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    #1

    WHO

    Which sentence is correct?

    It's you who completes me.

    or

    It's you who complete me.


    It's I who builds community.

    or

    It's I who build community.


    I'm confused. What is the rule behind this?

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    #2

    Re: WHO

    It's you who completes me.
    This is a cleft sentence in which "who" is not a pronoun relative to its antecedent "you". There is no postmodifying relative clause to the head noun "you" in this sentence. This means "you" does not govern the verb in the relative clause (the proper form of to compete). "The person invariable "who" does. It is canonically an interrogative pronoun which functions as a conjunctive pronoun. The subordinate clause is the postposited notional subject.

    Who is playing? They (are). It is they who is playing. Who is playing is they.
    Who is playing? I (am). It is I who is playing. Who is playing is I.
    Who is playing? She (does). It is she who is playing. Who is playing is she.
    Who is playing? You (are). It is you who is playing. Who is playing is you.

    It = grammatical filler, empty subject without referent; agrees in number and person with a verb in singular third person (it is)
    Last edited by Afit; 08-Sep-2011 at 18:53.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: WHO

    Quote Originally Posted by Afit View Post
    This is a cleft sentence in which "who" is not a pronoun relative to its antecedent "you". There is no postmodifying relative clause to the head noun "you" in this sentence. This means "you" does not govern the verb in the relative clause (the proper form of to compete). "The person invariable "who" does. It is canonically an interrogative pronoun which functions as a conjunctive pronoun. The subordinate clause is the postposited notional subject.
    Sometimes I wonder what happened to me over the last 40 years. I don't understand that.

    My simple (though not necessarily correct) answer to the OP's question is:

    It's you who completes me. (but I am not sure that I understand what this means)

    It's I who builds community. (with a similar reservation)

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    #4

    Re: WHO

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Sometimes I wonder what happened to me over the last 40 years. I don't understand that.
    What do you mean?

    Further thoughts to this topic. I met several similar threads in several forums. Some people think that "who" is a relative pronoun with an antecedent.
    "who" is not a relative pronoun in the sentence, in my opinion, and there is no antecedent either.

    If it were so, this would mean in

    It is I who am right,

    "I who am right" were a single constituent, a single nominal phrase with "I" as the head,

    It is [I who am right]
    [I who am right] is.

    It is I [who is right]
    [who is right] is I

    which, as we can see above, this does not (mean).

    If "I who is right" is not a single constituent, this means "who is right" is not a postmodifier to "I", not a relative clause. What is "who is right" then?

    It is this:
    Who is right is I.

    In the canonically interrogative clause, which is in copulative relation to "I", "who" is acting as a conjunctive pronoun. "who is right" is postposed to the tail end of the sentence via the process of clefting to give it heightened focus.
    In interrogative sentences with "who", the verb is always singular third person. Always. Never else.

    Who is this? It is I.
    Who is this? It is we.
    Who is this? It is you.

    So,

    It is I who is right.
    It is I who am right

    QED

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    #5

    Re: WHO

    Quote Originally Posted by munchkin2618 View Post
    Which sentence is correct?

    It's you who completes me.

    or

    It's you who complete me.


    It's I who builds community.

    or

    It's I who build community.


    I'm confused. What is the rule behind this?

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) As you can see from the other posts, there is an honest difference of

    opinion.

    (2) It seems to depend on which book you decide to follow.

    (3) IMHO, most books nowadays advise the following:

    (a) It is you (who complete me). "Who complete me" is now considered

    an adjective clause modifying "you."

    (b) It is I (who build a community). Again, "who build a community" modifies

    "I."

    *****

    A great grammarian named George O. Curme explained that the really correct form

    would be: It is you who completes me. That is: It (who completes me) is I.

    But the good professor (who wrote that more than 70 years ago) admitted that

    nowadays (that is, when he was writing) most people now analyzed it as an

    adjective clause.

    I most respectfully and humbly suggest you say:

    It is you who complete me.

    It is I who build community.

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