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    #1

    Than me

    Hello,

    " He is bigger than me" or " He is bigger than I am" ?

    " He is funnier than me" or " He is funnier than I am" ?

    What is the difference?

    Thankss.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Than me

    The difference is that some people consider the 'than me' construction to be incorrect.

    However, it's so commonly used these days that I wouldn't worry about it.

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    #3

    Re: Than me

    Just a note before I am accused of encouraging a lowering of standards, I am merely reporting what native speakers actually say.

    Biber et al found that over 97.5% of the examples recorded in speech were as/than me/him; fewer than 2.5% were as/than I/he . In writing (fiction) 55% of the examples were as/than me/him; 45% were as/than I/he.

    They note that “writers frequently opt for a full comparative clause [eg, She was half a head taller than I was] thereby avoiding a choice between nominative and accusative forms”. Unfortunately, they give no figures for this construction.

    Quirk et al, writing over 30 years ago, say, “in informal English, as and than count as prepositions (and are therefore followed by an objective pronoun...)”.

    Writing of as and than seventeen years later, Huddleston and Pullum say, “the accusatives are fully acceptable in informal style”.

    There seems to be general agreement that:

    1. He is bigger than I am is the most accepted form in formal writing.
    2. He is bigger than me is acceptable in informal writing and all but the most formal speech.
    3. He is bigger than I is considered stiff and over-formal by many speakers.

    Biber, Douglas, Johamsson, Stig, Leech, Geoffrey, Conrad, Susan and Finegan, Edward (1999.337) Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English, Harlow: Longman/Pearson
    Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey and Svartik, Jan (1985.337) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: Longman
    Huddleston, Rodney & Pullum, Geoffrey K (2002.460) The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge: CUP
    Last edited by 5jj; 19-Dec-2011 at 02:30. Reason: typo

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    #4

    Re: Than me

    [QUOTE=Kco13;833713]

    " He is bigger than me" or " He is bigger than I am" ?


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) If you have this kind of question on a test given to you by a very strict

    teacher, then -- in my opinion -- the only "correct" answer is "He is bigger

    than I am." A strict teacher would be very proud of you.

    (2) As the moderator told us, many (most?) native speakers nowadays do not

    follow this "rule" and say " ... than me."

    (3) I most respectfully suggest that you follow the rule. Many native speakers will

    be impressed by your knowledge of "correct" English.

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    #5

    Re: Than me

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (1) If you have this kind of question on a test given to you by a very strict teacher, then -- in my opinion -- the only "correct" answer is "He is bigger than I am." A strict teacher would be very proud of you.
    [...]
    (3) I most respectfully suggest that you follow the rule. Many native speakers will be impressed by your knowledge of "correct" English.
    I would agree that it is probably safer to use 'than I am' just in case your teacher is one of those who seem to think that foreign learners should not use forms that the majority of native speakers use in everyday life.
    With respect, Parser, I don't think that many native speakers care one way or the other about this.

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