Compound Subjects and Pronouns

There may be cases where you will be referring to a compound subject that includes pronouns. In these cases the subject is a regular noun and a pronoun together.

For example:

Sally and I went to the mall.

In this example, the subject is "Sally" as well as "I". Sally is a regular noun and I is a pronoun.

Which pronoun to use?

When you write such sentences, it can be a little tricky to figure out which pronoun to use. Look at this example:

Mary likes peanut butter more than ________ ("me" or "I"?)

Given the choice between using ‘me’ or ‘I’ which one would you use?
An easy way to figure this out is to look at each subject as if it was on its own in the sentence, by omitting the part that relates to the pronoun.

So for our example sentence:

1. Start by omitting the pronoun part:
Mary likes peanut butter. - This sentence makes sense when you read or say it.

2. Now, replace the subject with one of the pronouns and check it:
I like peanut butter. - This sentence also makes sense.

3. Now, check it with the other pronoun:
Me likes peanut butter. - This sentence does not make sense and is not using proper English.

Therefore, for our example sentence, we would end up choosing “I” for our pronoun and we will get:
Mary likes peanut butter more than I.

More examples

Here are a few more examples with pronoun choices given in parenthesis. Let's try and figure out which pronoun would be best in each sentence.

(She / Her) and I like riding bikes in the park.

1. First - omit the pronoun part:
I like riding bikes in the park. - Good

2. Second - replace the subject with one of the pronouns:
She likes riding bikes in the park. - Good

3. Last - Let's try the other pronoun:
Her likes riding bikes in the park. - Bad

Thus, the correct sentence will be:
She and I like riding bikes in the park.


Another example:
Marsha likes both Mark and (I / me).

1. First - omit the pronoun part:
Marsha likes Mark. - Good

2. Second - replace the subject with one of the pronouns:
Marsha likes I. - Bad

3. Last - Let's try the other pronoun:
Marsha likes me. - Good

Thus, the correct sentence will be:
Marsha likes both Mark and me.


Another example:
(They / Them) were at the same party we were at.

1. First - omit:
We were at the party. - Good

2. Second - replace:
They were at the party. - Good

3. Last - try the other:
Them were at the party - Bad

Thus, the correct sentence will be:
They were at the same party we were at.




Interactive Exercises:

Click on the correct pronoun from the choices given in each sentence:

1. Jonathan and ( I / me) went to the comic store after school yesterday.
2. (She / Her) and Alexia have been friends since preschool.
3. My husband and ( I / me) have been friends with them for many years.
4. (Him / He) and I wanted to go camping but Jane and (her / she) wanted to go skiing.
5. We waited for three hours but Zane and (he / him) never showed up.
6. We have no clue what is going on between George, Kevin, and ( they / them).
7. Whatever the decision is, it is fine by Kevin and (I / me).
8. Marsha and ( I / me) made these reservations three months in advance.



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