Speech supremacy


Sometimes we get confused in our use of two similar words. For example your and you’re. Now both are pronounced alike but the golden rule to remember is that the apostrophe is a substitute for a missing letter— in this case it means you are. The missing word is ‘a’.
Example: Seema told Raja, “You’re really looking good today.”

Your on the other hand is the possessive form of you.
Example: Your car has a flat tyre.

Let us look at another example of the proper use of the words its and it’s.
Its is the possessive form of it.
Example: My cat ate its dinner.

But it’s has an apostrophe so that means the word has a missing letter. The missing letter is ‘i.’
Example: It’s (it is) a beautiful sweater.

We now come to another commonly made mistake. The use of ‘I’ versus ‘me’.
The rule to remember here is that I is a subject pronoun while me is an object pronoun. According to well-known grammarian, Paul Brians,
A subject is the noun/pronoun that performs the action of the verb to which it is linked, while an object is a noun/pronoun that receives the action of the subject-verb pair.”
Example: I threw the ball to you
Or
You kicked the ball to me

Remember to be careful when you use these while creating a compound subject or object
Example: Seema and I went to a film together
Example: You must come with Seema and me

The best way to determine which pronoun to use in such cases is to eliminate the other person and the “and”.

Let’s look at the same examples again
Remove: Seema and
Which is correct? “I/me went to a film together”

Obviously you can’t say me went to a film together — so the correct usage is I. Now put back the removed words — Seema and I went to a film together

Similarly remove Seema and from the second example
Which is correct? You must come with I/me
Obviously you can’t say you must come with I — so the correct usage is You must come with Seema and me.

This article is published in the Tuesday  issues of Deccan Chronicle .

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