Monday, September 10, 2007

22. Prounouns as Direct Objects

Hey, Everbody! I hope you're all having a great week and that you're impressing your friends and family with your grammar know-how. Welcome back to a new lesson.

Today we will continue looking at the objective use of pronouns. Last time we discussed another very common mistake--using the wrong pronoun when the pronoun in question is the OBJECT of a PREPOSITION.

Today, we'll be taking a look at pronouns as something different, DIRECT OBJECTS.

First, however, let's review what a DIRECT OBJECT is. As we discussed in an earlier lesson, DIRECT OBJECTS are always nouns or pronouns and simply answer " What?" or "Whom?" to the subject and verb of a sentence.

Here's an example sentence:

Alvin watched the ship come in to shore.

In this sentence, ALVIN is the subject, and WATCHED is the verb. Next, all you need to do is ask the questions "What?" or "Whom?" If there is an answer, that noun or pronoun becomes the DIRECT OBJECT.

ALVIN WATCHED "What?" or "Whom?"... Ah, ha! There's NOT an answer to "Whom?", but there IS to "What?" and that answer is SHIP. It's also a noun, making SHIP the DIRECT OBJECT.

Let's try another:

Jan helped Mary Anne clear the table.

In this sentence, JAN is the subject, and HELPED is the verb. Now ask the "What?" or "Whom?" questions again. Once more, an answer will make the word a DIRECT OBJECT.

JAN WATCHED "What?" or "Whom?" ...Yes, indeed! MARY ANNE answers the question "Whom?" here and it's also a noun. Therefore, MARY ANNE becomes the DIRECT OBJECT.

Pretty easy, huh? I'm going to assume you are eagerly nodding "yes". However, in these two sentences, both of the DIRECT OBJECTS are NOUNS--not PRONOUNS...and this is where the problem comes in. Way too many times, we want to use the wrong case of pronouns, especially when a DIRECT OBJECT is compound in a sentence.

First, remember this: These are the objective case pronouns: ME...HIM...HER...US...THEM...WHOM...and WHOMEVER.

The subjective case pronouns that we often confuse with the objective case pronouns are these: I..HE...HER...WE...THEY...WHO...and WHOEVER. We'll study more about the subjective pronouns later. Just remember that, for now, we're concentrating on objective pronouns.

Here's, unfortunately, what we see and hear too much:

Bill joined Butch and I at the dinner table....Aargh! This use is dead wrong! Please notice why.

Pick out the subject and verb. BILL is the subject and JOINED is the verb. Now ask the DIRECT OBJECT questions.

BILL joined "What?" There's no answer.

Bill joined "Whom?" All right! Now we have an answer...the pronoun should be the answer (but is it I or ME?)

All you have to do now is remember that if the "What?"or "Whom?" question has an answer, use the objective form--ME, not I.

Of course, you can, once again, as stated last time, try the trick for leaving out the compound part. That is, read the sentence to yourself and leave out the "...and Butch" part. I surely hope you wouldn't say, "Bill joined I at the dinner table." Please make my day and say you would say, "Bill joined ME at the dinner table."

Now, try a few on your own.

1. The principal told Louise and (we, us) about the new attendance policy.

2. Our seniors nominated Martin and (I, me) for class treasurer.

3. Joe warned Stuart and (he,him) that playing hookey from school was about as dumb as trying to sneak daylight past a rooster.

4. Tom's tennis serve challenged Martin and (she, her).

5. Sandra likes Mary and (I,me) very much.

How did you do? In all of these sentences, the objective forms of the pronouns should be used, because all of them are used as DIRECT OBJECTS.

1. ...principal told...What? or Whom? US

2. ...seniors nominated...What? or Whom? ME
3. Joe warned...What? or Whom? HIM

4. ...serve challenged...What? or Whom? HER

5. Sandra likes...What? or Whom? ME

Okay, Everybody. I hope this has helped some. If you read the last lesson, I'm sure you're beginning to see a pattern with these objective forms. If so, that's great! This will help you apply your knowledge to other examples that may puzzle you.

Next time, we'll take a look at the final of three types of problems with objective case.

Thanks for visiting, and remember that I'd love to hear from you with suggestions for future topics. Have a great week. Peace and happiness, GG

1 comment:

Castanos said...

* Keep button batteries and devices out of kids' sight and reach. The Industrial Revolution brought us many comforts that make our modern lives better, but an argument can most definitely be made that the price we have paid to make our indoor lives more comfortable has turned the outside world into a living hell. Moreover, it is very easy to use and all your dad need to do is follow the 3 color-coded steps labelled on its exterior. Other batteries can be charged and discharged completely without causing a problem, but complete discharge will destroy the Li-ion battery completely.