The Three Cases of Personal Pronouns
Pronouns have three cases, which is what indicates how that pronoun is related to the words that it is used with. The three cases are: nominative, possessive, and objective.
The nominative case is used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. The nominative form pronouns are: I, you, he/she, it, we/they.
- She was quiet as she entered the museum.
In this sentence, the subject or thing being named by the use of a pronoun is “She” and so this would use the nominative case pronoun.
A pronoun that is in the possessive case is used to show ownership or possession of something. The possessive form pronouns are: My, mine, our(s), his/her(s), their, its, and yours.
- My car wouldn’t start because I left the headlights on.
In this sentence, “My” is showing who’s car is being discussed, and the “I,” being the subject of the sentence, is there in the nominative pronoun.
A pronoun that is in the objective case is used as the direct object, indirect object, or the object of the preposition. The objective form pronouns are: Me, you, him, her, it, and them.
- I was so thrilled that I gave her a big hug.
In this sentence, “her” is the object receiving the action in the sentence and so is a pronoun in the objective case. “I” would be in the nominative case, as the purpose of the sentence is to demonstrate something about “I,” the subject of the sentence.
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