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Pronoun Case

Pronouns (and nouns) in English display "case" according to their function in the sentence. Their function can be:

  • subjective (they act as the subject)
  • objective (they act as the object)
  • possessive (they show possession of something else)

The following table shows the different forms for pronouns depending on case.

      subjective case objective case possessive case
personal pronouns singular 1st I me mine
    2nd you you yours
3rd he
  plural 1st we us ours
    2nd you you yours
3rd they them theirs
relative/interrogative pronouns     who whom whose
      whoever whomever  
      which/that/what which/that/what  
indefinite pronouns     everybody everybody everybody's

A problem of case: Mary and I or Mary and me?

  1. Mary and I are delighted to be here today. (NOT Mary and me)
  2. The letter was addressed to Mary and me. (NOT Mary and I)

In 1, Mary and I are subjects, which is why the pronoun takes the subjective case ("I"). In 2, Mary and I are objects, which is why the pronoun takes the objective case ("me"). An easy way to check the correct case is to try the sentence without Mary. Would you say "I am delighted to be here" or "Me am delighted to be here"? Would you say "The letter was addressed to me" or "The letter was addressed to I"?

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