Business Writing Essentials
Grammar

Pronoun Case

Using the proper case for some pronouns can be tricky. Professors of grammar tell us there are two cases for personal pronouns:

Nominative Case: I, He, She, We, They

Objective Case: me, him, her, us, them

The pronouns are presented with different capitalization to drive home the point that nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence:

She requested the report, but they have not responded.

Here is the tricky part. When a personal pronoun is part of a compound subject, it still uses nominative case:

Amy and me can prepare the report.
[wrong]

Amy and I can prepare the report.
[right]

Instead of memorizing the rule, trust your ear. Temporarily remove the rest of the subject and see how it sounds:

Amy and me can prepare the report.
[sounds odd]

Amy and I can prepare the report.
[sounds appropriate]

The objective case is used when the pronoun is the object of a verb or the object of a preposition:

The accountants gave Amy and I an update.
[wrong]

The result looks pretty good to Bob and I.
[wrong]

Again, we have the tricky situation where a personal pronoun is part of a compound thing, in this case an object, so it still uses objective case:

The accountants gave Amy and me an update.
[right]

The result looks good to Bob and me.
[right]

And, again, instead of memorizing the rule, trust your ear. Temporarily remove the rest of the object and see how it sounds:

The accountants gave Amy and I an update.
[sounds odd]

The accountants gave Amy and me an update.
[sounds appropriate]

The result looks good to Bob and I.
[sounds odd]

The result looks good to Bob and me.
[sounds appropriate]

If you come across a tricky situation with a personal pronoun, and you look it up in The Gregg Reference Manual, and you assemble the grammatically-correct version, and it still sounds odd, start over and rewrite the sentence in a different way. It's better to play it safe.

Lesson: Pronoun Case
Module: Grammar
Course: Business Writing Essentials