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Grammatik auf Englisch - Probleme mit Pronomen?

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Probleme mit Pronomen, Pronouns

Most professionals who speak English as a second language have a good understanding of how pronouns are used, but many find themselves stuck in a blind alley when they stumble into tricky usage situations that even native speakers have trouble with. Here are a few tricks to “improve your performance”.

Personal pronouns
Just as in German, the personal pronouns change based on whether they are used as a subject or an object.

Singular subject: I, you, he, she, it
Plural subject: we, you, they

If the pronoun is used as an object, the form changes:

Singular object: me, you, him, her, it
Plural object: us, you, them

You’ve probably mastered the use of personal pronouns already, but here’s a situation that you may not have good control over yet:

Janice and I are going to lunch together. ( correct )
Janice and me are going to lunch together. ( incorrect )

In the above example, the personal pronoun object form ‘me’ is used as a subject. But once you’re used to using ‘I’ most of the time, it’s also easy to accidentally use the subject form ‘I’ incorrectly:

For Paul and I, arriving on time is extremely important. ( incorrect )

In the above example, both Paul and the speaker are the objects of ‘for’. This means ‘me’ is correct:
For Paul and me, arriving on time is extremely important.

Reflexive pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are formed using the ending –self:

myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves
There is also the special case ‘oneself’, which is used when the subject is ‘one’:

One must ask oneself if all the stress around Christmas is really worth it.

Reflexive pronouns are used correctly when:
1. they serve as the object and
2. when the object is the same person or thing as the subject

I asked myself the same question.
She treated herself to an extra-large slice of cake.

One common failure is to use a reflexive pronoun as a subject:
Cindy and myself have decided to buy a new car. ( incorrect )
James, Todd and myself worked late last night. ( incorrect )

These should be:
Cindy and I have decided to buy a new car.
James, Todd and I worked late last night.

Another common failure is violating the second rule of correctness by using a reflexive pronoun as an object even though the object is not the same as the subject:

Our manager treated everyone, including myself, to a free lunch. ( incorrect )

This should be:
Our manager treated everyone, including me, to a free lunch.

Possessive pronouns
Possessive pronouns refer to someone or something belonging to someone or something. They can be used as a subject or an object when used alone:

mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs, whose

When modifying a noun, they are slightly different:
my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their, whose
Look at these reports. Mine is on top. ( used as a subject )
Have you read the reports yet? Did you like mine? ( used as an object )

The most common mistake that arises with possessive pronouns is using a similar word that’s not a possessive pronoun at all:
it’s – you’re – who’s – they’re

These are contractions for ‘it is’, ‘you are’, ‘who is’ and ‘they are’.

Never use an apostrophe with a personal pronoun!

How things get out of hand
Unclear subject

Pronouns can cause real confusion if you don’t take care about which subject they refer to. Consider this sentence, for example:

When I dropped my iPhone on the small glass table, it broke.
What broke? The iPhone or the table?

Your only option is to rephrase:
My iPhone broke when I dropped it on the small glass table.

Multiple pronouns
Sometimes you want to use two pronouns together and you get stuck. Consider this sentence:

Him and his friend arrived late. ( incorrect )

The solution is to test each pronoun individually, then put the sentence back together:
He and his friend arrived late.

‘it’ and ‘they’
In German, you can use ‘it’ and ‘they’ to convey a general concept. For example:

Es steht im Vertrag, dass ich alles im Voraus zahlen muss.
In den USA, machen sie die Einreise sehr schwer.

In English, ‘it’ and ‘they’ should only be used to refer to a specific noun. The correct translations would thus be:

The contract states that I have to pay everything in advance.
The US makes it very difficult to enter the country.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Probleme mit Pronomen, Pronouns

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