• Nouns are one of the eight parts of speech
• A noun can be a person, place, or thing
• A noun can also be the subject of a clause,
whether independent or dependent
• A noun can also be the object of a verb in a
Previewing Possessive Case
● Nouns only change form when in the
possessive case (which we will discuss in a few
● Bethany's eyes
● Alice's fur coat
● A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a
● Pronouns are about specification. They do not
exist in a vacuum.
● Pronouns have three cases: subject, object,
● What is case? Case is the form a noun or
pronoun takes to indicate its function in a
● Three cases above
● Pronoun chart
● Pronouns take on the subject case in the
● As a subject of a verb: She bought a new water
● As a subject complement: It was she who took
me to Long Beach Island.
● Pronouns take on the object case in the
● As a direct object (nouns affected by
subject/verb): Our department head told Alexis
and me to come to the meeting.
● As an indirect object (tells you who the action
is happening to): The tuition bill surprised him.
● Possessive case indicates ownership of
something: your car, your book, our wedding
● Bethany's advisor approved her trip to our
● Take a breath!
Who v Whom
● In general, use who when talking about a person
as a subject.
● Who donated the books?
● In general, use whom when a pronoun functions
as an object.
● I wonder whom jazz musician Miles Davis
influenced (whom=object...Miles Davis is
subject...influenced is the verb).
We v Us
● Use we if the pronoun is a subject.
● We women must stick together.
● Use us if the pronoun must be in object case.
● Teachers make learning easy for us students.
Which v That!
● That usually refers to an object, not a person.
Use who if referring to a person.
●Arthur Miller, who wrote The Crucible, also
wrote All My Sons.
● Also, use that when using a restrictive clause
that would change the meaning of the sentence
● Books that big can't fit into my bag.
● The librarians at Monmouth that have hybrid
cars get better gas mileage.
Which v That!
● Which will be used when you have a
nonrestrictive clause that would not change
the meaning of a sentence.
● This is supplemental information.
● My bag, which is sized for 15” laptops, cannot
hold that laptop.
● At Stockton, the coffee shop which is open until
midnight is the saving grace of the night school
● Grammar Girl on That v Which
● Take a breath!
• Grammar checkers have a hard time with
pronoun usage because they can't infer what
words, if any, are being referred to in the sentence.
• Make sure pronoun references are clear.
• After Rooney intercepted the ball, he passed it as
hard as he could towards the net. (he and it refer
to Rooney and ball)
•If it is ambiguous whether one or more nouns are
being referenced, use the noun instead of a
Look For Clues
● What is the pronoun referencing?
● Look for other pronouns
● Comma usage (which)
● Grammar Girl on Subjects and Objects
● Grammar Girl on
whether you should use that for your pets.