Subjects of sentences 2
Video: Emma Bryce and Karrot Animation with this Ted Ed (new tab) video to clearly the difference between "I and me" (and "myself") (Watching time: 2m:56s)
Me, myself and I
Object pronouns, reflexive pronouns and subject pronouns... all have a role in the sentence.
Me, myself, and I
Me belongs to another group of words we will call object pronouns, and is always on the receiving end (i.e. is the object) of the action in the sentence. This group can never be the subject of the sentence, can never be the person or thing doing the action in the sentence.
She hit me with a frying pan.
* Me eat muesli everyday. * (Red asterisks signal incorrect sentences.)
This is a little different:
I hit myself with the frying pan.
Someone/something and I
Multiple subjects and multiple objects: My flatmates and I [did something]. [James did something to] my flatmates and me
Usually this is where the confusion happens.
Most people are comfortable saying My flatmates and I... but are more reluctant to say ...my flatmates and me when those terms represent the object/s of the sentence.
The test presented in this lesson, when you are not sure whether to use I or me is to remove the other parties' names, so that you are left with only your pronoun... and see if it still makes sense.
My flatmates and me eat muesli every morning. *(Red asterisks signal incorrect sentences.) The cat and I have decided to stay in bed.
In part 3 you can see how this test also works with object pronouns.
A test for whether it should be someone and I or someone and me
Remove the [someone] from the sentence and see how you feel about using I or me by itself.
Testing your object pronouns:
Now we will apply the test from part 2 to our object pronouns.
* The students sent flowers to
my mother and I. * (Note: red asterisks signal that the sentence is wrong.)
The doctor agreed to see
my flatmates and me before looking after the other patients.
* The Queen was already waiting to speak with
my husband and I. *
Now we shall try some more difficult sentences.
The Prime Minister was waiting for
the Queen and me to finish eating our lunch together.
Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.
1. You and Pauline should ride with Jeremy and Scott, and then Nikki and Janine can travel with Maria and ______________.
Insert a (correct) pronoun into the space
me. ✔ or him/her/them ✔ ... any object pronoun.
Why: If you are putting a pronoun into this space, it must be an object pronoun as it is part of the object of this sentence... travel with Maria and me
|2.||▢||At no point did Thomas and I give Jacinda our advice.|
|▢||At no point did Jacinda ask Thomas and me for our advice.|
|▢||At no point did Thomas and me give Jacinda our advice.|
|▢||At no point did Jacinda ask Thomas and I for our advice.|
At no point did Thomas and I give Jacinda our advice. ✔
or At no point did Jacinda ask Thomas and me for our advice. ✔
Why: The first sentence uses Thomas and I in the subject position, as the appropriate first person subject pronoun. (Most people realise this).
The second sentence uses Thomas and me because me is the first person object pronoun. (This is the one that people frequently confuse).
3. No amount of negotiation is going to get _______________ in the same room together.
Select the most appropriate combination to complete this sentence.
my ex and me ✔
Why: The subject of the sentence is negotiation, the verb is is going to get, and so my ex and me are the objects. Don't forget, you need the object pronoun me in the object position.
4. The rain fell relentlessly on the troops below.
Who, or what, is the subject of this sentence?
the rain ✔
Why: English is a SVO language: that means subject + verb + object. The subject occurs before the verb and the object after it. Here the verb is fell and the subject appears before that... the rain. In this sentence, relentlessly is an adverb ... a word that adds extra information about the verb
5. * Although they are usually late, Tony and her got their application in on time. *
Select the correct version of this sentence.
Although they are usually late, she and Tony got their application in on time. ✔
Why: The verb is got, and you need the subject pronoun in front of the verb. The subject pronoun for third person singular (female) is she and Tony. (You could have had Tony and she as well, but it doesn't scan as nicely.