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English teacher offers lesson to readers

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            I ask your readers to remember the days of their elementary schooling, during which time they were tested again and again on pronoun usage. Remember?

            Nominative case: I, we, you, he, she, they, it. Objective case: me, us, you, him, her, them, it. Nominative case is used in subject and predicate nominative situations—”HE and I received many toys from Santa.” Objective case: “Santa gave many toys to HIM and ME.” In this usage, “him and me” serve as objects of the preposition “to.”  Nominative:  “He and I shared the money .” Objective:  “The money was divided between him and me.” 

            Again, “him and me” serve as objects of the preposition “between.” For many speakers, the misuse is a result of overcompensation; when the child said, “me and him are going fishing.” Someone was quick to correct “HE and I...” and that lesson is learned well – so well, in fact, that the other usage seems dropped from our lexicons.

            And while we are on the subject of usage, I want to point out another misusage. In this season of graduations, let us remember that the school does the graduating. “Statesboro High School graduates xxx students,” but “John Doe graduates FROM Statesboro High School.

            Sometimes the English teacher in me just MUST be heard.

Alice Christmas


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