Pronouns Exercise (388)

Choose the correct form of the pronoun to complete the following sentences.

  • The decision will be made by ____ is Director at the time.

  • Georgie and I walk to school by ____ every morning.

  • The competition has narrowed to two finalists, Marilyn and __.

  • That’s Mr. Cho; we plan to drive to New Orleans with my boss and __.

  • When the secretary answered the phone, I heard her ask "___ may I say is calling?"

Answers and Explanations

1. The decision will be made by whoever is Director at the time.

Although the pronoun stands after the preposition by, the subject form is required because whoever is the subject of its own clause: "whoever is Director at the time." The entire noun clause is the object of by.

2. Georgie and I walk to school by ourselves every morning.

Ourselves restates the subject: "Georgie and I." The form ourself is nonstandard in any context.

3. The competition has narrowed to two finalists, Marilyn and me.

The compound "Marilyn and me" is in apposition to the noun finalists. The noun finalists is the object of the preposition to.

4. That’s Mr. Cho; we plan to drive to New Orleans with my boss and him.

The pronoun (him) is part of the compound object of the preposition with.

5. When the secretary answered the phone, I heard her ask "Who may I say is calling?"

"Who may I say is calling" contains two clauses, one tucked inside the other: "Who is calling" and "may I say." This is a common error, perhaps made by analogy with another common way of answering a telephone: "To whom do you wish to speak?" In this example, the whom is correct because it is the object of the preposition to.

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