. No other pronoun would make sense after by; therefore, herself is ly used No other pronoun would make sense after she; therefore, herself is used. K. Here is the test for compound pronouns. Can you insert another pronoun at the exact place where the "self or selves" word appears? If so, use the

6 other pronoun. If not, keep the "self or selves" word right where it is, but be sure that it is ly spelled.

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