Thumb Rule

It’s time to talk about…thumbs!

I hear endless questions about whether it should be “him and me” or “him and I” – or is “he and I” better?

English teachers like to show you a handy little pronoun chart that will supposedly solve everything:

Pronoun chart

Easy as pie, isn’t it? Just stop yourself in mid-sentence, visualize the chart, and decide which case ending you need.

Hah. If I did that every time I started to talk, I’d never say anything.

So let’s do it the easy way: by using the Thumb Rule. You just use your thumb to make the sentence shorter. You’ll instantly hear the correct pronoun. No need for grammar gobbledygook!

  1. Every Saturday afternoon, Jamie and I/me go to the mall. (Use your thumb to cover up “Jamie and”)
    Every Saturday afternoon, I go to the mall.  CORRECT
    Every Saturday afternoon, Jamie and I go to the mall.  CORRECT
  2. Sometimes Mrs. Brown asks Clara and I/me to help with the bulletin boards.  (Use your thumb to cover up “Clara and”)
    Sometimes Mrs. Brown asks me to help with the bulletin boards.  CORRECT
    Sometimes Mrs. Brown asks Clara and me to help with the bulletin boards.  CORRECT

If you can figure out the correct pronoun for the short sentence, you automatically know the correct pronoun for the longer sentence! It never changes.

Click here to watch a short video (it’s free!) about the Thumb Rule.

a thumb

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