PERSONAL PRONOUNS 3(2-1): advanced points

1 John and me went; us women understand; between you and I

In informal speech, we often use object forms in double subjects.

For example:

Joe and me found the poor dog under the bridge.
Shane and me had lunch at that famous restaurant yesterday.
Me and the young campers enjoyed the thrilling adventure.

‘Us’ is sometimes used as a subject together with a noun.

For example:

Us sailors love our ship and the sea.
Us Human Rights victims know exactly how difficult the situation is.
Us women should assert equality in the pay for work.

And ‘I’ is often used informally in double objects.

For example:

Between you and I, our relationship is fine.
That decision is for my brother and I.
We remember vividly how you supported Alexandra and I when we most needed it.

However, it should be remembered that these examples are considered ‘incorrect’ in formal speech or writing.

2 as, than, but and except + me or I

Object forms are generally used in an informal style after ‘as’ and ‘than’.

For example:

My daughter is almost as tall as me.
That dog can jump as high as him.
Bonnie can walk faster than her.
Frances can type much faster than me.
In a more formal style, subject forms are used, usually followed by verbs.

For example:

Frances can type much faster than I can.
Bonnie can walk faster can she can.
That dog can jump as high as he can.
My daughter is almost as tall as I am.

But (meaning ’except’) and except are followed by object forms.

For example:

Nobody but me was there on the stage .
No one but him can do that kind of surgery.
Everybody is welcome to the games except her.
Can nobody else understand the situation except me?

3 It is/was me that.../ I who...

When a relative clause comes after an expression like ‘It is/was me’ , there are two possibilities:

object form + that (very informal)

For example:

It’s him that makes you so happy these days.
It was her that surprised my parents yesterday.
It was them that supported the group.

subject form + who (very formal)

It’s he who makes you so happy these days.
It was she who surprised my parents yesterday.
It was they who supported the group.

But we can avoid being too formal or too informal by using a different structure.

For example:

They were the ones who supported the group.
He is the person who makes you so happy these days.
She was the one who surprised my parents yesterday.

4 mixed subject and object: It’s for him to decide.

Sometimes a pronoun is the object of a verb or preposition, but the subject of a following infinitive or clause. Normally an object form is used in this case.

For example:

It’s for them to make the final arrangements. (Not It’s for they....)
I guess it would be better for you and me to talk things over. (Considered more correct than...for you and I....)
Nothing is impossible to him who tries best.

5 inclusive and exclusive ‘we’

‘We’ and ‘us’ can include or exclude the listener or reader. Compare:

For example:

We’re going swimming in the pool. Would you like to join us? (‘we’ and ‘us’ exclude the listener.}
We’ll be travelling on the cruise ship to Alaska next year. Are you coming with us?
Shall we play tennis this weekend? ( ‘We” includes the listener.)
This is a beautiful restaurant. Shall we order our food now?
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