If Subject and Object Pronouns Confuse You...Use This Simple Trick

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Confused by subject and object pronouns?

 Although I live in a community where poor grammar is the norm rather than the exception, I can't recall ever hearing anyone over about the age of 2 saying something like "Me want a cookie" or "Give she a cookie."Cute little girl - oh no!

 If you are raised speaking English, many people along the way will have corrected that error, and you'll grow up knowing that "Please come visit I" simply sounds wrong.

Referring to one person is easy, but...

 Unfortunately, when the words I, me, she, he, her, and him are combined with another person's name, the ability to hear that it sounds wrong goes out the window for many people.

 Around here you're very apt to hear something like "Me and my wife went to the lake for the week-end." Or, "Him and Jerry are rebuilding an engine in the garage." I have a friend who says things like "Her and her sister stopped by for coffee on Friday."

 Even my neighbor – a retired educator with a Master's Degree – gets this wrong. Last night he was talking about someone and said "I always enjoyed visiting with he and his wife." He also says things like "The kids came to visit Hazel and I."

 So how can you always get this right?

the girl is missingSimply remove the other person for a minute and see how it sounds.


You would not say "Me went to the lake," or "The kids came to visit I." You wouldn't say "Her stopped by for coffee on Friday."


After you have it right without the other person, put them back in.

 Of course, you need to remember to check the verb as well. You don't want to end up saying "He and Jerry is rebuilding an engine." If there are two people, you need the plural verb: are.


 Does all this really matter?

Yes - if you don't want to put big stop signs in the middle of your messages!

Comments (14)

Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

very true.. me went to the showing and saw that the buyers looked at me with a very strange look!

Feb 01, 2013 08:43 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mark - It's hard to write that, isn't it?

Feb 01, 2013 09:05 AM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Marte, it's about time Jerry's friend helped rebuild his engine!   ;-)  Brian

Feb 01, 2013 09:09 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Marte, The one that gets me is when someone answers the phone and says This is her or this is him

Feb 01, 2013 09:52 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Brian - Yes it is. He'd never get it done working all alone.

Debbie - Ouch!

Feb 01, 2013 10:04 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, I always loved that "trick."  Here the grammar is prob. better, but I still hear people making these mistakes.  Drives me crazy.  Makes them look educated.

Feb 01, 2013 07:31 PM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Marti,  Out profession business is not a shining example of correct language usage !

Feb 01, 2013 10:40 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

boughtnMarte, first off, excellent points--hope these folks don't read, either--(maybe that was part of the problem), but secondly Brian's comment cracked me up! Good thing I didn't have food in my mouth.

A favorite word around these parts is one I have NEVER heard anywhere else and I've lived in quite a few states.

I went to the store and boughtn a coat.

When did you get it?

I boughtn it last week.


Feb 02, 2013 01:12 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Debbie - Ours is an old logging community. You'll get a whole lot more respect for being able to drive a truck than being able to construct a sentence. It's simply not a priority.

Bill - That's true. But, as I mentioned, even my neighbor with the Master's in Education gets this wrong.

Feb 02, 2013 01:13 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Gayle - I've never heard that one before. Funny where these little "localisms" come from.

A phrase they use around here is "We won 'em!" after the home team wins a game. HUH??

Feb 02, 2013 01:32 AM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Marte, Very good point. My wife keeps an eye on my ad copy but not my blogs. It is important. Me subscribe to your blog. ;)  Some "localisms" become engrained and folks do nit want to stand out as different so they join the crowd.


Feb 04, 2013 01:37 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dana - Me welcome you!

You may be right about localisms - or else people just hear them so much that they pick them up. I've found myself picking up words from other people without thinking about it.

Feb 04, 2013 03:47 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

It sure matters, and it matters a lot. It tells more about us than our business card (provided that the business card is... in English-LOL)

Feb 07, 2013 04:11 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jon - You've definitely got one over on me there. English is the only language I can speak. It has to be difficult to learn all the little quirks in the English language if you didn't start learning them from birth.

Feb 07, 2013 04:32 PM