Pronouns are commonly tested on the SAT Writing section. The good news is that unlike typical SAT idioms or parallelism this is a pretty easy question type to master. So let’s first start with the basics:
He called me.
I called him.
In the first sentence Mike is the subject. He is the thing or person committing the action. In this case, he is calling me. Think of‘me’ as receiving the action. We refer to me as the object.
Now let’s look at the second sentence. Notice that ‘me’ has become ‘I’, which is the subject of the sentence. When the first person is the subject it always takes ‘I.’
‘He’ is no longer the subject but is now the object. ‘He’ becomes ‘him’.
Below is a list of pronouns in the subject and object case:
Singular Subject Object
First Person I me
Second Person you you
Third Person he/she him/her
First Person We Us
Second Person You You
Third Person They Them
Much of this may be review for you. If not, make sure you remember which pronouns changes between the subject and object case.
For the SAT writing section, things usually get a bit trickier. Here are two identifying the sentence error problems. In each case, you want to select the letter that is underneath a grammatical mistake. See if you can do them without referring to the table above.
1. Between you and I (A), the SAT Writing Section is not too difficult once (B) you know the common error types that appear (C) in all three sub-sections of the writing portion. (D) No Error (E)
2. According to (A) the recent grade reports, you are doing better than I, (B) though I should receive (C) a higher grade once the final is taken into (D) account. No Error. (E)
This question tests the object of the preposition, something that comes up all the time on the SAT Writing Section. Whenever a subject or subjects directly follow a preposition, it/they are in the object case (that’s why they are called object of the preposition).
In this question, the preposition is between. Therefore the ‘I’ should be in the object case, which, if you look above, is ‘me’The correct sentence should read, “Between you and me….”
The reason this concept shows up so often is because many students think they should always use ‘I.’, because it sounds more intelligent. Of course using ‘I’ as an object of a preposition is never intelligent. It’s wrong.
Here the two pronouns being compared are ‘you’ and ‘I.’ Is ‘I’ correct? Well, first we need to determine whether it is in the subject or the object case. Is anyone doing anything to the ‘I’? That is someone talking to the ‘I’ or calling the ‘I’ (as in the example sentence at the beginning of this post)?
The answer is no. Therefore ‘I’ is in the subject case. Because we always use ‘I’ and not ‘me’ in the subject case, we know that B is correct. Nothing else is off in the sentence, so the answer is E, no error.
You can find plenty of examples in our online SAT product. Give it a try and watch your SAT score shoot up!