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  1. #1
    Vaedoris is offline Newbie
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    Default Nominative or Objective?

    Which sentences are correct?

    a) This is I.
    This is he.
    This is she.

    b) This is me.
    This is him.
    This is her.


    In my opinion, the first three sentences are correct because is is a linking verb, and therefore the personal pronouns have to be in nominative case. However, I believe most people use objective case after the linking verb.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Vaedoris:



    Yes, you are 100% correct! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Most speakers here in the States have thrown in the towel! That is, they now consider "It is me" to be correct. When I say

    "most speakers," I include those very well-educated people who give advice on "good" English!

    As they say, language is a very democratic matter. The people really do rule. I understand, for example, that some countries

    have passed laws limiting the number of English words that are allowed. Of course, the people simply ignore the laws and use

    English words that please them.

    I am an old man, so I continue to follow the rule: "It is I." But most people say "It is me" because (a) they do not want

    people to think that they are "putting on airs" (= I am better educated than you) or (b) they actually think that using "me"

    is correct!

    And even when "It is I" was considered correct and used by some people, it was often a social hazard. Could you imagine

    what a tough, macho (American) football player would sound like if he said, "It is I"! Why, people would whisper that he

    must be a sissy.

    A few people want to use "It is I," but social pressure is too strong for them to resist. For example, this very old man has

    the courage to say "It is I," but even I do not have the courage to say/write: "Everyone must bring his book." I, too, have

    fallen in line and mouth the horrible: bring their book/ his or her book. I am retired, but employed people would find their

    jobs in jeopardy if they did not fall in line.


    Disclaimer repeated: Not a teacher; these are ONLY my opinions.


    James

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    1 is correct, but it is used by so few people that it is starting to sound strange. If there's a verb (It is I who did it), it sounds more natural, but despite the best intentions of people like the Parser, 2 is what the vast majority use.

  4. #4
    Vaedoris is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    Thank you Mr. Parser and Tdol.

    Now I know how to use the pronouns in writing and speaking.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  5. #5
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I, too, have fallen in line and mouth the horrible: bring their book/ his or her book.
    James
    Will you, James, help me understand the below quotation? Also, from your point of view, does that mean that we have to avoid using her because in the title his was used instead of her?

    "“Man” and “mankind” have always been used to designate both men and women, but to the PC crowd these designations are sexist."
    More: Stumptalk: Everyone must bring his book Opinion Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    That article is taking quite a position- many feel less strongly. TheParser, who generally takes conservative positions, says that he has moved on this issue, but he thinks things through carefully. This article is less thoughtful. Language changes, and it is inconceivable to think that the changes that have occurred in the relationships between the sexes will not be reflected in language use. Whether you want to use the subject or the object after a linking verb is largely a matter of personal choice, but insisting that the only correct form of a non-gender-specific pronoun is the one that was established when there was a gender imbalance is poor grammar and poor sociology.

    And, how do many languages use plural pronouns as a way of being polite to singular people? The singular/plural argument they're making is ignored in hundreds of languages, and politeness trumps the ability to count to two IMO.
    Last edited by Tdol; 11-Dec-2012 at 16:10. Reason: Hyphenation

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Nominative or Objective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post
    Will you, James, help me understand the below quotation? Also, from your point of view, does that mean that we have to avoid using her because in the title his was used instead of her?

    "“Man” and “mankind” have always been used to designate both men and women, but to the PC crowd these designations are sexist."
    More: Stumptalk: Everyone must bring his book Opinion Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN
    English has always used the male pronoun when the sex is unknown or mixed. "Everyone should bring his book."

    A few decades ago, some people decided this was "offensive" because it seems to exclude females. So people started using "his or her" or similar expressions.

    That was too much trouble, so people have begun to simply use the plural, non-gender specific "their" in these cases.

    Now no one is offended except grammar purists!

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