- For Teachers
when the person picking up the phone is just the one wanted on the phone, he /she may say:"this is he/she". But the sentence seems a bit strange at sencond glance. Why not "this is him/her"? Thank you for any help.
That link does indeed provide an answer.
Usually I give my name when I answer the phone, which means this situation does not arise. If for some reason I do not, then this happens:
Caller: "fivejedjon?".......Response: "Yes(?)"
Caller: "May/can I speak to fivejedjon, please?"...... Response: "Speaking."
To me, both 'this is he' and 'this is him' sound pompous.
Last edited by 5jj; 08-Apr-2011 at 10:21.
Not a teacher.
I'm just wondering if the subjective case(pronoun) has anything to do with this?
My reason for this is:
The word "this" is a pronoun, and he/him acts as a subject complement on "this" therefor we use she/he because it falls under the pronoun subjective case category.
Sorry, I didn't read the above link carefully. I just noticed that the above link alludes to the same conclusion as the one that I reached.
Last edited by kazewolf; 08-Apr-2011 at 23:55.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) As the distinguished teachers have already told you, there is a lot
of controversy regarding this matter.
(2) NEVERTHELESS, there are a few people who are interested in
upholding the highest standards of English grammar.
(3) Since you teach English, you know, of course, that traditionally,
one uses the nominative case after a linking verb. So in choice
English, one says "This is she/he."
(4) It is true, of course, that nowadays most people say "This is her/him."
(5) You will have to make a decision -- insist on choice English
or go along with what is now popular.
P.S. In some cases, it's a matter of social survival. If a big, tough
American football player said "This is he," probably some people would
accuse him of being a "sissy" or even a person who prefers romantic
attachments with his own gender. In other words, for some people it
takes moral courage to speak "correct" English!!!
(6) As a teacher, you -- of course -- wish to give your students the
best education possible. I sincerely feel that when your students
write English in international correspondence, they will receive more
respect if they use choice -- rather than popular -- English.
I use "This is she" when the caller has mispronounced my name, a clear signal that it's a soliciatation call. Usually, like 5jj, I say "Speaking" or "This is Barb." I would never, ever say "This is her."
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.