How well do you know personal pronouns? Take this five question quiz, and compare your answers with the explanations below.
In each of the following pairs of sentences, choose the one that uses the correct personal pronoun.
a. Mom asked Jane and me to help with the groceries.
b. Mom asked Jane and I to help with the groceries.
a. Joe and myself are competing for the award.
b. Joe and I are competing for the award.
a. Nobody likes ice cream as much as I.
b. Nobody likes ice cream as much as me.
a. Mary and she went to school together.
b. Mary and her went to school together.
a. Does the sound of him snoring bother you?
b. Does the sound of his snoring bother you?
Answers and explanations
1. The correct answer is a: Mom asked Jane and me to help with the groceries.
The pronoun is part of the object of the sentence—the part that the subject refers to. The form should be the same as if the person the pronoun refers to were mentioned alone, rather than in company with Jane ("Mom asked me to help with the groceries," not "Mom asked I to help with the groceries").
2. The correct answer is b: Joe and I are competing for the award.
You should only use a reflexive pronoun (one ending in -self or -selves) to refer to another pronoun, as in "The difference between us is that I wouldn't put myself in danger like that." Myself refers reflexively to I. The form is the same as if Joe were not part of the statement ("I am competing for the award").
3. The correct answer is a: Nobody likes ice cream as much as I.
The final word in this sentence is a predicate nominative—a renaming in the predicate position of a noun or pronoun appearing as the subject. Because the predicate nominative renames the subject pronoun, it takes the form of a subjective pronoun (I), not an objective pronoun (me). The me version implies that the person is being compared to ice cream ("Nobody likes ice cream as much as they like me").
4. The correct answer is a: Mary and she went to school together.
The pronoun in this sentence is part of a compound subject; it should be in the same form it would be in if you omitted the reference to Mary ("She went to school," not "Her went to school").
5. The correct answer is b: Does the sound of his snoring bother you?
Either of these sentences is correct, but "his snoring" places emphasis on the snoring. "Him snoring" emphasizes the person doing the snoring. The point of the sentence is the sound, not the person producing the sound, so his is better.
A version of this article originally appeared on DailyWritingTips.com.
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