Subject vs. Object
Certain pronouns change their form depending on whether they’re used as subjects or objects. These include the pronouns “who(ever)/whom(ever),” “I/me,” “she/her,” “he/him,” “they/them” and “we/us.” The ones that cause the most trouble are the first two subject/object pairs.
Most of the time it’s easy to figure out which one is right: “I’m going to do well on this quiz!” But in other cases, the right answer can be tricky: “We’ll give a prize to whoever we think deserves one.” (Should that “whoever” be “whomever”?)
In casual prose and conversation, the rules are often disregarded. In formal contexts, however, the subject/object distinction remains an important one. This quiz is designed to help you refresh your editorial instincts and polish your skills.
Note: This quiz is looking for answers that reflect formally correct usage, which won’t necessarily coincide with common usage. It is designed to test your knowledge of chapter 5 in the 17th edition of CMOS.
Chicago Style Workout 59: Who, Me?
Top image: Gilbert Stuart Newton, Portia and Bassanio, 1831, oil on canvas, from act 3, scene 2, of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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