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Thread: not you but I

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    Hello Soup,

    My understanding is this: Clefting means the cleaving of one clause into two. Original clause: I am to be blamed. After slashing it with a sword:

    1. It is I.
    2. (relative pronoun plus be) to be blamed
    Hi Kondorosi

    Welcome to the thread, and my apologies for not having seen your post until now.



    In reply, we are dealing with subject-verb agreement, nothing more. Allow me to explain.

    The sentence I am to be blamed houses an elliptical phrase:


    • I am the person who is to be blamed. OR
    • I am the one that is to be blamed.


    Within the elliptical phrases are the 3rd person pronouns who and that. As you know, there are no 2nd person pronouns who and that or 1st person pronouns who and that. There are only 3rd person pronouns who and that, and they must agree in number with their verb, which is why 1st person am doesn't work here:


    • I am the person who am to be blamed.
    • I am the one that am to be blamed.


    The above sentences voilate subject-verb agreement: am is inflected for 1st person; who and that are in 3rd person. There is no agreement in person there--number, yes, person, no.

    As you can see, clefting has nothing to do with the ungrammaticallity of the subject-verb agreement in the above sentence: subjects and verbs must agree, and the reason the grammaticality of who am is suspect here:

    • It is I who am to be blamed. <hyper-correction>

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It's nice to see people with linguistic knowledge and also common sense.
    Well, ... Thank you.


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    #13

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post

    The sentence I am to be blamed houses an elliptical phrase:


    • I am the person who is to be blamed. OR
    • I am the one that is to be blamed.


    Within the elliptical phrases are the 3rd person pronouns who and that. As you know, there are no 2nd person pronouns who and that or 1st person pronouns who and that.
    Hello Soup,
    As you know, there are no 2nd person pronouns who and that or 1st person pronouns who and that.
    It means I have been using these proforms with blithe unawareness. Cool. I have always thought these relative connectors do a double duty as:

    1. proform (refer to the same thing as its antecedent)
    2. hitching the subordinate clause to the main clause.

    Same referent have meant to me same verb form.

    Soup, may I trouble you with one more question? Look at this please and put things straight, please.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...rt-speech.html

    And hey! Konun was referring to me. You already knew that, didn't you.
    I do not use difficult words because my vocabulary is somewhat limited.

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: not you but I

    OK, Kondorosi, I'll take a look.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: not you but I

    To me, this is a question of license on a subtle point of grammar that only comes up in sophistic hair-splitting. Much like "I thought you were a doctor" vs. "I thought you are a doctor."

    If I find a convention illogical, and prefer another approach, for example one that is well-documented in other languages, I may choose to use it in English.

    Hearing someone who spent four years at the Univesity of Lethbridge studying the theory of syntax provide us with esoterically-phrased proscriptions, with the sole motive of showing some sort of "erudition," and just trying to make others feel they are foolish, doesn't persuade me.

    It is I who am saying so.

    C'est moi qui ai raison.

  5. Soup's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post

    Soup, may I trouble you with one more question? Look at this please and put things straight, please.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...rt-speech.html
    OK, it's done. Please have a look.

    All the best.

    _________________
    I'm glad we found a solution here on this thread and there on that thread.

  6. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: not you but I

    Interestingly, the British Corpus supports my contention that it is correct to write

    It is I who am to blame....

    A search for the exact phrase "It is I who am" comes up with six hits, against zero for "It is I that is..."

    Widening the search to "It is I who" vs "It is I that" gives the following results: "It is I that..." 0 results returned; "It is I who...." 22 hits.

    I believe the British Corpus to be more an authority on the issue than theoretical rules we can cite at each other.

  7. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: not you but I

    Oh, and it may be of use to cite once again the actual link to the British Corpus.

    [bnc] British National Corpus

    Enjoy!

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #19

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Interestingly, the British Corpus supports my contention that it is correct to write

    It is I who am to blame....

    A search for the exact phrase "It is I who am" comes up with six hits, against zero for "It is I that is..."

    Widening the search to "It is I who" vs "It is I that" gives the following results: "It is I that..." 0 results returned; "It is I who...." 22 hits.

    I believe the British Corpus to be more an authority on the issue than theoretical rules we can cite at each other.
    To me, it is obvious that "It is I who am to blame" is correct. "It is I that is..." is completely wrong. "I is" or "I am"???

  9. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    To me, it is obvious that "It is I who am to blame" is correct. "It is I that is..." is completely wrong. "I is" or "I am"???
    A breath of fresh air, Bhai. We've got a some self-styled professional linguists that sometimes like to attack others with terminology and axioms, and they quite often lose the forest for the tree.

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