This one can be tricky to get right, because the incorrect version can sound right to our ears. “I appreciate you filling in for me, Rebekah.” The problem is that it’s wrong. The trick is to identify the action.
- Because of me going to the store today, I will have food for dinner.
- They always teased John about him reading.
Identify the action: I went to the store, so the going-to-the-store action was mine, all mine. It was my going to the store that enabled me to make dinner. The easy fix is “Because I went to the store today, I will have food for dinner.” John was teased about his action; it was his reading that caused them to tease him, so he was teased “about his reading.”
A gerund is an –ing verb used as a noun (bellyaching, pontificating, roaring, etc.). They are often paired with possessive pronouns: your filling in, her roaring, his bellyaching. Once you understand who the action belongs to, you will remember; it will be your (possessive pronoun) remembering (gerund) that guides you to safe and correct usage.