This section covers some relatively tricky points which are no
longer standard in spoken English, though many people still insist
upon them in formal writing.
Pronouns in Apposition
A pronoun should also be in the subject case when it is in apposition to a
subject or subject complement, and in the
object case when it is in apposition to the
object of a verb, verbal, or
- [RIGHT] Three craftspeople -- Mary, Albert, and he
-- made the accessory for Jerry.
The phrase "Mary, Albert, and he" is in
apposition to "craftspeople," the
subject of the sentence.
- [RIGHT] The accessory was made by three craftspeople, Mary,
Albert, and him.
The phrase "Mary, Albert, and him" is still in
apposition to the noun "craftspeople,"
but that noun has become the object of the
preposition "by," so the pronoun "him" is in
the object case.
- [RIGHT] The three craftspeople involved were Mary, Albert, and
The pronoun "she" is part of the subject complement, so it is in the subject case.
"Us" and "we" before a Noun
A first-person plural
pronoun used with a noun takes the
case of the noun. If the noun
functions as a subject, the pronoun should
be in the subject case; if the noun
functions as an object, the pronoun should
be in the object case:
- We rowdies left the restaurant late.
- The restaurant owner mumbled at all us slow
Using 'than' or 'as' in a Comparison
In elliptical comparisons, where the writer has left some words out
of a sentence, the case of the pronoun at
the end of the sentence determines its meaning. When a
sentence ends with a subjective pronoun, the pronoun must
serve as the subject of the omitted verb.
When a sentence ends with an objective pronoun, the pronoun must serve
as the object of the omitted verb:
- Ruth likes Jerry better than I.
- Ruth likes Jerry better than I like Jerry.
- Ruth likes Jerry better than me.
- Ruth likes Jerry better than she likes me.