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  1. #1
    Jason7377 is offline Newbie
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    The verb to be

    Which is correct?

    The winning high jumper was her/she
    That may be she/her waiting at the bottom of the stairs
    It was probably they/them swimming in the Browns' pool
    Could it have been she/her on the phone?


    What I have been taught is that when the verb "to be" is present then one must use the subjective pronoun


    So then "the winning high jumper was she"
    because she is the subjective pronoun


    Can anyone confirm that I am doing this correctly?


    Thanks :)

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: The verb to be

    This is based on the mistaken impression that English is Latin.

    Can you imagine saying "The person the cat scratched was I"?

    I would use the object form of the pronouns in your sentences.
    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.

  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: The verb to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason7377 View Post
    Which is correct?

    The winning high jumper was her/she
    That may be she/her waiting at the bottom of the stairs
    It was probably they/them swimming in the Browns' pool
    Could it have been she/her on the phone?


    What I have been taught is that when the verb "to be" is present then one must use the subjective pronoun


    So then "the winning high jumper was she"
    because she is the subjective pronoun


    Can anyone confirm that I am doing this correctly?


    Thanks :)
    It is not correct to say that the nominative should *always*
    be used after "to be". Rather, it is that "to be" should link two
    noun phrases/pronouns of the same case, whether this be nominative or
    accusative, as:
    Who do you believe the winning high jumper was?
    I believe that it was she.
    Whom do you believe the winner of high jump to be?
    I believe the winner to be her.
    However, when it comes to equating ‘this’ with ‘she’ or ‘her’ lots of people say "this is her". Some people in India say "this is she". I think, they are both acceptable

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The verb to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason7377 View Post
    Which is correct?

    The winning high jumper was her/she
    That may be she/her waiting at the bottom of the stairs
    It was probably they/them swimming in the Browns' pool
    Could it have been she/her on the phone?


    What I have been taught is that when the verb "to be" is present then one must use the subjective pronoun


    So then "the winning high jumper was she"
    because she is the subjective pronoun


    Can anyone confirm that I am doing this correctly?


    Thanks :)
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Jason.

    (1) Yes, you are 100% correct: "Book English" requires both sides of "to

    be" to match.

    (a) As Teacher Sarat said: subject + to be + subject:

    IT is I.

    THE TEACHER is SHE.

    THE WINNERS are THEY.

    (b) As Teacher Sarat said: object + to be + object:

    I consider the best player (object) + to be + her (object).


    I want the winners (object) + to be + us (object).

    (2) As Ms. Barbara said, in everyday conversation and even in

    writing, many Americans do not follow the "rule." They feel more

    comfortable in using the object(ive) form.

    (a) For example, a big, strong, masculine American football player would

    never say: It is I. (If he did, many other boys -- and girls -- would say

    unkind things about him.)

    (b) Ordinary people simply do not feel comfortable using the subject(ive)


    forms -- I, he, she, we, they -- because:

    (i) Many (most?) of them do not know the rule.

    (ii) It now sounds strange because almost no one uses those forms

    nowadays.

    (3) NEVERTHELESS , if you wish to speak and write "correct" English,

    do not be afraid to use them:

    George and Martha knock on Tony's door.

    Tony: Who's there?

    Martha: It's we.

    ***** THANK YOU *****

  5. #5
    Jason7377 is offline Newbie
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    Re: The verb to be

    Thank you know I understand :)

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