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Objective Case of Pronouns

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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Just Between You and Me

A reminder. Whenever a pronoun serves as the object of a preposition, it must appear in the objective case.

So please heed this advice from Henry Fowler:

After a preposition the objective form of a pronoun . . . must always be used: believe in him; between us; for them. This is especially important when two pronouns are linked by and or or: between you and me (not I); a gift from my brother and me (not I); I asked if there was any chance of him (not he) and Gina reconciling. New Fowler, p. 617.

Many people make the mistake of using the subjective case (I, we, he, she, etc.) instead of the objective case (me, us, him, her, etc.). The mistake usually arises when the preposition has two personal pronouns as objects. Note the mistake in the title of my book: A Grammar Book for You and I, Oops, Me! The preposition for requires objective pronouns to follow it. Thus, me, not I. So watch out for the following:

Wrong: Just between you and I Right: Just between you and me

Wrong: Send the report to Caitlin and I. Right: Send the report to Caitlin and me.

Wrong: We talked about he and she. Right: We talked about him and her.


Previous: Prepositional Phrase - Two Parts

Next: Ending a Sentence or Clause with a Preposition

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1 Comment
  • Dewain Belgard
    Dewain Belgard
    I'm extremely annoyed by the increasing use of nominative pronouns (especially "I") where the objective case is required. My over-reaction reveals a problem in my personality I guess -- an intolerance for pretense. If someone says "he don't" or "there ain't no reason for that", it doesn't bother me at all. But phrases like "for he and I" or "between my friend and I" seem like affectations to me. Sometimes I even see 'for him and I" or "between her and I" -- mixing the objective and nominative cases where obviously (to me) the same case (whatever it is) is required for both pronouns. I've noticed lately that even in professional writing, the use of "I" after "between" or "for" is becoming more common. Really, really annoying! 
    LikeReply8 years ago


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