Pronouns Exercise (376)

Choose the form of the pronoun that fits the context in the following sentences.

  • That’s a secret between Brian and __ and you won’t prise it out of me.

  • Just because he wants it more than ___ we cannot change the rules.

  • Here at all-male Sunnydale military academy, we feel that teacher who does not model Standard English during working hours is a disgrace to ___ profession.

  • Several of my classmates and __ are taking the ALS bucket challenge.

  • A friend told me ___ sent me an email, but I haven’t received it.

Answers and Explanations

1. That’s a secret between Brian and me and you won’t prise it out of me.

A pronoun governed by a preposition (between) takes the object form of a pronoun (me). Note: American speakers usually use pry for prise.

2. Just because he wants it more than she we cannot change the rules.

In colloquial speech, many speakers would use her in this construction because no verb verb follows it; formal usage infers an "understood" verb: "Just because he wants it more than she [wants it]."

3. Here at all-male Sunnydale military academy, we feel that teacher who does not model Standard English during working hours is a disgrace to his profession.

In a context that clearly relates to one sex only, there’s no reason not to use a singular pronoun or possessive adjective. In the context of mixed gender, it’s better to rewrite the sentence to avoid lack of agreement.

4. Several of my classmates and I are taking the ALS bucket challenge.

The subject is compound: "Several and I." The "I" in front of "are" may sound odd, but the subject is plural and requires a plural verb.

5. A friend told me he sent me an email, but I haven’t received it.

Presumably the speaker knows whether the friend is male or female, so there is no grammatical reason to use plural their instead of singular he or she.

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