What is the proper grammar for my example sentence?

  • #1
timmeister37
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I would like to know what the proper pronoun case is for a certain sentence.

The following is my example sentence: Jessica thinks I was born for her.

The example sentence uses the objective case for the pronoun. My guess is that the above example sentence uses the correct pronoun case, but that is only a guess.

The alternative would be the following example sentence: Jessica thinks I was born for she.

This example sentence uses the subjective case for the pronoun. I think this is bad grammar for the following two reasons: 1# the pronoun she just sounds wrong to me in this context and 2# as i recall, the rule for which pronoun case to use has to do with the verb form in the sentence. As i recall, if the sentence uses a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the subjective case (she). If the sentence does not use a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the objective case (her). The only linking verb and main verb that matter for this rule is the linking verb and main verb that separates the subject from the predicate in the sentence, not any other linking verb and main verb in the sentence.

In the example sentence, "Jessica thinks I was born for her", the main verb is thinks, which has no linking verb. There is the linking verb "was" in the sentence with the verb born, but i don't think the linking verb "was" matters for this because the verb "thinks" separates the subject from the predicate, not "was born".

Which of the two pronoun choices is correct for my example sentence "Jessica thinks I was born for ___________?"

Why is your answer correct?

I invite any comments as to my reasoning as to why i think the objective case her is correct.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
PeroK
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The objective pronoun in this case is "her". "She" is subjective.

Also, the idiom is Jessica thinks I was born for her benefit.

Or, if you want something more expressive: Jessica assumes I was put on this Earth solely for her benefit.
 
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  • #3
timmeister37
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The objective pronoun in this case is "her". "She" is subjective.

Also, the idiom is Jessica thinks I was born for her benefit.

Or, if you want something more expressive: Jessica assumes I was put on this Earth solely for her benefit.
In the OP, I said that "her" is the objective case, and i said that "she" is the subjective case. Why bother telling me that when i say that myself in the OP?

PeroK, respectfully, your reply is not germane to the question in the OP.
 
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  • #4
PeroK
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In the OP, I said that "her" is the objective case, and i said that "she" is the subjective case. Why bother telling me that when i say that myself in the OP?

PeroK, respectfully, your reply is not germane to the question in the OP.

Sorry!
 
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  • #5
timmeister37
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Sorry!
You are forgiven.

I hope you answer the question of the OP and explain your reasoning as well.
 
  • #6
PeroK
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You are forgiven.

I hope you answer the question of the OP and explain your reasoning as well.
You hope in vain!
 
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  • #7
timmeister37
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You hope in vain!
Kindly, don't post on threads i create if you won't even address the OP of the thread.
 
  • #8
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"... I was born for her." is correct.
There are two verbs in your sentence: thinks and was born. I'm counting "was born" as one verb. The sentence consists of a main clause "Jessica thinks" and a subordinate clause "I was born for her." There is an implied "that" linking the main and subordinate clauses.
Following "born" is a prepositional phrase, "for her." A pronoun in a prepositional phrase takes the objective case; e.g. me, him, her, us, hem, rather than the subjective case, such as I, he, she, we, they.
Pronouns are about the only words in English that still retain the concept of "case," where a word form changes depending on its role in a sentence. The only other cases where this concept still exists is the possessive form, as in "Fred's hat," for example.
Lots of native English speakers don't have a firm grasp on how pronouns are supposed to work. I had girlfriend with a PhD in Biology who would say something like "the assignment was given to her and I." She knew "she and I" didn't sound right, but still thought "her and I" was correct.
 
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  • #9
timmeister37
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"... I was born for her." is correct.
There are two verbs in your sentence: thinks and was born. I'm counting "was born" as one verb. The sentence consists of a main clause "Jessica thinks" and a subordinate clause "I was born for her." There is an implied "that" linking the main and subordinate clauses.
Following "born" is a prepositional phrase, "for her." A pronoun in a prepositional phrase takes the objective case; e.g. me, him, her, us, hem, rather than the subjective case, such as I, he, she, we, they.
Pronouns are about the only words in English that still retain the concept of "case," where a word form changes depending on its role in a sentence. The only other cases where this concept still exists is the possessive form, as in "Fred's hat," for example.
Lots of native English speakers don't have a firm grasp on how pronouns are supposed to work. I had girlfriend with a PhD in Biology who would say something like "the assignment was given to her and I." She knew "she and I" didn't sound right, but still thought "her and I" was correct.

In the sentence, "The assignment was given to her and I", isn't "to her and I" a prepositional phrase? So isn't "The assignment was given to her and I" correct grammar? You said that the pronoun in a prepositional phrase is supposed to be in the objective case, which is the word "her".
 
  • #10
phinds
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PeroK, respectfully, your reply is not germane to the question in the OP.
Well, inasmuch as it answered your question, I'd say it actually was quite germane.

Kindly, don't post on threads i create if you won't even address the OP of the thread.
Since he actually answered your question, I think your snippy attitude is WAY out of line. It's not a great idea to be rude to people who have tried to help you.
 
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  • #11
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Since he actually answered your question, I think your snippy attitude is WAY out of line. It's not a great idea to be rude to people who have tried to help you.
Completely agree.
 
  • #12
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In the sentence, "The assignment was given to her and I", isn't "to her and I" a prepositional phrase? So isn't "The assignment was given to her and I" correct grammar? You said that the pronoun in a prepositional phrase is supposed to be in the objective case, which is the word "her".
Yes, "to her and I" is a prepositional phrase, and yes, "her" is the objective form (case), but "I" is subjective, so is incorrect.
 
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  • #13
timmeister37
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Well, inasmuch as it answered your question, I'd say it actually was quite germane.

No. PeroK did not answer the question of the OP.

Since he actually answered your question, I think your snippy attitude is WAY out of line. It's not a great idea to be rude to people who have tried to help you.

I don't have a snippy attitude. I appreciate that PeroK tried to help me, but when a person makes a post that does not address the question of the OP, I think the irrelevance of the response should be pointed out. This gives the poster notice that his reply did not answer the question, which can prompt the poster to make another post that actually does answer the question.
 
  • #14
timmeister37
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Yes, "to her and I" is a prepositional phrase, and yes, "her" is the objective form (case), but "I" is subjective, so is incorrect.
Good point. I was only thinking in terms of the pronouns "her" and "she", not "me" and "I". Good catch on your part, Mark.
 
  • #15
kuruman
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This discussion has been informative to me.
 
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  • #16
timmeister37
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As i recall, the rule for which pronoun case to use has to do with the verb form in the sentence. As i recall, if the sentence uses a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the subjective case (she). If the sentence does not use a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the objective case (her). The only linking verb and main verb that matter for this rule is the linking verb and main verb that separates the subject from the predicate in the sentence, not any other linking verb and main verb in the sentence.

Mark44, in the quoted excerpt above, am i correct about the rule which determines which pronoun case one is supposed to use in a sentence with a predicate pronoun?
 
  • #17
timmeister37
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This discussion has been informative to me.
This discussion has also been informative to me. You used good grammar in your post, kuruman.
 
  • #18
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First and second posts of the thead...
The following is my example sentence: Jessica thinks I was born for her.

The example sentence uses the objective case for the pronoun. My guess is that the above example sentence uses the correct pronoun case, but that is only a guess.
The objective pronoun in this case is "her". "She" is subjective.
PeroK's post implies, but does not explicitly state, that your guess is correct.
No. PeroK did not answer the question of the OP.
See above.
Kindly, don't post on threads i create if you won't even address the OP of the thread.

I don't have a snippy attitude.
Your response to PeroK wasn't rude, but IMO it definitely was snippy. You're a fairly new member here, among members who have been here for years. Please show a bit more respect.
 
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  • #19
timmeister37
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First and second posts of the thead...

PeroK's post implies, but does not explicitly state, that your guess is correct.
See above.

I agree, but i don't consider implying that my guess is correct adequately answered the question. I think that to adequately answer a question, one must give an unequivocal answer.

Your response to PeroK wasn't rude, but IMO it definitely was snippy. You're a fairly new member here, among members who have been here for years. Please show a bit more respect.

I want to respect everyone here, including PeroK.
 
  • #20
timmeister37
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First and second posts of the thead...

PeroK's post implies, but does not explicitly state, that your guess is correct.
See above.


Your response to PeroK wasn't rude, but IMO it definitely was snippy. You're a fairly new member here, among members who have been here for years. Please show a bit more respect.
Mark44, what is your opinion on what i wrote in post #16 of this thread?
 
  • #21
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timmeister37 said:
As i recall, the rule for which pronoun case to use has to do with the verb form in the sentence. As i recall, if the sentence uses a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the subjective case (she). If the sentence does not use a linking verb with a main verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the objective case (her). The only linking verb and main verb that matter for this rule is the linking verb and main verb that separates the subject from the predicate in the sentence, not any other linking verb and main verb in the sentence.
"Was that Judy I saw you talking to?"
"Yes, it was she."
I think this is an example of what you're talking about with linking verbs. I'm not sure what you mean by "a linking verb with a main verb" though. In the second sentence, "was" is the linking verb, I believe, but in the sentence "He was walking down the street." was is an auxiliary part of the verb form "was walking."
 
  • #22
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It's not a great idea to be rude to people who have tried to help you.

Only if you ever want people to help you again. :devil:
 
  • #23
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Since we're in GD, my second favorite grammar joke:

A guy walks into a library and asks "Can you tell me what shelf the books about Lincoln are on?" The librarian says "We do not end a sentence with a preposition, young man!" The fellow pauses for a moment, and says "Can you tell me what shelf the books about Lincoln are on, you jerk?"
 
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  • #24
sysprog
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You are right in supposing that 'her' is correct.
 
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  • #25
timmeister37
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"Was that Judy I saw you talking to?"
"Yes, it was she."
I think this is an example of what you're talking about with linking verbs. I'm not sure what you mean by "a linking verb with a main verb" though.

I thought that by definition, a linking verb always goes with another verb. When i wrote "a linking verb with a main verb", the main verb is just how i refer to the verb with a linking verb. Perhaps the proper terminology for what i call "main verb" is action verb. In the sentence "Jessica thinks I was born for her", i thought "was" is the linking verb, and "born" is the "main verb".




In the second sentence, "was" is the linking verb, I believe, but in the sentence "He was walking down the street." was is an auxiliary part of the verb form "was walking."

In the sentence "He was walking down the street", i thought that "was" is a linking verb. So you disagree with my assertion that "was" is a linking verb in the sentence "He was walking down the street" ?
 
  • #26
timmeister37
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I thought that by definition, a linking verb always goes with another verb.

I just looked up the definition of a linking verb at Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. I was mistaken about the definition of a linking verb when i wrote all my posts on this thread before this post. A verb does NOT have to modify another verb in order to be a linking verb. In the sentence "You look happy", the word look is a linking verb.

Linking verb: a word or expression that links a subject with its predicate.
 
  • #27
timmeister37
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As i recall, the rule for which pronoun case to use has to do with the verb form in the sentence. As i recall, if the sentence uses a linking verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the subjective case (she). If the sentence does not use a linking verb to link the predicate pronoun back to the subject of the sentence, then the predicate pronoun should be the objective case (her). The only linking verb that matters for this rule is the linking verb that separates the subject from the predicate in the sentence, not any other linking verb in the sentence.


Mark44, in the quoted excerpt above, am i correct in my rule for determining which pronoun case to use in a sentence with a predicate pronoun?
 
  • #28
sysprog
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A 'transitive' verb is relational.

From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transitive

A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows the verb and completes the sentence's meaning by indicating the person or thing that receives the action of the verb. The direct object typically answers the question what? or whom?:​
##\cdots##​
A transitive verb can also have an indirect object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that comes before a direct object and indicates the person or thing that receives what is being given or done. Many common verbs can be used with both direct and indirect objects.​
 
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  • #29
timmeister37
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A 'transitive' verb is relational.

From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transitive

A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows the verb and completes the sentence's meaning by indicating the person or thing that receives the action of the verb. The direct object typically answers the question what? or whom?:​
##\cdots##​
A transitive verb can also have an indirect object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that comes before a direct object and indicates the person or thing that receives what is being given or done. Many common verbs can be used with both direct and indirect objects.​
sysprog, please tell me how that this relates to the question of the OP.
 
  • #30
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Mark44, in the quoted excerpt above, am i correct in my rule for determining which pronoun case to use in a sentence with a predicate pronoun?
Yes. My example in post #21 was intended to answer your question, but I guess I wasn't explicit.

"Was that Judy I saw you talking to?"
"Yes, it was she."
Here "was" in the second sentence is a linking verb, tying "it" and "she" together. Note that nowadays this is considered to be a more formal type of construction.

Another pronoun that people have a hard time with is "whom," the objective case of "who." People mistakenly think they are being formal if they say, "Whom was at the reception?"
 
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  • #31
timmeister37
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A 'transitive' verb is relational.

From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transitive

A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows the verb and completes the sentence's meaning by indicating the person or thing that receives the action of the verb. The direct object typically answers the question what? or whom?:​
##\cdots##​
A transitive verb can also have an indirect object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that comes before a direct object and indicates the person or thing that receives what is being given or done. Many common verbs can be used with both direct and indirect objects.​
Lets say we have sentence with a transitive verb with a predicate pronoun that is an indirect object. How does the knowledge that the predicate pronoun is an INDIRECT OBJECT help determine whether the predicate pronoun should be in the objective case or the subjective case?
 
  • #32
sysprog
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In the sentence, "The assignment was given to her and I", isn't "to her and I" a prepositional phrase? So isn't "The assignment was given to her and I" correct grammar? You said that the pronoun in a prepositional phrase is supposed to be in the objective case, which is the word "her".

No, it's 'to her and me' -- you presumably know that it's never 'the assignment was given to I' -- please look up active voice versus passive voice ##\cdots##
 
  • #33
sysprog
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Lets say we have sentence with a transitive verb with a predicate pronoun that is an indirect object. How does the knowledge that the predicate pronoun is an INDIRECT OBJECT help determine whether the predicate pronoun should be in the objective case or the subjective case?
Why is that a question?
 
  • #34
kuruman
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Another pronoun that people have a hard time with is "whom," the objective case of "who." People mistakenly think they are being formal if they say, "Whom was at the reception?"
Yes and also, "Whom was the reception honoring?" is correct for that reason as opposed to "Who was the reception honoring?" The distinction might be too subtle to people who have not formally studied grammar and syntax in primary education.
 
  • #35
timmeister37
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Yes. My example in post #21 was intended to answer your question, but I guess I wasn't explicit.


Here "was" in the second sentence is a linking verb, tying "it" and "she" together. Note that nowadays this is considered to be a more formal type of construction.

Another pronoun that people have a hard time with is "whom," the objective case of "who." People mistakenly think they are being formal if they say, "Whom was at the reception?"

I agree with you that the rule i wrote about using linking verbs in post #27 is correct, but i have this feeling that my rule in post #27 does not explain everything one needs to know to use proper pronoun case in all situations. But i don't know EXACTLY where the deficiency lies. I think that MAYBE the problem is that post #27 is correct, but one would need to know some other rule to determine if a linking verb is linking the subject and the predicate pronoun as opposed to the linking verb linking the subject with something in the predicate OTHER than the predicate pronoun.


About ten years ago, I researched this in enormous depth and had an excellent understanding of what case of pronouns to use. I am very intrigued with PF member Sysprog's posting the definitions of direct objects and indirect objects because i remember that transitive verbs and indirect objects were directly relevant to my reasoning in choosing what case of pronouns to use back then. But i don't remember exactly how.
 

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