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    #1

    whithout his knowing it

    In the two sentences above, extracted from a published book, I do not understand the use of the underlined pronoun.

    "The following year we found the time for him to devote to filming."
    I think "him" is playing here a subject role, could/should not one use "he" instead?

    "[...] Andrew told us [...] how so much of the math he had ever studied had been, without his really knowing it at the time, really a gathering of tools for the [...] challenge that had dominated his career [...] "
    This is a common structure I keep seeing. The pronoun "him" seems to play a subject role, why should/could not one use "he" instead?

    What are the involved rules?

  1. syku's Avatar
    Junior Member
    Interested in Language
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    #2

    Re: whithout his knowing it

    "The following year we found the time for him to devote to filming."
    The "him" is the object for "for".

    e.g. "Have you found the time for me?"

    "Without his really knowing it" is the genitive case. It is found in formal text although "Without him really knowing it" is gaining acceptance.

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