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Category: Pronouns

Yet More Pronoun Pitfalls

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013, at 1:29 pm

This is part five in a loose series detailing the difficulty of mastering pronouns. Even simple sentences can include snares that distract us from distinguishing between subjects and objects. Two weeks ago, we showed that pronouns linked by any form of the verb to be wrongly become objects in everyday English, which prefers It’s me …

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Whoever Would Use Whomever: Read On

Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 12:39 pm

Last week we discussed Americans’ odd fondness for whom. It’s a word that few really understand, but it just sounds so darned cosmopolitan. If we’re infatuated with whom, we’re over the moon about whomever. You hear it everywhere. People love saying it—right or wrong. Just recently, a major American newspaper ran a headline that said …

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Whom Abuse Is Rampant

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 12:32 pm

Consider the humble pronoun. It seems that fewer and fewer Americans know when to say “she” or “he” or “me” instead of “her,” “him,” or “I.” It used to be that little Gloria would run home and tell her mother, “Me ’n’ Annie saw a walrus!” Whereupon her mom would say, “ ‘Annie and I,’ dear.” …

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Its vs. It’s

Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 5:35 pm

Would you like to know the number one grammatical error? Hint: The word involved is small and it's contained in this sentence. That's right: its vs. it's Yet the two rules are actually quite easy to remember. Rule 1: When you mean it is or it has, use an apostrophe. Examples: It's a nice day. …

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I vs. Me (Review)

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at 9:30 am

We get more questions about pronoun usage, particularly I vs. me, than any other topic. So, here is a review that should help you feel more secure about your choices. For more on the topic, click here. Should we say, "She and I went to the store"? Or is it correct to say, "She and …

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Whoever vs. Whomever

Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007, at 9:41 pm

In the "English Rules" section of our website, GrammarBook.com, you will find our simple explanation for determining whether to use who or whom. Briefly, this is the trick: who = he (subject pronouns) whom = him (object pronouns) Example: Who/Whom is at the door? He is at the door. Example: For who/whom should I vote? …

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When to Add s to a Verb

Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007, at 8:44 pm

Our review of English verbs has included discussion of when to add es to a verb. You might also wonder when to add s to the end of a verb. With verbs, only those with a third-person singular noun or pronoun (he, she, boat, courage) as a subject add an s to the end. Verbs with plural nouns and …

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What Is a Gerund and Why Care?

Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at 6:00 pm

What is a gerund and why do you need to know? Maybe it would be better to answer the second part of the question first so that you have some motivation to identify gerunds. If you are able to pick the gerund(s) out in your sentence, you will avoid a grammar gaffe that often goes …

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