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8 Grammar Tips to Help Kids on the SAT

Teens biting their nails over this portion of the College Board exam? Or simply looking for tricks to brush up on the ol' English? Get help here!

(page 8 of 9)

7. Me Me Me: Subjects pronouns never follow prepositions

A fundamental rule that gets shredded in the vernacular but which must be carefully adhered to on the SAT grammar test is that subject pronouns (I, we) NEVER follow prepositions. Instead use "me" or "us."

How often have you heard people say "for you and I," "between you and I," "with you and I," "about you and I," etc. etc.? On the street, you may get away with this faux pas – but not on the SAT. The correct expression is: "for you and ME," "between you and ME," "with you and ME," "about you and ME," and so on. Or, along the same lines – "between you and us," "for you and us," and so on.

This rule is really a special case – for pronouns – of the rule we saw earlier in subject-verb agreement. More generally, subjects NEVER follow prepositions. Recall how the College Board tries to mislead students by stuffing prepositional phrases in between the subject and the verb.

For example: The harmful effects of insulin resistance on the metabolic system is well know.

The subject of this sentence can't be insulin resistance or the metabolic system, because both of these phrases follow prepositions. The only possible noun left standing is "effects" which, by default, must be the subject. Consequently, this rule applies not only to pronouns but also to subjects, giving students a second, foolproof way to avoid making grammar mistakes.

(Note: Prepositions are the little guys that guide the reader up, over, around, and through, above and below, of, on, by, for and to.)

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