Use the Proper Case of Pronoun.

[If you need this as a learning support in Microsoft Word it’s under that hyperlink.]

“10. Use the proper case of pronoun.

 The personal pronouns, as well as the pronoun who, change form as they function as subject or object.

Will Jane or he be hired, do you think?

 The culprit, it turned out, was he.

 We heavy eaters would rather walk than ride.

 Who knocks?

 Give this work to whoever looks idle.

In the last example, whoever is the subject of looks idle; the object of the preposition to is the entire clause whoever looks idle. When who introduces a subordinate clause, its case depends on its subject in that clause. (N.B. The first two sentences are incorrect, the second two are correct.)

Virgil Soames is the candidate whom we think will win.

Virgil Soames is the candidate who we hope to elect.

Virgil Soames is the candidate who we think will win [We think he will win.]

Virgil Soames is the candidate whom we hope to elect. [We hope to elect him.]

A pronoun in a comparison is nominative if it is the subject of a stated or understood verb.

Sandy writes better than I. (Than I write.)

In general avoid “understood” verbs by supplying them.

I think Horace admires Jessica more than I.

I think Horace admires Jessica more than I do.

Polly loves cake more than me.

Polly loves cake more than she loves me.

The objective case is correct in the following examples.

The ranger offered Shirley and him some advice on campsites.

They came to meet the Baldwins and us.

Let’s talk it over between us, then, you and me.

Whom should I ask?

A group of us taxpayers protested.

Us in the last example is in apposition to taxpayers, the object of the preposition of. The wording, although grammatically defensible, is rarely apt. “A group of us protested as taxpayers” is better, if not exactly equivalent.

Use the simple personal pronoun as subject. (N.B. The first sentence is incorrect, the second sentence is correct.)

Blake and myself stayed home.

Blake and I stayed home.

Howard and yourself brought the lunch, I thought.

Howard and you brought the lunch, I thought..

The possessive case of pronouns is used to show ownership. It has two forms: the adjectival modifier, your hat, and the noun form, a hat of yours.

The dog has buried one of your gloves and one of mine in the flower bed.

Gerunds usually require the possessive case.

Mother objected to our driving on the icy roads.

A present participle as a verbal, on the other hand, takes the objective case.

They heard him singing in the shower.

The difference between a verbal participle and a gerund is not always obvious, but note what is really said in each of the following.

Do you mind me asking a question?

Do you mind my asking a question?

In the first sentence, the queried objection is to me. As opposed to other members of the group, asking a question. In the second example, the issue is whether a question may asked at all.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

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