A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Pronouns can be in one of three cases: Subject, Object, or Possessive.
Subject pronouns are used when the pronounis the subject of the sentence. You can remember subject pronouns easily by filling in the blank subject space for a simple sentence.
______ did the job.
I, you, he, she, it,we, and they all fit into the blank and are, therefore, subject pronouns.
Subject pronouns are also used if they rename the subject. They follow to be verbs such asis, are, was, were, am, and will be.Examples:
It is he.
This is she speaking.
It is we who are responsible for the decision to downsize.
NOTE: In spoken English, most people tend to follow to be verbs with object pronouns. Many Englishteachers support (or at least have given in to) this distinction between written and spoken English.
It could have been them.
It could have been they.
It is just me atthe door.
It is just I at the door.
Object pronouns are used everywhere else (direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition). Object pronounsare me, you, him, her, it, us, and them.
Jean talked to him.
Are you talking to me?
To be able to choose pronouns correctly, you must learn to identify clauses. A clause is a group of words containing a verb andsubject.
A strong clause can stand on its own.
She is hungry.
I am feeling well today.
A weak clause begins with words such as although, since, if, when, and because. Weakclauses cannot stand on their own.
Although she is hungry...
If she is hungry...
Since I am feeling well...
If a sentence contains more than one clause, isolate the clauses sothat you can decide which pronoun is correct.
Weak | Strong |
[Although she is hungry,] | [she will give him some of her food.] |
[Although this gift is for him,] |...