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Special Problems with Pronouns:

Related Pronouns in Elliptical Clauses Correctly

Whom should I say is calling? Pat is a better player than me?

Using Who and Whom and other

SUBORDINATE CLAUSE: ________________________________________ REWORDED CLAUSE: __________________________________________ USE OF PRONUN: _____________________________________________ CASE FOR PREDICATE NOMINATIVES: _____________________________ Follow these rules FOR OBJECTIVE CASE: USE WHOM FOR THE DIRECT OBJECT OF A VERB. Example: Whom did she ask to the dance? FOLLOW THIS RULE WHEN THE PRONOUN ACTS AS A DIRECT OBJECT IN A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. Examples: I wonder whom he meant. I asked him whom he was taking to the dance. SUBORDINATE CLAUSE: ________________________________________ REWORDED CLAUSE: __________________________________________ USE OF PRONUN: _____________________________________________ CASE FOR DIRECT OBJECT: ______________________________________ USE WHOM FOR THE OBJECT OF A PREPOSITION. Example: With whom were you speaking? Whom were you speaking with? FOLLOW THIS RULE WHEN THE PRONOUN IS PART OF A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. Examples: We met the writer about whom we had read so much. Marie thanked the police officer whom she had gotten the directions from. SUBORDINATE CLAUSE: ________________________________________ REWORDED CLAUSE: __________________________________________ USE OF PRONUN: _____________________________________________ CASE FOR OBJECT OF A PREPOSITION: ____________________________ PARENTHETICAL EXPRESSIONS SUCH AS WE BELIEVE, I SUPPOSE, OR EXPERTS SAY DO NOT AFFECT THE CASE OF A PRONOUN WHEN THEY APPEAR WITHIN A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. Examples: He is the one who, experts say, will win. He is the one whom, experts say, the voters want. NOTE ABOUT WHOM IN INFORMAL ENGLISH: Which is more correct? Who did you want to speak with? _________________ With whom did you want to speak? _________________

Would it be correct to say these?

The chart below shows the uses of each pronoun. Case Pronoun Nominative who

Use in Sentence Subject or Predicate Nominative Objective whom Direct object, Object of the preposition Possessive whose To show ownership NOTE ABOUT WHOSE: Do not confuse the possessive pronoun whose with the contraction whos, meaning who is. Follow these rules FOR NOMINATIVE CASE: USE WHO FOR THE SUBJECT OF A VERB. Examples: Who won this years Pulitzer Prize for poetry? Who will be the group leader? FOLLOW THIS RULE WHEN THE PRONOUN IS THE SUBJECT OF A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. Examples: I wonder who wrote this article. Carlos is the guide who conducted the tour. Louis is the one who invited us.

What kind of sentences are the examples above? ___________________ I did not know who left the roses. (Is the pronoun correct?) How will you know if the case of the pronoun is correct?
SUBORDINATE CLAUSE: ______________________________________________ USE OF PRONOUN: _________________________________________________ CASE FOR SUBJECTS: ________________________________________________ USE WHO FOR A PREDICATE NOMINATIVE Example: The winner was who? FOLLOW THIS RULE WHEN THE PRONOUN IS THE PREDICATE NOMINATIVE OF A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. Example: No one knew who the winner was.

Follow this rule for PRONOUNS IN ELLIPTICAL CLAUSES: What is an elliptical clause? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ IN ELLIPTICAL CLAUSES BEGINNING WITH THAN OR AS, USE THE FORM OF THE PORONOUN THAT YOU WOULD USE IF THE CLAUSE WERE FULLY STATED. Examples: WORDS LEFT OUT ______ PRONOUN: He is as tall as she. He is as tall as she [is]. WORDS LEFT OUT ______ PRONOUN: She gave us fewer chores than them. She gave us fewer chores than [she gave] them.

Follow the steps in the chart in order to determine which case of a pronoun to use.


1. Consider the pronouns you have to choose from. 2. Mentally complete the elliptical clause. 3. Make your choice based on the complete elliptical clause. SKILLS REVIEW and WRITING WORKSHOP Rewrite the following paragraph, correcting all the errors in pronoun usage. (1) My older sister Sarah and me spent an entire day hiking. (2) No one is a better hiker than her (3) Its interesting to walk through the woods because there is so much to see. (4) Along the way some deer passed so close to us that there were only a few yards between we and they. (5) We had only a moment to watch them walking by before them ran off. (6) Afterward Sarah, who swims better than me, decided to go swimming in a nearby stream. (7) Us splashing around must have scared away every animal in the area. (8) Sarah was the one to who my mother gave the sandwiches for lunch. (9) I ate all of my sandwich but Sarah could not finish hers. (10) After lunch, us girls set off again.
USING USAGE SKILLS IN WRITING: Writing Your Autobiography with a Twist!


If the words left out would normally come after the pronoun, use nominative pronoun (I, we, he, she, they) because it will be the __________ of the understood verb. If the words left out would normally come before the pronoun, use an objective pronoun (me, us, him, her, them) because it will be the _________________ of the understood verb or the ___________________________. Sometime the entire meaning of the sentence depends on the case of the pronoun. NOMINATIVE PRONOUN: Fran helped us more than he. Fran helped us more than he [did]. OBJECTIVE PRONOUN: Fran helped us more than him. Fran helped us more than [she helped] him.

A good writer knows that pronouns must be used correctly for writing to have the desired impact. Write your autobiography, but with a difference. Make it an autobiography of yourself at age forty-five. Give the autobiography as much impact as possible by following these steps. PREWRITING: Consider the most important things that have happened in your life so far. Then think of any other things you would like to have achieved by the time you reach forty-five. WRITING: Begin with a short statement that sums up the way you feel about your life. Then present the highlights of your life chronologically. REVISING: First look at your pronouns and correct any mistakes in usage. Then read through your autobiography, looking for other improvements you could make. After you have revised, proofread carefully.

Reference :

Forlini, G. et al (2004). Prentice Hall Grammar and Composition 1. Jurong, Singapore: Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd.