Friday, April 18, 2014

Grammar Crash Course: Pronouns

In just a few days, I'll be teaching a unit on pronouns to a classroom full of middle schoolers. Big deal, right?


It's been years, years, since I've "studied" pronouns (I was probably in middle school, myself). While I've been an English major, education candidate, and active writer, I haven't had to know the mechanics of grammar well enough to articulate the rules (and exceptions) to others. Sure I can use pronouns correctly, but the question here is: can I teach those rules to other people?

Needless to say, I've had to do some brushing up on my pronoun rules. Many things I know and actively use, but don't necessarily know the technical terminology for. As I revisit pronouns for teaching purposes, I thought you might like to as well! Plus, it gives me a chance to see if I can explain the rules of correct pronoun use without muddling your brain!

Personal Pronouns
These are the ones that usually come to mind when you hear someone say 'pronoun'. Think: I, me, he, she, him, her, us, we, they, etc.

What you probably didn't realize is that while 'I' and 'me' both refer to you as the speaker, one occurs in the nominative case (a fancy shmancy name for the subject of your sentence) and the other in the objective case. If the noun you are replacing is the subject of the sentence, you use pronouns that fall in the subject category, and if the nouns occurs as the object of the sentence, you use the corresponding pronoun.

Now, this sounds complicated, but you likely already know which is which without having even realized it!

Example: "I saw the cat." - 'I' is doing the seeing, therefore it is the subject and thus the pronoun 'I' is used to replace the noun that is the speaker

Example: "The cat saw me." - 'Me' and 'I' are just two sides of the same coin; because the speaker is the object in this sentence, we use 'me' instead of 'I', even though both pronouns refer to the speaker of the sentence. You wouldn't say "The cat saw I."

Here's a list of which pronouns fall into which category for your brain to process...

Subjective: I, you, he, she, it, we, they,
Objective: me, you, him, her, it, us, them

Possessive Pronouns
Did you know that 'my' and 'his' are pronouns too? Pronouns such as these indicated possession, such as my book, their cheese fries, or his Batcave.

Just make sure you don't add an apostrophe to the possessive 'its' or else you have a whole different creature.

Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns
These are your pronouns with an added '-self' at the end, such as: myself, himself, itself, themselves, ourselves. etc. and are used for emphasis or indication that the same person/thing is involved.

Using Pronouns Correctly
Usually, using pronouns isn't too difficult, but then you get to the 'she and I', and 'my friend and me'. Is it 'I'? When do you use 'me'? Why is this so confusing!?

Here's my trick for using pronouns correctly in a sentence, when you have a compound pronoun ('[blank] and [blank] went to the store', for example):

Take out one of the people involved in the action. Does the sentence make sense? Now, remove the other person from the sentence. It, too, should make sense.

Example: 'Kam and I went to Comic Con.' - If you remove 'Kam', you are left with the sentence 'I went to Comic Con.', which makes grammatical sense (great!). Now remove 'I'. You're left with 'Kam went to Comic Con.' which also makes sense. Bravo.

Example: 'A dalek tried to exterminate her and I.' - Try the above trick; you get 'A dalek tried to exterminate her.' which makes sense ('tried to exterminate she' does not, however) and 'A dalek tried to exterminate I.' - Woah. Hold up. That doesn't make any sense. You would say 'A dalek tried to exterminate me.', therefore the correct sentence should read: 'A dalek tried to exterminate her and me.'

Tip: When you have a compound pronoun that involves yourself (me or I), be polite and put the other person first! Grammar always has good manners.

Interrogative Pronouns
These include the more difficult 'who' and 'whom' pronouns, so I'll tackle those another time. Just know that these ones exist, for now.

Was that mini-grammar lesson a bit more bearable than those you had in school? If so, share it with a friend who could use a little grammar elevation (in a nice way, of course)!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

I don't have words to describe this week, so I'm just going to let these little things do the talking...

♥ Lately, I've been doing a lot of catching up with old friends. It's nice to reconnect with some familiar faces, and I've done no shortage of that over the past week. Between hibachi with my best friend from elementary school (who is usually mistaken for my sister, and was again that night), chatting over tea with my good friend from high school, or making plans to see a college friend recently returned from Japan, it's nice to relax, talk, and reminisce.

♥ It sounds silly, but have you ever noticed how fantastic a good haircut can make you feel? I made the mistake of going to a run-of-the mill shop for a quick, $15 trim, and while it got the job done for something like trimming my fringe (me and hair don't mix!), for a hair cut - however simple - it was horrendous. If there's one thing I've learned, it's worth it to splurge on a salon and a stylist you trust! Which is why I usually head to Pure Salon and let Alyssa work her magic!

Steel City Con was last weekend and believe it or not, I had never gone before! Usually, my retail work schedule would interfere, but I finally got the chance to scope it out and as not disappointed. My wallet feels little lighter now, but the Mary Poppins/Doctor Who tee shirt I came home with is okay with that. Really, it was just nice to spend the day with friends, oogling all of the different items and art, Jayne hat included.
little loves
building LEGOs ♥ Easter egg hunts (one of the little cousins couldn't make it, so I was in charge of finding her eggs - it is never not fun!) ♥ visiting old teachers ♥ Reese's peanut butter cups, after they're refrigerated ♥ galaxy print anything ♥ nostalgic Strawberry Shortcake mugs ♥ performance poetry ♥ warm waffle, ice cream sandwiches ♥ ice cream, period! ♥ fresh, beach-smelling car scents ♥ a cafe devoted entirely to tea (and you even get your own set and timer!)

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If We Were Having Coffee...

Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner wrote a similar post a ways back, and I loved the idea, tucking it away in my brain ever since. There's been a lot going on in my life lately, and as a result, I've been feeling a bit detached from my blog. With so much to plan and do, I know I haven't been giving my writing and the blogging community the attention I usually do, and I feel like the more personal side of Kristin hasn't been all too present.

When I have lots of catching up to do with a dear friend - whether they've been out of town, or we just haven't seen each other in a while - there's no better way to do so than over coffee or tea.

Here's to taking a step back and reconnecting. And filling you in on all I've been up to lately!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you about my new job! It's not permanent, but from now until the end of the school year, I'll be a long-term sub, which means a steady classroom every day and the chance to have an adopted classroom of my own, for a little while at least. Being a day-to-day sub has been nice, but this position is a little closer (read: less gas!) and gives me the chance to put all the things I learned while student teaching into play. Hopefully it lights the way for bigger things in the future!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I'm actually kind of surprised that I'm pursuing teaching right now. Grad school burnt me out pretty badly, and coupled with the rough time that I was going through, I wasn't sure if I could mentally devote myself to jumping into a job search right after graduation. Granted, I took the month of January off to collect myself, but I've decided to spend some time looking for jobs in the area; I'm not opposed to moving, but if I can stay in Pittsburgh, I'd like that best. I've got family and a lot of friends here that I enjoy spending time with!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I'm really excited to make this summer an epic one! Nothing is set in stone yet, but friends of mine and I have been toying around with ideas of a road trip, or just a weekend at a cabin by the lake. As much as I enjoy the outdoors, I wouldn't consider myself an outdoorsy person (I've never been camping in the slightest!). But I can't deny that I'm looking forward to at least going canoeing/kayaking more this summer.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you about my awesome Mary Poppins/Doctor Who tee that I bought at Steel City Con last weekend. I always enjoy going to conventions to oogle the neat goods and talented artwork, but this is the first time I've been to the local Pittsburgh con! I almost bought a replica of the key from The Mummy...don't judge.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you how proud I am of my old school community. Since the events of last Wednesday, the town (and area in general) has come together to raise money for the victims and their families, hold fundraisers, sign banners of support, and just be there for everyone affected as they heal.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I got my hair cut last night. I haven't done anything drastic to my 'do since 2010, when I chopped it all off into a pixie cut post-Japan, but it was still refreshing to have some chopped off, just a bit. I like my long hair, and have quite missed it. It's just so thick and needed a bit of a trim before summer goes into full swing.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you about all of the simple things I've been enjoying! The past few years haven't brought much adventure my way, and while it was a lifestyle I by no means regret, I knew I needed something more, even just simple things like going out to catch up with old friends over tea (a high school buddy of mine and I went to a tea cafe in Squirrel Hill last week!), see friends who are coming back from teaching in Japan, go to a double screening of Captain America, visit the comic convention, grab burgers in the South Side, see new houses, and all sorts of things! It sounds silly, but it's something that always bothered me. I would make excuses for not making plans that I now find to be silly. Trust me - I still like to keep things relaxed (some days I just want to stay home and play video games!), but I need to get out now and then too.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me? I want to know what's up in your life! We can chat over comments, or you can send me an email. I'd love to chat!

Monday, April 14, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.99

Ballet de Santiago - La Bella Durmiente del Bosque
( Tatuchi ) 

lithe adj. [ˈlīth]: thin, supple, graceful (via)

The lithe ballerina easily twirled and jumped across the stage.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

link love

♥ Mia's got some great April activities planned, and I can't wait to do some of them myself!
♥ Paper vs. digital reading is an exhausted debate
♥ I've been drooling over all of the hanami picnics popping up across the internet lately. I would love to pack some food and spend an afternoon under the cherry blossoms!
A tour of accents across the British Isles
♥ I need a cake that looks like the planet Jupiter in my life, pronto
5 Easy Ways to Blog Better
♥ Kayla has started a new weekly series to bring some cheer to your Monday
♥ Mint + coral - my very favorite combination!
36 Things I Wish I Figured Out Sooner (serious or lighthearted, all are equally important)
♥ What book would you find on your favorite Game of Thrones character's bookshelf?
How to make soy teacup candles - aren't they adorable!?
♥ There comes a time when you must let go of your favorite TV show (Supernatural, I'm looking at you...)
♥ Top Tools for Setting (and Keeping) Goals
♥ Alexandra Franzen on why you should be a 'Daymaker'
When period films meet street fashion
♥ Another gorgeous, gold-hued photoshoot from In-Aeternum

What fun links have you found this week?