- For Teachers
I'm the one who is/am confused.
It is I who is/am confused.
I think it should be 'is' for the first sentence and 'am' for the second.
"The one who is" is correct, and "It is I who am" is correct.
This is a tricky problem. Tan and K. are on the right track. If you use a different pronoun, it becomes easier to see:
"Who is confused?"
"It is they. It is they who are confused."
It's easy to see that they and are agree with each other, right? In the same way, I and am agree: "It is I who am confused." (Even though it sounds funny!)
[I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]
'Who' is a relative pronoun.
The question is, what is the antecedent of 'who'? What does 'who' hinge on?
Is it the grammatical subject or the real subject?
It is I who is confused -- who
amis confused is I
It is I who am confused -- SVC -- C: postmodified noun phrase
"who" refers to 'I' --> who am
Surprisingly though, Google says:
"It is I who is" -- 90k hits
"It is I who am" -- 50k hits
"Over the years the position of 'it" caused it to be felt to be the real subject, and the third person verb "is" replaced "am" and sometimes governed throughout the sentence. There is a strong tendency to use "is" as "am" is too artificial. This conflict is not yet resolved."
Last edited by svartnik; 25-Mar-2009 at 14:30.