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  1. #1
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Default Them or they or those

    "They frankly dislike the RSC' actors, them with their long hair and beards and sandals and noisiness."
    Please tell me : Can we use they or those instead of "them" and why ?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
    Jenniferhu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    I see it a way of laying stress on the latter half of the sentence. The pronoun in the objective case is used here simply to make things short, or otherwise the author would have to say something like "it is them that have long hair and beards and sandals and noisiness", which sounds very awkward and sluggish in the context. "They" is grammatically incorrect because it is in the subjective case. "Those" may be grammatically acceptable but contextually inappropriate because the reader would get confused and think "who are those and who are they."

    Hope this helps.

    Jenny
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  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    I'd leave the pronoun out altogether.

    Rover

  4. #4
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
    Jenniferhu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I'd leave the pronoun out altogether.

    Rover
    By E.B.White's rules, Rover, your riddance seems reasonable. But clearly that is a multiple choice question designed to give students an idea that language only has one correct answer for everything we say or write.

    Jenny

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferhu View Post
    By E.B.White's rules, Rover, your riddance seems reasonable. But clearly that is a multiple choice question designed to give students an idea that language only has one correct answer for everything we say or write.

    Jenny
    It's not clear to me that it's a multiple choice question.

  6. #6
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
    Jenniferhu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It's not clear to me that it's a multiple choice question.
    Google told me so.

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    "They frankly dislike the RSC' actors, them with their long hair and beards and sandals and noisiness."
    Please tell me : Can we use they or those instead of "them" and why ?
    Thanks!
    It's a common error to use "them" where "those" or "these" is needed, e.g. "Them are some pretty horses."

    As Rover pointed out, this sentence is better without anything there.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    In my opinion:
    Using "they" means it provides additional information about all the RSC actors.
    Using "those" would differentiate the actors with the beards, sandals, etc. to say which ones were disliked
    Using "them" is incorrect grammar.

    (And why is there a ' after RSC?)
    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.

  9. #9
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Them or they or those

    [QUOTE=Barb_D;876258]In my opinion:
    Using "they" means it provides additional information about all the RSC actors.
    Using "those" would differentiate the actors with the beards, sandals, etc. to say which ones were disliked
    Using "them" is incorrect grammar.

    (And why is there a ' after RSC?)[/QUOTE
    "The worthy residents of Stratford doubt that the theatre adds a penny to their revenue. They frankly dislike the RSC's actors, them with their long hair and beards and sandals and noisiness.It's all deliciously ironic when you consider that Shakespeare, who earns their living, was himself an actor (with a beard ) and did his share of noise-making." The paragraph is quoted from China's research student entrance test topic of comprehension for 2006. (In the above text there is Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)).
    Thanks to teachers, them giving their ideas!

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