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Subject and object pronouns

Before we get any further with pronouns, let's cover what the difference between a subject and an object pronoun is, because the distinction between those two concepts will start coming up a good deal.

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] All right, so grammarians, I want to talk to you about the difference between subject and object pronouns, but before we do that, let's start off with a little primer on what subjects and objects actually are, Just generally for our grammatical purposes. In grammar, the subject is the part of the sentence or clause that does a thing. The subject does a thing. The object, on the other hand, is the thing that is acted on, has stuff done to it, so the object has stuff done to it. The subject acts, the object is acted upon, let's give an example. In the sentence, Reina wrote an e-mail, the subject of the sentence, the doer of the thing is Reina, right, as the subject. The thing she is doing is writing an e-mail, so Reina wrote an e-mail. E-mail is the object of the verb wrote. It is the object of the sentence. Now, there are cases when a sentence doesn't have an object. For example, we could just say Reina wrote. It doesn't have an object, it's just Reina's the subject, and then there is no object. This is what we call intransitive usage, but you don't need to write that down or anything. Now, understanding the relationship between e-mail and Reina enables you to understand how subject and object pronouns are used. When we're subbing out these nouns for pronouns, we can figure out which ones we have to use, because pronouns have different forms depending on whether or not they are subjects or objects. Reina is a girl's name, and if we know that Reina is a girl, we can refer to her as either she or her. These are two of the feminine pronouns. One of these is a subject, and one of them is an object. She is the subject form, and her is the object form. If we wanted to rewrite this sentence, speaking of Reina, we would say, she wrote an e-mail. Not, her wrote an e-mail, you see. Because her is the object pronoun, and therefore is the thing that, the object pronoun has stuff done to it, as opposed to the doer of things. She is the subject form, it's the doer. For e-mail it's easy, this just becomes it in all cases. The subject form, and the object form are the same. Let's do a couple more examples just to shore this up so you see what I mean. I give her a present. Right now, I is the subject, her is the object. Subject, object, but what if we switched it? What would it look like then? Well it wouldn't be her give I a present, because since we're switching the subject and the object, we're gonna be switching the pronouns that we use too, so it would be, she gave me a present. Now, she is the subject form of her, and me is the subject, is the object form, excuse me, me is the object form of I. Get a little period in there. Same thing with they and he. They showed him a guitar. Why not? They is the subject, and him is the object. Let's give it the old switcheroo. He showed them a guitar. Now, we do the switcheroo, him becomes he, so we go from the object form which is him to the subject from which is he, and then they, the subject form becomes them, the object form. Now when it comes to you and it, you're in luck, because the subject and object forms of these are the same, so subject equals object, with you and it. I could say you give it a present just as easily as I could say it gives you a present. I didn't realize I changed this to the past tense. She gives me a present. There we go, that's better. That's the difference between a subject and an object pronoun. You can learn anything. David out.