View Poll Results: Which would you use?

Voters
324. This poll is closed
  • Not I

    96 29.63%
  • Not me

    149 45.99%
  • It depends [please explain...]

    79 24.38%
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Thread: Not I

  1. #1
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Not I

    What part of speech is 'not' here?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    What part of speech is 'not' here?

    It's an adverb.
    Used elliptically.

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not me. (It was not me.) *popular

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not I. (It was not I.) *traditional grammar

    According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not I.

    On the phone:

    Pat: Hello, may I speak with Sam, please?
    Sam: This is she.

    But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.

    Other 'not' example:

    Q: Is she coming?
    A: I hope not. (I hope she is not coming)

    Q: Do you want it?
    A: Certainly not! (I certainly do not want it.)

    Cas :) That was fun! Thanx

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    Good explanation!

    • "Who ate my porridge" said Baby Bear?
      "Not I" said Mama Bear.
      "Not I" said Papa Bear.


    :wink:

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Not I

    What do you think of the current usage of 'particle' for 'not'?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    What do you think of the current usage of 'particle' for 'not'?
    Well, hmm, well, lemme see. The word 'not' in not at all and not quite and not John functions as an adverb. It negates the verb.

    I slept until 6:00.
    Not John. He did not sleep until 6:00.

    Adverbs are major parts of speech, as are nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions.

    Particles, on the other hand, are defined as minor parts of speech, especially short undeclinable ones, like the ones we see attached to phrasal verbs.

    However, if you can show that not is a part of (a particle) of a phrasal verb, then I'd have to agree with using the term 'particle' in that particular context.

    Do you have some examples?

    Cas :)

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'm not a fan of the term 'particle' at all. I think it's not particularly useful to have what is basically a dustbin category. I think of phrasal verbs consisting of verb & adverb combinations. Some use the term particle for 'not' and 'to' as the infinitive marker. Again, I'm not enamoured of this. I was interested to see what you thought.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by "Casiopea

    It's an adverb.
    Used elliptically.

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not me. (It was not me.) *popular

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not I. (It was not I.) *traditional grammar

    According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

    Q: Who ate the cake?
    A: Not I.

    On the phone:

    Pat: Hello, may I speak with Sam, please?
    Sam: This is she.

    But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.

    Other 'not' example:

    Q: Is she coming?
    A: I hope not. (I hope she is not coming)

    Q: Do you want it?
    A: Certainly not! (I certainly do not want it.)

    Cas :) That was fun! Thanx
    Which do you use? I would only use 'I' in very formal conversations.

  8. #8
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    Default

    You would usually say not me, right?

    :wink:

  9. #9
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    Default

    I think of phrasal verbs consisting of verb & adverb combinations.
    You know, I've never thought of it that way. Thanks :)

    Some use the term particle for 'not' and 'to' as the infinitive marker.
    Oo, I used to be a 'Some' once.

    Some people are not sure how to classify 'not' and 'to', and hence their use of the catch-all term 'particle'.

    Cas :)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Not I

    Which do you use? I would only use 'I' in very formal conversations.
    Me, too. So would I.

    Or is it "I, too. So would me?" Hehe

    I speak the Language of my generation--the "Me" generation. However, when communicating with speakers who(m) ascribe to traditional conventions, I tend to, but not always, use the nominative form, "I".

    Cas :D

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