It can be confusing to keep all your types of pronouns straight – which is which? What is what? Read on to learn about nominative pronouns, to see some examples, and to learn tips and tricks for using them.
Here are the nominative pronouns:
I, you, he, she, it, they, and we
These are the pronouns that are usually the subject of a sentence – and they do the action in that sentence. A few examples of these nominative pronouns acting as the subject of a sentence are as follows:
Here are a few pronouns that are not nominative because they are being affected by the subject and verb:
me, them, her, him, us
Here are a few examples of these pronouns in action – can you understand why they are not nominative pronouns?
Did you guess that they are not nominative pronouns because they are not the subject of the sentence and they are just being affected by the subject? If so, you are right!
Many people struggle when labeling pronouns by their type, but they usually use these pronouns correctly in a sentence.
However, sometimes there are typical mistakes which even native English speakers make. This usually involves using I and me interchangeably. Look at the following two sentences, for example:
The second sentence is correct, because “Sally and I” is the subject of the sentence, so the nominative pronoun must be used for the sentence to make sense grammatically. However, the example below completely changes the situation. Can you understand why?
Not so fast! If you assumed that you once again had to use “Sally and I” – you were wrong! Many young students drill the mini-phrase “and I” instead of “and me” in their minds because the first is much more commonly correct than the second.
Remember, though, that “I” is a nominative pronoun. This means that you can’t use it when it is an object in a sentence. “The teacher” is the subject, which makes “Sally and me” the correct object. Don’t confuse your nominative pronouns with other pronouns, or you’ll find yourself in trouble.
Look at the following sentences, which all use nominative pronouns correctly.
Now look at the following sentences – they all use pronouns incorrectly! Can you use nominative pronouns to fix each sentence?
In the following examples, can you tell which sentences use nominative pronouns correctly, and which don’t use nominative pronouns correctly? Be careful – these are designed to trick you!
Keep practicing with nominative pronouns. It will pay off.