Pronouns (and nouns) in English display “case” according to their function in the sentence. Their function can be:
- subjective (they act as the subject)
- objective (they act as the object)
- possessive (they show possession of something else)
The following table shows the different forms for pronouns depending on case.
|relative / interrogative pronouns||who||whom||whose|
|which, that, what||which, that, what|
A problem of case:
Mary and I or Mary and me?
- Mary and I are happy to be here today. (NOT Mary and me)
- Ati sent the letter to Mary and me. (NOT Mary and I)
In 1, Mary and I are subjects, which is why the pronoun takes the subjective case (“I”). In 2, Mary and I are objects, which is why the pronoun takes the objective case (“me”). An easy way to check the correct case is to try the sentence without Mary. Would you say “I am happy to be here” or “Me am happy to be here”? Would you say “Ati sent the letter to me” or “Ati sent the letter to I”?