Pronoun Usage Exercise (274)

A great many of the most common errors heard in daily speech result from the misuse of pronouns. Edit the following sentences to eliminate errors of pronoun usage.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: You know that me and George shoot hoops after school every day.
Correct : You know that George and I shoot hoops after school every day.

Because the speaker and George are the subject of the verb "shoot," the first person pronoun takes the subject form "I."

2.
Original: Miguel and myself want to thank everyone for their loyal support during this campaign.
Correct : Miguel and I want to thank everyone for their loyal support during this campaign.

"Myself" is a reflexive pronoun. It is used when the pronoun "I" has already been used. For example, "I hesitate to repeat myself, but you are the greatest helpers anyone could ask for." "Miguel and I" is correct because it is the first time the speaker is using the pronoun for himself.

3.
Original: No, you and Maria can’t take the boat out by yourselfs; you lack sufficient experience.
Correct : No, you and Maria can’t take the boat out by yourselves; you lack sufficient experience.

Although the second person pronoun "you" can be either singular or plural, the reflexive forms of you call for "self" in the singular and "selves" in the plural.

4.
Original: Just between you and I, your boss seems to be too controlling to get the best work out of his employees.
Correct : Just between you and me, your boss seems to be too controlling to get the best work out of his employees.

"Between" is a preposition. The object form of the pronoun is called for when a pronoun completes a prepositional phrase.

5.
Original: I was really saddened to hear how that old couple deceived theirselves about the value of the stocks their son persuaded them to buy.
Correct : I was really saddened to hear how that old couple deceived themselves about the value of the stocks their son persuaded them to buy.

"Theirselves" and "hisself" are nonstandard forms of "themselves" and "himself."

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