"Your grammar and diction are seen as clues to your
Constance Staley and Robert Staley II.
Communicating in Business and the Professions.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992. p. 30
| ||Subject Forms||Object Forms||Possessive Forms|
|1st person||I||we||me||us||my, mine||our, ours|
|2nd person||you||you||you||you||your, yours||your, yours|
|3rd person||he, she, it||they||him, her, it||them||his, her(s), its||their, theirs|
| ||*Singular means one; plural means more
- When you use a personal pronoun as a subject or as a part of a subject, be sure it is from the "Subject Forms" group. (I talk with people each day. Mary and I talk with people each day.)
- When you use a personal pronoun as any type of object, be sure it is from the "Object Forms" group. (I called her. I talked with Mary and her. She planned the party for Mary and me.)
- Them can be used only as an object (I gave the books to them. I gave them the books.). Them cannot be used as a modifier (I want them books - should be: I want those books.).
- The possessive forms show ownership. Notive that all of the
possessives have an s form except my and mine; never
add s to my or mine.
- If the word and occurs before the pronoun, say the sentence
without the word and and without the noun or pronoun in front of
the and to determine which pronoun you should use. (John and
I went home. He gave the keys to John and me.
Other Troublesome Pronouns
|Who||subject form||Who is calling? I can't hear
the person who is calling.|
|Whom||object form||Whom have you called? To whom do you wish to speak? The person whom you choose will be listed.|
|Whose||possessive form||Whose pen is this? The
person whose name you give me will be listed.|
- Use a singular verb with a singular subject (noun or pronoun naming
one person, place or thing).
- Use a plural verb with a plural subject (noun/nouns or pronoun/pronouns naming more than one person, place or thing).
- Rules of Thumb
- Noun ending in s is plural* (persons, ladies).
- Verb ending in s is singular* (asks, calls: If any other
company calls youŠ).
- *There are exceptions! (People = plural; men = plural;
James = singular, Jones = singular.) Even though the pronoun I is
singular and even though the pronoun you may be singular, so not
use a verb ending in s with I or with you. (I have.
I call. You have. You call.)
- To determine whether to use a singular or plual verb in a question,
use the available words in the question to answer the question. (Is/Are there any other numbers you's like to add? There are any other numbers you'd like to add. Are there any other numbers you's like to add?)
- When the word there occurs before the verb of a sentence, the
verb should "agree with" (be singular or plural) the first noun following the verb. (There is one line open. There are two lines open.)
|(actions or being now)||(action or being before
now)||(action or being begun before now)|
|sit (in a chair)||sat||sat|
|set (to place something)||set||set|
|lie (in a bed)||lay||lain|
|lay (to place something)||laid||laid|
|*When used as a verb in a sentence, the past participle
must be accompanied by a "helping" verb. The following are helping verbs:
has, have, had, be, am, is, are, was, were.|
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