Pronoun Errors Exercise
For each sentence, select the correct case for the pronoun.
- We/us selected a finalist from among the candidates.
Answer: we. We is the subject of the verb selected.
- They/them called she/her into the meeting.
Answers: they and her. They is the subject of the verb called. Her is the object of the same verb.
- The situation created problems for she/her and I/me.
Answers: her and me. Both pronouns are the objects of the preposition for.
- Antonio will meet Sarah and I/me at the club.
Answer: me. Me is the object of the verb meet.
For each sentence, determine whether the pronoun is an object or a subject and supply the correct case.
- They/them were unsure whether it had been she/her who made the donation.
Answers: They, she. They is the subject of the verb were; she is a subject complement following a past tense form of the verb “to be”.
- If you see she/her, tell she/her that Martin and I/me will be late.
Answers: Her, her, I. The first her is the object of the verb see, and the second her is the object of the verb tell. I is a compound subject (with Martin) of the verb will be.
- I/me gave they/them the message from she/her.
Answers: I, them, her. I is the subject of the verb gave, them is the object of the verb gave, and her is the object of the preposition from.
- We/us beginners need more help from you.
Answers: We. We is an appositive to beginners, the subject of the verb need. (You, which does not change case, is the object of the preposition from.)
- Min and she/her have been friends for many years.
Answers: She. She is a compound subject, with Min, of the verb have been.
- It was I/me in the disguise.
Answers: I. I is a subject complement. (In informal usage, me would be acceptable.)
- Will they/them tell we/us when they/them want we/us to begin?
Answers: They, us, they, us. They is the subject of the verb tell; us the object of the verb tell. They is the subject of the verb want; us is the object of the verb want.
- Give this box to he/him.
Answers: Him. Him is the object of the preposition to.
- My professor asked me to do some work for he/him and his wife.
Answers: Him. Him is the object of the preposition for.
- She/her asked we/us if we/us could be quieter.
Answers: She, us, we. She is the subject of the verb asked; us is the object of the verb asked. We is the subject of the verb could be.
For each sentence, identify any pronouns and their antecedents.
- The children asked their teacher if they could stay outside, but he told them to come in for class.
Answers: Pronouns: they, them. Antecedent: children. Pronoun: he. Antecedent: teacher.
The two plural pronouns, they and them, refer to the same antecedent, children, but one pronoun is a subject and one is an object. (The possessive pronoun their also refers to the children.) The singular pronoun he refers to the singular noun teacher. (It can be assumed from the context that this teacher is male.)
- Starting a new business was difficult, but the Singletons were always sure they could do it.
Answers: Pronoun: they. Antecedent: the Singletons. Pronoun: it. Antecedent: starting a new business.
The plural pronoun they refers to the entire family, the Singletons. The singular pronoun it replaces the noun phrase starting a new business, which is one act, even though it requires several words to express the idea.
- My son encouraged me to go back to college when he enrolled for his Master’s degree so that we could study together.
Answers: Pronoun: me. Antecedent: (none). Pronoun: he. Antecedent: my son. Pronoun: we. Antecedent: my son and me.
The personal pronoun me does not have a direct antecedent; it simply refers to the speaker. My son requires the singular male pronoun he, but the speaker and the speaker’s son together become we.
For each sentence, supply the correct pronouns for the antecedent(s).
- If Julie comes, tell _____ that I need to see _____ right away.
Answers: Her, her (Julie requires a singular, female pronoun.)
- Terry and his brother are both tall, but _____ are not as tall as Mike.
Answer: They (Terry and his brother requires a plural, third-person pronoun.)
- I bought a music box, but _____ broke when my sister dropped _____.
Answers: It, it (Music box is a thing, requiring a neutral, third-person singular pronoun.)
- The homeowner and the contractor signed a document in which_________agreed on the price for the construction work.
Answer: They (The homeowner and the contractor requires a plural, third-person pronoun.)
- Larry or Jane will have to lend me __________ phone because I did not bring mine.
Answer: Her (For this compound subject joined by or, the closest antecedent is Jane, requiring a singular, female pronoun. However, sentences using mixed antecedents are very awkward and should be avoided whenever possible.)
Supply the correct demonstrative pronoun or adjective.
- How do you turn _____ machine on?
Answer: This or that (singular, modifying machine)
- _____ car has low mileage, but _____ one is less expensive.
Answers: This, that, or That, this (singular, modifying car; used in contrast to each other)
- _____ are the sweetest oranges I ever tasted.
Answers: These or those (plural, referring to oranges)
- Many of _____ people had never met each other before.
Answers: These or those (plural, modifying people)
- Are _____ the right tools for the job?
Answers: These or those (plural, referring to tools)
- If you take _____ road, watch out for the potholes.
Answer: That or this (singular, modifying road)
- Which photograph should we use for the brochure, _____ or _____?
Answers: This, that, or that, this (singular, referring to photograph; used in contrast to each other)
Chose the correct construction.
- I always wanted to have that kind/those kinds of dog.
Answers: That kind (agreeing with singular dog)
- This sort/Those sorts of problems usually solve/solves themselves.
Answers: Those sorts, solve (agreeing with plural problems)
- If you find that kind/those kinds of hat, please buy me one.
Answer: That kind (agreeing with singular hat)
For each sentence, choose the correct relative pronoun.