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    #1

    adjective clause

    Which is acceptable in the blank, is or am?

    Donít worry. I, who _________ your close friend, will be always on your side.

  1. SirGod's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: adjective clause

    *Not a teacher

    Don’t worry. I, who is your close friend, will be always on your side. - who = subject

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    #3

    Re: adjective clause

    *Not a teacher

    Sorry, Gillnetter, but I don't understand why would it be "am" and not "is". It is an apposition, the subject is "who" and the verb is "is". We treat "who is your..." as "that guy who is your...", don't we?

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    #4

    Re: adjective clause

    There is little agreement on this one. Swan suggests:

    "... the verb is normally third person, especially in informal style.
    It's me that's responsible for the organisation.
    (More formal: It is I who am responsible...)
    You're the one that knows where to go. (NOT ...the one that know...)

    Swan, Michael (2005) Practical English Usage, (3rd edn), Oxford: OUP.

    I avoid the problem by not using this construction with first and second person constructions.

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    #5

    Re: adjective clause

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    *Not a teacher

    Sorry, Gillnetter, but I don't understand why would it be "am" and not "is". It is an apposition, the subject is "who" and the verb is "is". We treat "who is your..." as "that guy who is your...", don't we?

    English relative pronouns take the person and number of their antecedent.

    Unlike the interrogative pronoun 'who' (with which you are no doubt confusing it), the relative pronoun has no inherent number or person of its own.

    'Am' is the only possible form here in educated standard English.

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    #6

    Re: adjective clause

    As far as I'm concerened, these constructions read and sound like a hot mess no matter what you do.

    "Who am" alone sounds horrible. "I is" feels horrible, even with the "who" between. Mixing them with "I, who is" OR "I, who am" both sound horrible.

    Like 5jj says, just rewrite the darn thing. I'm your best friend, and I will...
    I am the one who is your best friend, and I will ... As your best friend, I will...
    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.

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    #7

    Re: adjective clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiuhto View Post
    Which is acceptable in the blank, is or am?

    Donít worry. I, who _________ your close friend, will be always on your side.
    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) The great Professor George O. Curme in his 1931 masterpiece

    A Grammar of the English Language (Vol. 2, pages 230 - 231)

    answers your question:

    I, who am your friend, tell you so.

    (a) am is the first person singular agreeing with its subject who,

    which agrees with its antecedent I.


    Respectfully yours,


    James


    P.S. I know what a serious and courteous student you are, so I should

    like to add this:

    It is I who am your best friend.

    The great professor explains that in theory and historically, some

    speakers in the past said: It is I who is your best friend.

    The "is" IS correct -- in theory. That is:

    It (who is your best friend)

    is I.

    But, as you know, languages are very democratic. Even

    dictatorships cannot stop the common people from changing

    the "rules." So today one would say "It is I who am your best

    friend."

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    #8

    Re: adjective clause

    Probably the most famous occurrence of "who am" is that in Exodus 3:14 (in some translations).

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    #9

    Re: adjective clause

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER
    (1) The great Professor George O. Curme [...] answers your question:

    I, who am your friend, tell you so."
    Parser, Curme might have answered the question for a speaker in 1931. We need a far more modern authority to confirm what is acceptable in 2011.

    The British National Corpus, with 9/1 citations for I who/that am, 1/0 for I who/that is and 4/0 for me who/that is suggests that I who am is more common; it also suggests that me who is is pretty common. Purists might object to me who is, but it accounts for over 26% of the (admittedly not many) citations. philo's claim that "'Am' is the only possible form here in educated standard English" may be true of formal writing. I am not so sure it is true in normal conversation - even among educated speakers..

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    #10

    Re: adjective clause

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Probably the most famous occurrence of "who am" is that in Exodus 3:14 (in some translations).
    The normal translation is "I am who I am", where I is clearly the subject of am.

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