I’ve been wondering lately why I’m bothered by people’s incorrect use of pronouns. Perhaps many simply were not taught or obligated to memorize those few important rules, as I was. So I will don my educator cap and share a few examples of the proper use of pronouns for those of us who could use a refresher.
The first is the use of “me” versus “I;” and “her/him” versus “s/he.” Whenever I hear someone say, “Jamie and me went to the store,” it feels to me like they scratched their fingernails across a chalkboard. I cringe!
Let’s take the sentence, “Jamie and me went to the store.” An easy way to test your grammar is to drop the other person and just listen to whether you would say, “I went,” or “me went.” Please don’t say, “Myself went.” You could say, “I went by myself.” But if Jamie went with you, then it’s “Jamie and I went…”
Under what circumstances would it be correct to say Jamie and me? If “you give something to Jamie and me,” then you are the subject and we are the objects. Why? The rule is that the object always follows a preposition. You don’t give something to “Jamie and I,” or “Jamie and myself.” You give something to me. Therefore, giving something “to Jamie and me” is right.
Another common error is the use of him and he, or her and she.
I often hear people say, “Her and me are going to the store.” Or worse yet, “me and her are going to the store.” Ouch! That hurts my ears!
“Her” and “me” are object pronouns, used for grammatical objects. “She” and “I” are subjects. Just as you would let an older person go through a door first, in speech you are supposed to put the other person before yourself.
So whether you go first or last, or take me with you, here’s what’s right: “You and I” are in this together! Do you think “she and he” will care to join us? “I, myself,” am not sure, but I’m going to keep trying!
Do you have a pet grammatical peeve?
Do you know someone who might benefit from this lesson?
Feel free to forward it on!