Unlike a noun, a pronoun has different cases. What case is used for a pronoun depends on whether it is a subject or object in a sentence. If a pronoun is used as the subject of a sentence, a pronoun in the subjective case is used; if a pronoun is used as an object in the sentence – direct object, indirect object, or object of preposition – a pronoun in the objective case is used; and if a pronoun is used to show ownership, a pronoun in the possessive case is used. Knowing which of the cases a pronoun belongs to is to use the right pronoun in a sentence.
There are three cases:
Subjective case: I, you, he, she, it, we, and they
Objective case: me, you, him, her, it, us, and them
Possessive case: my, your, his, her, its, our, and their
A noun does not change its form whether it is used in the subjective case or the objective case
Her husband called her. (Subjective case)
- She called her husband. (Objective case)
(The noun husband does not change, whether it is used in the subjective or objective case.)
Unlike a noun, a pronoun has different forms when used in the subjective case or the objective case.
The possessive case
Pronouns in the possessive case show possession (ownership) of someone or something. They are personal pronouns in the forms of possessive adjectives, also called possessive determiners – first person: my, our; second person: your; third person: his, her, its, their. A possessive adjective
- Incorrect: The pangolin is mine pet.
(The word mine is a possessive pronoun and it is incorrectly used before a noun.)
- Correct: The pangolin is mine.
(The possessive pronoun mine is correctly used in place of the noun pet.)
- Correct: The pangolin is my pet.
(The possessive adjective my is correctly used before a noun.)
The possessive adjective my comes before a noun that it modifies in the sentence. It shows to whom the noun belongs. A possessive adjective is not a possessive pronoun.
A catenative verb is a verb that is followed directly by another verb. The verb that follows is usually in a non-finite form. The second verb that follows a catenative verb can be a to-infinitive, bare infinitive, or present participle (verb+ing) / gerund form.
The second verb is to + infinitive, and, together with all the words that follow, can be described as the direct object of the first verb.
- We tried to reach home before it rained.
(The catenative verb tried is followed by the to-infinitive to reach.)
- They expect to win this game.
(The catenative verb expect is followed by the to-infinitive to win. To reach home before it rained in the first sentence and to win this game in the second sentence are direct objects of the verbs tried and expect.)
The catenative verb that is followed by verb+ing/gerund.
In a sentence, the complement can be a word (e.g. an adjective), phrase (e.g. prepositional phrase), or clause (because her mirror was broken) that follows the verb (e.g. auxiliary verb be). It can be a one-word complement or a complement that has more words. The complement gives information about the subject. There are different types of complements such as adjective complement, subject complement, and object complement. The complements are in bold in the following examples: The girls are fighting. / The train disappeared into a tunnel.
A complex sentence consists of one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. These two clauses are joined using a subordinate conjunction.
- While you were away, I fed your goldfish and hamsters.
The independent clause is I fed your goldfish and hamsters, which is also called a main clause. While you were away is the subordinate clause introduced by the subordinating conjunction while.
A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses. This means a compound sentence cannot have a subordinate clause. There are three ways that the two independent clauses can be joined to form a compound sentence.
Using a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so): Donkeys and monkeys are animals.
Using semi-colon (;): That’s the house for sale; there’s a small pond in the backyard.
Using a conjunctive adverb: The new mall has grocery stores, movie theatres and restaurants; furthermore, it is within walking distance.
A compound-complex sentence consists of at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
- She told me to keep quiet, but I wouldn’t until I had said all the things I wanted to say.
Independent clauses: She told me to keep quiet and but I wouldn’t; dependent clause: until I had said all the things I wanted to say.
A compound verb is a combination of two or more verbs that function as a single verb of a single subject of a sentence. The two or more verbs are connected by coordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so (fanboys). A compound verb is used when a subject is doing more than one thing. Using a compound verb cuts down the number of words used in a sentence and avoids repetition.
In each of the following sentences, the subject has more than one verb (in bold) which is called a compound verb.
- She said there were ghosts in the kitchen, for she saw them.
- He punched his younger brother and kicked him on the knee.
- They neither know nor care what she said about him.
- I support the home team, but I bet it will lose.
- You can come along or stay at home.
- The team played very well, yet it lost the match.
- She felt insulted by him, so she slapped him..
The types of compound verbs include prepositional verb, phrasal verb, verb with auxiliaries, and single-word verb.
A prepositional verb is created with the combination of a verb and a preposition. They must not be separated in a sentence with a word or phrase coming between them.
A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a word from another part of speech. Together, they form a new verb with a different meaning from that of each of the two words that make up the phrasal verb. (See Lesson 20 - Phrasal Verbs for more on phrasal verbs.)
- Our meeting came about by accident.
- Someone broke into their house while they were away.
- The building burned down last month.
- The bank robbers made off before the police arrived.
Verb with auxiliaries
A verb with auxiliaries is typically a main verb and an auxiliary verb or helping verb (am, is, are, was, were, have, has, had, be, been) followed by another verb.
- She is lying on the beach.
- We are preparing for the trip.
- They will be arriving in an hour’s time.
Compound single-word verb
A compound single-word verb is a compound verb of more than one word acting as a single verb. It may be connected by a hyphen, or a combination of two words acting as a one verb.
- We cherry-pick the television programs to watch.
She deep-fried the chicken for us.
She sunbathes every week..
They honeymooned in Antarctica.
Conditional conjunctions are used to show that something will happen on the condition that something else happens or to describe a hypothetical or unreal situation. This is done by making one clause in a sentence subordinate to or dependent on another clause within the same sentence. This subordinate/dependent clause is the conditional clause, while the clause it depends on is an independent clause. Such a sentence is referred to as a conditional sentence as it contains a conditional clause.
The conditional clause is introduced by a conditional conjunction, most commonly if or unless. Such a clause either goes before or follows the independent clause, which is also called the main clause.
Conditional conjunctions include after, as long as, as soon as, assuming that, because, before, despite, even if, if, if only, in case, in order, now that, provided, providing that, should, since, supposing, therefore, unless, until, when, whenever, wherever, whether or not, and yet.
Examples of sentences containing conditional conjunctions
The subordinate clauses are in bold. A comma is used when a subordinate clause comes earlier.
- Since it is quite late, the shop is not open.
- You will not go for dinner with me unless you pay for it.
The conditional conjunction if, used to express a hypothetical statement, can be removed without affecting the meaning of the sentence.
- If you had tasted my beef soup, you would know how spicy it was.
- Had you tasted my beef soup, you would know how spicy it was.
- If the rescuers found them within the first week, most of them would be alive..
- Were the rescuers to find them within the first week, most of them would be alive.