Are you wondering whether to say 'he and I' or 'him and I'? You wouldn't be the first to ask the question. In this article, you'll learn which of the two is correct grammar and why.
The short answer is that 'he and I' is the correct answer.
Now you know that 'he and I' is correct grammar, but perhaps you'd also like to understand why. It all comes down to objective vs. subjective pronouns.
When a pronoun is subjective, it is the thing, person, or place acting upon the verb. Here is a list of subjective personal pronouns:
Here are some examples of these subjective pronouns in a sentence:
I don't think that's a good idea.
Do you really believe that?
Tomorrow, he'll be leaving.
All this time, she was lying to us.
It's a complicated issue.
We should head to the station now.
You won't regret it.
It seems they all opted to grab a bite.
'Him' is an objective pronoun, meaning it is the person acted upon in the sentence. Here is a list of objective personal pronouns:
Here are some examples of objective pronouns in a sentence:
There's no need to thank me.
Anna's talking to you.
What about him?
I've never seen her before in my life.
I love that movie, have you seen it?
This house was built for us.
I'd like to thank you both for coming.
Patrick saw them at the movie theatre.
Because 'him' is an objective pronoun and 'I' is a subjective pronoun, you'll never see the two used together. Not unless they are separate parts of the sentence, like in the following example:
I told him that it was impossible.
She had already told him, and I confirmed.
In the example above, she had already told him and I confirmed are two separate clauses.
Just like with the example of 'him and I,' 'he and me' contains one subjective pronoun and one objective pronoun. Therefore it is also incorrect to say 'he and me.'
Here are some incorrect examples:
It's been difficult for him and I. ❌
He and me are moving in together. ❌
Now here are those same examples, using the correct pronouns.
It's been difficult for him and me. ✅
He and I are moving in together. ✅
Note that although It's been difficult for him and me is grammatically correct, it would be more commonplace to replace 'him and me' with 'us.'
I hope you feel more confident knowing which to use and why it is incorrect to say 'him and I.'
Personal pronouns can be a tricky part of language to remember, but the good news is, if you memorize the lists of subjective and objective pronouns, you should have no trouble writing or speaking a correct sentence.
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