I’ve written more than once in this space about the maddening (yet seemingly ubiquitous) trend of using “I” when “me” is the correct pronoun. If presidential candidates can’t even get it right, I wonder what hope there is for my good grammar crusade. But I refuse to give up!
While not as common as the I/me error, nearly every day I hear someone make a similar mistake regarding she/her and he/him. Here’s a refresher lesson about the difference:
“He” and “she” are subject pronouns. A subject does something.
“Him” and “her” are object pronouns. Objects have something done to them.
The above examples are pretty obvious to the ear. It would sound jarring if someone were to say, “Her goes to the store,” or “I gave he the letter,” right? Where people run into trouble is when there is more than one object in the sentence. For example:
To some ears the third option above might sound right, but it’s not. Let’s remove the second object in the sentence, which in this case is Gloria:
In the above examples, the answer again becomes obvious, right? So, remember this: When in doubt, take Gloria out!
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