This month's issue of my free e-newsletter, Better Writing at Work, focuses on pronoun problems that come up in business writing classes. It includes the test below. Take the test, and then check your answers.
Note: In case you have already taken the test in Better Writing at Work, I have included three bonus questions.
In each sentence, choose the pronoun that is correct according to the rules of grammar.
- After the concert please give the cash drawer to Lizzie or I / me / myself.
- Erika and I / me / myself both made reservations at the French restaurant.
- I hope Richard will give Eva and I / me / myself a ride to the airport.
- The proposal was prepared by Product Development, with some input from I / me / myself.
- Who / Whom have you told about the plant closure?
- Nadine will speak to whoever / whomever asks about Dale's termination.
- Whoever / Whomever Greg hires, I promise to support the individual 100 percent.
- Suzan and I / me / myself are leading the project together.
- Who / Whom wrote this excellent summary?
- Jessica will let me know her choice, whoever / whomever it is.
A. Whoever/ Whomever is responsible for the budget should be told about this expenditure.
B. I wrote to the woman who's / whose name appeared at the bottom of the article.
C. Brent and she / her planned the entire event.
Here are the correct answers according to the rules:
1. me 2. I 3. me 4. me 5. Whom 6. whoever
7. Whomever 8. I 9. Who 10. whoever
A. Whoever B. whose C. she
For explanations of the rules covering Items 1 to 10, read "Things You Must Know About Pronouns" in the newsletter. Here are brief explanations for A, B, and C:
A. Whoever is correct because "is responsible" needs a subject. Whoever is a subject pronoun.
B. Whose is correct as a possessive form; who's is the contraction of "who is."
C. She is correct as a subject pronoun: "She planned the entire event."
Which pronoun puzzles stump you in your business writing?