Speak good English: Get it correct
Last week, we had some objective questions on English and I asked you to try your hands on them.
To recap, we said the correct answer to question 1. was taller (c) because there are only two children involved and so we use the comparative degree: taller.
Note that the comparative degree of the adjective tall is not more tall but taller.
This is because the adjective tall, like most adjectives that have only one syllable, such as rich, poor, thin, fat, big, late, fast, slow, cheap, dark, nice, clean, neat, etc, forms its comparative and superlative degrees by adding the letters -er and -est to the positive degree.
What this means is that it is not good English to write or say:
more big, more neat, more clear, more sad, more dark, etc.
Now back to the exercise we had last week.
I'm sure many of you made the attempt to get the correct answers; now let's see how you fared and the reasons the answers you came up with are correct or incorrect.
For question 2. —Between you and —, we must keep this a secret, the correct answer is me (d).
This is because in English, the correct pronoun to use after a preposition is the subjective case, not the objective case.
A preposition is a word that shows how two or more nouns are related to one another.
For instance, if I write:
The book is under the table, it is the preposition under that tells us how the book and the table are related to each other — the book is under the table, not on, near, beside or above it.
The preposition under also tells us that it is not the table that is under the book but the book that is under the table.
Remember that pronouns are also nouns and the same prepositions can show the relationship between two pronouns or a noun and a pronoun, as in:
She poured the water on him.
I stood beside her at assembly this morning.
He sat by the new chair.
Note again that the personal pronouns come in two forms or cases:
i) the objective case
ii) the subjective case
The pronouns in the objective case are:
I, he, she, you, we and they.
The subjective case forms of these pronouns are:
Me, him, her, you, us and them.
As you can see, the pronoun you is the same in both cases, while all the others are different in either case.
What we are saying about the correct answer to question 2. of our exercise is that because the word between is a preposition, the pronoun that comes after it should be in the subjective case — me —, not the objective case I.
Another example of the sentence is:
Between him and them, I don't see any difference.
(NOT Between he and they.....)
To be continued