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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default who is/am confused

    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.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: who is/am confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    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.

    Thanks.
    It is X who is confused -- Who is confused is I.
    I am (the one who is)...

    "is" goes for both instances.

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: who is/am confused

    "The one who is" is correct, and "It is I who am" is correct.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: who is/am confused

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    "The one who is" is correct, and "It is I who am" is correct.
    Svatnik -

    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.]

  5. #5
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: who is/am confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    It is I who is/am confused.
    This is a proper cleft sentence which contains a grammatical subject (It) and a notional or real subject (I).
    '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 am is 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

    EDIT:
    Read this:
    http://tinyurl.com/c9ncff

    "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.

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