0

As non native speaker of English , I'm having trouble making sense of a structure pertaining to object pronouns.

Likelihood of me doing this....

Your plan involves me attempting to prepare plans necessary for you.

Chances of me getting into that school is high.

What is it that establishes the connection between object pronouns and verbs in gerund form in terms of both grammar and meaning? In my language , expressions corresponding to the expressions in bold above are constituted with "my" instead of "me". That is the reason why I'm having trouble making sense of it.

  • Those are Subject pronouns. Gerund verb phrases (like doing this, attempting to prepare plans necessary for you, and getting into that school) can have subjects, and those subject pronouns are in the objective form (i.e, me; they can also be in the possessive form, like my doing this); the only thing they can't be is nominative, like the subject of a tensed clause -- *of I doing this is ungrammatical). – John Lawler Apr 27 '15 at 16:47
  • So what is the difference between "my doing this" and " me doing this"? – Cihangir Çam Apr 27 '15 at 16:55
  • No meaning or grammar difference; speaker's choice. Some prefer one, some another, and many vary. – John Lawler Apr 27 '15 at 16:56
  • Damn! I spent years remembering to say 'my' instead of 'me', and now Professor Lawler tell me I was OK with 'me. – David Garner Apr 27 '15 at 17:00
2

In careful usage, people will generally use 'my' instead of 'me' in those cases, to emphasize that they are talking about the action rather than the person doing the action. However, in casual English you will hear 'me' and it usually means the exact same thing as 'my'.

  • So when what you said is applied to my examples , "chances of my getting into .." becomes correct one.Right? – Cihangir Çam Apr 27 '15 at 17:14
  • 1
    Correct, although what you have currently is also acceptable. – bcc32 Apr 27 '15 at 22:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.