In honor of our upcoming Secretary of Education, I’d like to take a moment to clarify the difference between subjective and objective pronouns.
A subjective pronoun is one that acts as the – Bueller? Bueller? – subject of a sentence. I, you, he, she, it, we, and they are subjective pronouns.
She and I went to the conference.
They would have gone, but they missed the registration deadline.
You didn’t miss much; it was terribly boring.
Objective pronouns serve as the – say it with me, now – objects of the sentence. This seems to be the one that people (*cough* Secretary Duncan *cough*) seem to have the most trouble with. Objective pronouns are me, you, him, her, it, us, and them.
My uncle was especially generous to my sister and me.
This past semester was hard on them, but it was a brutal 15 weeks for her.
If you forget to give me your key, I’ll have to break in to feed the cat.
Finally, Secretary Duncan’s mistake: “I want to thank our mutual friend John Rogers who has been a mentor and friend to me since I was ten years old. He gave my sister and I the opportunity to start a great school in the South side of Chicago…” He should have said “my sister and me.” Rogers didn’t give opportunity to I, he gave it to me.