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  1. #1
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    Default Older than me or I

    He is older than I am / He is older than me

    Which is correct and why ?

    I have read both the expression go fine

  2. #2
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Questions about the grammar of than were
    energetically debated in C18, and still today are
    sometimes asked. By origin it is a subordinating
    conjunction, used to introduce comparative clauses,
    as in:
    He knows more than I do about the family history.
    The use of the subject pronoun I anticipates the verb
    (do), and confirms that a clause is to follow. This is
    proof that than is indeed a conjunction – in that
    sentence. But older commentators were inclined to
    think, “once a conjunction, always a conjunction,” and
    to disregard common constructions like the following:
    He knows more than me about the family history.
    In that alternative version of the sentence, the object
    pronoun me shows than operating as a preposition,
    which normally takes an object. Prepositional use of
    than with an object pronoun has been recorded since
    C16, yet prescriptive grammarians still argue that the
    subject pronoun is the proper one to use after it; and
    they would “correct” the second sentence to:
    He knows more than I about the family history.
    To many people this sounds less natural, but its
    proponents argue that it is an elliptical version of the
    first sentence above, i.e. that a whole clause is to be
    understood after than, and so I is the correct pronoun.
    Yet there’s no need for this elaborate argument if we
    allow that than is both a preposition and a
    subordinator. Research associated with the Longman
    Grammar (1999) showed that speakers mostly use
    than (and as) as prepositions (i.e. with a following
    object pronoun) and only rarely with a following
    subject pronoun. Fiction writers make about equal
    use of the two constructions, while academic writers
    use neither. Academic comparisons more often turn
    on correlative phrases with comparative adjectives:
    He possessed a greater sense of history than others
    of his time.
    You could therefore say that the problem is academic!
    It rarely comes up in academic prose, and in fiction
    and conversation where than is much more often used
    with simple pronouns, the use of object forms is quite
    idiomatic. In practice the issue only arises with first or
    third person pronouns that have distinct forms for the
    subject and object (I, we, he, she, they). For the second
    person pronoun you, the third person it, it makes no
    difference – or for nouns and proper names: He knows
    more than John (does) about the family history.
    A different issue with than is its potential
    ambiguity when used elliptically, as in:
    She’s kinder to her dog than the children.
    To settle the ambiguity in sentences like that, the
    point needs to be spelled out more fully. (See further
    under ellipsis.)
    Combinations with than:
    1 Than and what. The most extended use of than as
    a preposition is to be seen in nonstandard usage such
    as: He wanted it more than what I did.
    Such constructions provide an empty object for
    than but ensure the use of the subject pronoun in the
    following clause. It could thus be seen as a kind of
    hypercorrective response to the grammatical
    “problem” (see hypercorrection). The what is
    unnecessary because the sentence could perfectly well
    be: He wanted it more than I did (or more than me). The
    construction than what is associated with impromptu
    talk – one of the various redundancies that occur
    when we construct sentences on the run, which need
    to be edited out of written documents.
    2 Following than it’s possible to use either an
    infinitive or an -ing form of the verb. Compare:
    She rushed on rather than let us catch up.
    She was rushing on rather than letting us catch
    up.
    But as these examples show, the choice can effectively
    be made by matching the forms before and after than:
    the -ing follows a continuous/progressive form of the
    main verb, while the infinitive goes with other aspects
    and tenses.
    3 Than with quasi-comparatives. A number of
    adjectives and adverbs imply comparisons without
    having the standard comparative suffixes such as -er
    or more. They include collocations like
    different/differently than (and superior than) which
    are used especially in speech as alternatives to
    constructions with from or to. Other constructions
    which sometimes use than are sequences such as
    hardly . . . than, scarcely . . . than, where the
    alternative is to use when as the subordinator. Purists
    are inclined to argue that than has no place in such
    phrases, because the comparison remains implicit
    rather than explicit in the form of words. Yet common
    idiom endorses such combinations. See further under
    different from, hardly and scarcely.

    Taken from: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/linguistics/peters/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Hello Julia

    You are right, you will hear both sentences in everyday speech.

    He is older than me. and He is older than I am.

    However, the former is certainly more frequent than the latter one.

    In fact, the BNC (British National Corpus) also shows that the one with the objective personal pronoun (me) is much more frequent than the one with the subjective personal pronoun.

    For most native speakers though, the grammatically correct version actually sounds slightly stilted.

    I hope this was of some help.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    In formal language it is possibly better to use 'I' but in everyday usage 'me' is more common unless followed by a verb or clause.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    He is older than me.
    He is older than I am.
    He is older than I.
    (I what?? - Example: He is older than I thought )

    Tdol, theoretically everything is possible, but correct grammar is always welcome

    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    He is older than I (am).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    He is older than I (am).
    But your braces say the "am" could be used, but if you don't use it the sentence is wrong.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    But your braces say the "am" could be used, but if you don't use it the sentence is wrong.

    Cheers!
    "It may say that" to you, but it is not what my comment (is trying to) suggest(s).

    He is older than I.
    He is older than I am.

    Both sentences are prescriptively correct.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    "It may say that" to you, but it is not what my comment (is trying to) suggest(s).

    He is older than I.
    He is older than I am.

    Both sentences are prescriptively correct.
    Yes they are.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Older than me or I

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    But your braces say the "am" could be used, but if you don't use it the sentence is wrong.

    Cheers!
    No it isn't.

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