Student or Learner
Hello, is the following sentence correct?
It is not I who told him the story.
I wasn't the one who told him!
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.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) You have asked a great question.
(2) According to the "rules," the "correct" English is:
It is not I who told him.
It is I, he, she, we, they.
(3) Today in modern American English, many (most?) people
refuse to follow the rule. I guess 95% of people say:
It is me.
(4) Many teachers say that the "rule" was based on Latin,
and English -- of course -- is not Latin. So most teachers say that
"It is me/ her/ him/ us/ them" is now correct English.
(5) If you say "It is I" or "It was he" or "It is we," people may think
(a) You want everyone else to know that you speak better English
than they do. In other words, you are a snob.
(b) You are speaking "bad" English (because most native speakers
probably think that "It is me" is "correct" English).
(6) When you speak, maybe it's a good idea to "break" the rule and
say "It is me"; when you write (especially university-level
writing), you might want to follow the "rule" and write "It is I."
P. S. There are also social reasons for one's choice. A young man
may be afraid to say "It is I" because some people might say or
think that he is a "sissy."
Not a professional ESL teacher.