Share this entry

Share this page

Personal pronouns

The correct use of personal pronouns is one of the areas of English usage that cause most difficulty. I, he, she, we, and they are known as subjective personal pronouns because they are used as the subject of a sentence, often coming in front of the verb:

He went to bed early.

They live in Paris.

I left college in 1996.

Me, him, her, us, and them are known as objective pronouns because they are used as the object of a verb or after a preposition:

The audience loved him.

The dog followed us.

Rose spent the day with me.

I bought a ticket for her.

The difficulties begin when personal pronouns are used together with another noun. Should you say, for example:

Claire and me went shopping.

or:

Claire and I went shopping.

In this sentence the personal pronoun is in the subject position, so it has to be I not me:

Claire and I went shopping.

Which of these two sentences is correct?

Rose spent the day with Jake and I.

Rose spent the day with Jake and me.

Here, the personal pronoun is in the object position, so it must be me rather than I:

 ✓ Rose spent the day with Jake and me.

An easy way to check if you've got this right is to use the pronoun on its own. ‘Me went shopping’ or ‘Rose spent the day with I’ are both obviously incorrect

Share this entry

Share this page


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Grammar and usage