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Online Writing Courses: Subjective vs. Objective Pronouns

Updated on August 30, 2013

online writing classes - English grammar


This is another entry in my free online writing classes. Today’s writing skills topic is about pronouns and whether the pronoun used is subjective or objective. Many writers make mistakes with case, and you can improve writing skills by brushing up in my online writing courses and English grammar.


In case you don’t remember what a pronoun is, a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun.


Examples of subjective personal pronouns include he, she, it, they, you, we, and I.


Examples of objective personal pronouns are him, her, it, them, you, us, and me.


Possessive personal pronouns include his, hers, its, yours, ours, and theirs.


Demonstrative pronouns are this, these, that, and those.


Relative pronouns join one phrase or clause with another phrase or clause. They include that, which, who, whom, whoever, whomever, and whichever.


Interrogative pronouns ask questions and include which, what, who, whom, whoever, whomever, whatever, and whichever.


Indefinite pronouns refer to unspecified people or things. They include words like all, any, anybody, anyone, anything, everybody, everything, nobody, none, one, few, many, each, several, some, somebody, and someone.




Intensive pronouns add emphasis to antecedents. An antecedent is a noun or pronoun to which a pronoun refers.



Ann said she could drive the car. (Ann is the pronoun’s antecedent.)


Intensive pronouns include myself, himself, herself, itself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.


Example of an intensive pronoun: I myself think that he should be invited.





Reflexive pronouns point back to the subject of the sentence or the subject of the clause: himself, herself, itself, myself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.


Example: We had to do all the chores ourselves.




I see problems all the time with pronouns, even from good writers. When I was teaching writing classes at a local school, pronoun mistakes were common. I also hear them a lot in speech from educated individuals. I think they sometimes use the subjective instead of the objective because they think it sounds better. Most of the mistakes made involve the use of subjective personal pronouns, objective personal pronouns, and relative pronouns.


Subjective is used when the pronoun is the subject, or when it renames the subject in the form of a predicate nominative. A predicate nominative is a noun or pronoun that renames or describes the subject in the sentence’s predicate:



I am going to the beach tomorrow. “I” is the subject.



It is I. it = I



She is the president of the company. She = president



The president of the company is she. President = she




Objective case is used when the pronoun is the object of a verb or preposition:



I asked her to pick up the kids from school. Correct



I asked she to pick up the kids from school. Incorrect



I’m giving the award to him. Correct



I’m giving the award to he. Incorrect



John is going with Bill and me. Correct



John is going with Bill and I. Incorrect



Just between you and me, Randy is a nut. Correct



Just between you and I, Randy is a nut. Incorrect





Who and whom



There’s also often confusion concerning the use of “who” and “whom.” Remember that “who” is subjective, and “whom” is objective. The same rule applies for “whoever” and “whomever.” An easy way to test for subjective or objective with “who” and “whom” is to substitute “he” or “him.” If “he” is right, use “who,” and if “him” is correct, use “whom.”


Who is on the phone?



He is on the phone.





John is the boy who pitched the last inning.



He is the boy who pitched the last inning.





Whom can we trust in this situation?



Can we trust him?





Jenny called a lawyer whom she met in Atlanta.



She met him in Atlanta.



You can ask whomever you like to dance.



You can ask him.





This is where it gets tricky with “who” and “whom” and “whoever” and “whomever.” When an entire phrase is the object of the preposition or the verb, and the pronoun is the subject of that phrase, then “who” or “whoever” is used.


Tell it to whoever will listen.

he will listen



Ask whoever calls to leave a message.

he calls



Improving writing skills and English grammar with online writing courses

Improving writing skills isn’t difficult, but it does take time and practice. Don’t try to tackle everything at one time. Choose one or two specific writing skills until you have them mastered. At that time, you can move on to improving writing skills in other areas. It’s best to start small and work your way up.

You can find plenty of online writing classes and online writing courses, but many charge a fee for their services. Why pay for help when you can get it for free with my free online writing classes? I’ve already posted several entries into my online writing courses, and I’ll be adding more, so stay tuned!















Review basic writing skills with my online writing courses!
Review basic writing skills with my online writing courses!

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    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      I learned a lot from this hub. In particular who and whom are difficult for me. I'll definitely have to review your hubs on writing skills!

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      habee your Online Writing Courses: Subjective vs. Objective Pronouns contains great information on the proper usage of pronouns. Your lessons on commas is also a great hub, thanks for all you do to help refine our writing skills.

      How about something on spelling, or have I missed it?

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is a good lesion.

    • kookoo88 profile image

      kookoo88 6 years ago from Cripple Creek

      Extremely useful information. :)

    • DSteelman profile image

      DSteelman 6 years ago from Bucks County, PA

      Very useful. Thank you much!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Simeon, and welcome to my online writing courses!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Teddle, I'll do one on spelling and usage just for you!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you found it useful, HP!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for a great hub that is filled with reminders. I bookmarked it for future use.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Good information.

    • networkrecruiting profile image

      networkrecruiting 6 years ago from Spicy Alabama

      Excellent topic. I have always had this thing with who and whom......thanks for the clarity.

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image

      ThoughtfulSpot 6 years ago from PA

      What a fab idea for a hub series Habee! I haven't been around much and hadn't caught these. Great stuff!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Very useful, as it is many years since I was at school. So many people speak and write incorrectly (including me) that it is easy to get confused.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      This helped a little foreigner a lot. I confused about Bill and I -- Bill and me. I always wrote Bill and me but then I saw Bill and I and also the Queen says My husband and I. Not fair to confuse a foreigner and when I use it I get shot down in flames. The other day my hub was called a grammatical mess. hahaha. As long I got enemies who wants friends. But I found a lot of lovely friends, I would have never thought.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kookoo and Dsteelman, many thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Denise and Rob, so glad you attended my online writing courses! Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Network, I think who and whom sometimes confuse everyone! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thoughtful, thanks for the great comment!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      2pats, it can be very confusing!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      HH:

      Bill and I went shopping.

      The gift was for Bill and me.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      Really useful revision on pronouns, habee. Great hubs!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, Holle, for clarifying this for me.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Docmo, many thanks to you!

      HH, glad it helped!

    • astigpinoy16 profile image

      astigpinoy16 6 years ago from Philippines

      this is great. I am going to check your online courses daily to get more knowledge. keep it coming

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I am SO happy you're enjoying my online writing courses!

    • profile image

      Joseph Asumadu 5 years ago from Ghana-aWest Africa

      How can I access the course.

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