WHO or WHOM?

Who and whom are interrogative pronouns. Many people live their lives without using WHOM at all, thinking that whom should be used in formal situations only. If you want to speak English properly, then you need to know about usage of both WHO and WHOM.

The rule is:

WHO is used in the subject position in a sentence:

Who bought you that ring?

WHOM is used in the object position:

The man whom you invited to dinner.

We also use WHOM after prepositions:

For whom the bell tolls.

To whom you want to talk?

How can you tell whether to use WHO or WHOM? It’s simple! If your pronoun can be replaced with ’he’ or ’she’, then use WHO. If it can be replaced with ’him’ or ’her’ or any other object pronoun, then use WHOM.

Who took my pen? (He/she took my pen – subject)

Whom is the book about? (About him – object)

In order to perfect your knowledge, try and do the quiz below:

WHO and WHOM QUIZ

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Reciprocal Pronouns: Each Other & One Another

We use reciprocal pronouns each other and one another when two or more people are acting on each other.

Rhina and Sam saw each other yesterday.

The boys helped one another do their homework.

They talk to each other in French.

Both each other and one another refer to either persons or things.

They connected the two computers to each other.

High mountains were facing one another.

Each other used to refer to two people and one another to more than two people. However, since this distinction is disappearing in modern English and the two phrases are becoming interchangeable, we may feel a bit insecure when deciding which one to use.

Romeo and Juliet loved each other/one another.

People communicate to each other/one another over the Internet a lot today.

We can also use the possessive form of each other and one another:

Tom and Sally helped look after each other’s/one another’s children.

Prepositions of Place

Prepositions of place refer to a location of something. They answer the question ‘where’. Take a look at these prepositions of place:

Above — over or higher than

There was a mirror above his head.

Below — in a lower level

The temperature dropped to 10 degrees below zero last night.

Beside — near, at the side of

Our house was built right beside the park.

Next to — right beside, close to

The building next to ours was painted green.

(In) between — in the space that separates two places, people, or objects

The child was sitting between his parents.

In front of –– before of someone or something

Susan was waiting in front of the restaurant.

Behind — at the back of

Paul sat behind Alice.

At – next to

The students were sitting at their desks.

On – in a position above and touching it

There are some books on the shelf.

In — inside

There were two apples in a bowl.

Inside — within a space

They put a kitten inside the basket.

Outside — not inside

It is raining outside.

On top of — over, upon

There was a vase on top of the fridge.

Over – directly above

 He put his hands over his head.

Under — below

A dog hid under the bed.

Underneath — directly below

She put her bag underneath the chair.

Reflexive Pronouns

The reflexive pronouns are:
Singularmyself, yourself, himself, herself, itself

Pluralourselves, yourselves, themselves

Reflexive pronouns are used after certain verbs such as: cut, burn, enjoy, hurt, look at, amuse, dry, kill, satisfy, teach, etc. We use them when the subject and the object of the verb are the same person.

I made myself a salad.

He cut himself while shaving.

Enjoy yourselves!

We are looking at ourselves in the mirror.

Notice the difference between yourself and yourselves:

Milly, you can hurt yourself with this sharp knife.

Rebecca and Alex, you can hurt yourselves.

We do not use reflexive pronouns after the verbs relax, feel, concentrate, meet.

I feel nervous. I can’t concentrate. (not I can’t concentrate myself).

Shall we meet at 5 o’clock? (not shall we meet ourselves)

Reflexive prepositions cannot be used after a preposition of place. We normally use object pronouns after them.

I don’t have my telephone with me.

He saw a man standing next to him.

We can use BY to emphasize that the subject of the verb did something alone.

I cleaned the house by myself.

Mary travelled to Turkey all by herself.

Take a look at these expressions with reflexive pronouns:

Enjoy yourselves at the party!

Start behaving yourselves, children!

Make yourself at home!

Help yourself to a drink!

 

Exercise:

Fill in the gaps with the appropriate pronoun:

  1. Norman is looking at _________ in the mirror.
  2. I can’t pay for_______. Would you lend me some money?
  3. Oliver and Terry had to amuse _______ while their mother was in the kitchen.
  4. I’m so sorry I didn’t bring my camera with ______.
  5. If you want to succeed, you must believe in _______.
  6. We enjoyed _______ at the party last night.
  7. Laura is drying ______ with a towel.
  8. The cat is licking ________.
  9. Our children prepared lunch __________.
  10. I could never do it ________!

 

Key: 1.himself, 2. myself, 3. themselves, 4. me, 5. yourself, 6. ourselves, 7. herself, 8. itself, 9. by themselves, 10. by myself

Across vs Over vs Through

ACROSS and OVER are both prepositions and adverbs. They are in most cases interchangeable.

Look at these sentences:

They had to go across the river to get to their house.

We walked over the bridge in the misty morning.

However, when the meaning is ‘from side to side’, ACROSS is preferred:

I ran across the street.

Juliana folded her arms across her chest.

When moving from one side to another in a surrounding environment, across is replaced by THROUGH:

I made my way through the bushes.

The Red Riding Hood went through the woods to get to her grandma’s house.

Don’t use THROUGH when talking about periods of time. In these cases, OVER is preferred.

I haven’t seen Tom much over the last three years.

When and how to use HAVE/HAS BEEN

 

We normally use HAVE/HAS BEEN in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense. HAS BEEN is used if the subject is third person singular (he/she/it) and HAVE BEEN is used for all other persons (I/you/we/they).

The Present Perfect Continuous refers to an action that started in the past and is still continuing in the present.

Examples:

Maria has been studying for her exam since 8 o’clock. (and she still is)

We have been running for an hour. (and we still are)

How long have you been living in Chester?

HAVE/HAS BEEN is also used as a form of “to be” in Present Perfect Simple / Continuous passive constructions.

Examples:

They have been robbed.

She has been named after her grandma.

The toys have been being tidied up by the children all morning.