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Grammar tip: she and I, not her and I

Posted by Maria Murnane | July 9, 2013

I go to the store. She goes to the store.

She and I go to the store.

Simple, right? Apparently not, because everywhere I go, and every time I turn on the TV, I hear people say things such as “Her and I go to the store” or “Her and I have been friends since college” or “Him and I get along great.

Why is this grammar mistake so common? You would never say “Her went to the store,” right? So why would you say “Her and I went to the store?” And you would never say “Karen saw I,”right? Or does “Karen gave I the apple” sound correct to you?

Here’s how it works:

“I” and “she” are subject pronouns, i.e. they can be used as the subjects in a sentence.

  • I go to the store.
  • She goes to the store.

“Me” and “her” are object pronouns, i.e. they can be used as direct or indirect objects in a sentence.

  • Direct object: Karen saw me.
  • Indirect object: Karen gave me the apple.
  • Direct object: Karen saw her.
  • Indirect object: Karen gave her the apple.

The fight for good grammar in the written and spoken word rages on, but I’m determined to do my part to stop the madness. I hope you will help me!

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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4 Responses to “Grammar tip: she and I, not her and I”

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  • Alice Kemp says:

    One pet peeve I have as an editor and writer is the incorrect use of the pronoun “I” in a predicate, such as in “My friends saw her and I at the store.” All people have to do is remove the first pronoun to see that the sentence won’t work: “My friends saw I at the store.” Now how hard is that? But I’m sure you’ve heard the ol’ saying, “common sense is not that common.”

    • Elaine Bedigian says:

      Your last sentence and quote is in full-bloom right now. I love all the grands and the great-grands in my family, but I shiver when I hear them speak–or, do I mean mumble.
      Woe is the future of our lovely language, and all the “rules” that make it so, have flown the coop.

      I plan to keep pushing for the good stuff as long as I have breath in me, and my fingers remain nimble enough to write or type.

  • Leslie Cochran says:

    I love it. Improper grammar makes me crazy. I wonder what our children are or better yet are not learning in school. My granddaughters school no longer teaches spelling because everyone uses spell check and now I learned they will no longer be teaching cursive writing. Scary. I have enjoyed your blog.

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