Pronoun Cases: Subject and Object Pronouns

Last updated: May 16, 2018 at 4:46 am

ball photo

Which is correct?

A. The ball hit he.

B. The ball hit him.

A. Him is a good player?

B. He is a good player?

 

A pronoun stands in place of a noun. We use pronouns to avoid repetition. However, the same pronoun may have two different forms or “cases.”

Pronoun Types: Pronoun Cases: Subjective Versus Objective Cases of Pronouns

Here are some examples:

A. Mary is going up the hill. She is walking slow.

B. Mary is going up the hill. A pebble suddenly hit her.

In the sentences above, the noun Mary is replaced by two different pronouns. Why? Because one is a subject pronoun and the other is an object pronoun.

In example “A” above, we use the pronoun “she” because a “subject pronoun” is required. Why is a subject pronoun required? Let’s use “Mary” instead a pronoun and we’ll see why.

Mary is going up the hill. Mary is walking slowly.

As you can see, in the second sentence Mary is used as a subject. That is, “she” is doing the action.

However, in example B, Mary would be receiving an action.

Let’s put it into perspective.

Mary is going up the hill. A pebble suddenly hit Mary.

In the second example above, Mary is the object of the verb “hit.”  Therefore, the pronoun we use to replace “Mary” as an object must be an “object” pronoun.

Subject: Does an action.

Object: Receives an action.

Subject Pronoun: Replaces subject nouns.

Object Pronoun: Replaces object nouns.

Subject pronouns are said to be in the “nominative case.”

Object pronouns are said to be in the “objective case.”

Here is a list of pronouns in the nominative case: I, we he, she, they.

Here is a list of pronouns in the objective case: me, him, her, us, them.

Tip: Always use a subject pronoun with a linking verb. Examples:

Correct: It is I.

Incorrect: It is me.

Correct: This is she.

Incorrect: This is her.

Correct: I am he.

Incorrect: I am him.

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