Diagramming a sentence helps us determine which pronoun to use because the diagram clearly shows how the pronoun is used in the sentence. We diagram the sentence below to help us choose the correct pronoun:
Sam talks to my brother and (I, me).
We see from the diagram that the pronoun is an object of the preposition to, so we choose the objective case pronoun me.
Sam talks to my brother and me.
Note: For some reason, we are more likely to use the wrong pronoun when it is part of a compound subject or object, as in the sentence above. If we remove the other half of the subject or object, the correct pronoun becomes obvious:
Our ears tell us that "talks to me" is correct. "Talks to I" does not sound right; it is incorrect.
Diagram the following sentences to reveal the correct pronoun. Then rewrite the sentence correctly.
We practice diagramming pronouns:
We see from our diagram that the pronoun is part of the subject of the sentence, so we choose the nominative case pronoun he.
Kevin and he might play soccer.
We see from our diagram that the pronoun is part of the subject of the sentence, so we choose the nominative case pronoun I.
Zane and I galloped our horses.
Either in your mind or on paper, practice diagramming pronouns in the sentences below to reveal correct pronoun usage. Then rewrite each sentence using the correct pronoun(s).