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    #1

    his/him

    Among these three below, is there an example in which it's impossible to replace 'his' with 'him'?

    I'm proud of his not having been scolded by his teacher.
    She insisted on his accepting the gift.
    She complains about his having called her up last night.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: his/him

    Purists will tell you that the gerunds require the possessive, but this is being used less and less often. You will find people who tell you that there is a difference between being pround of HIM instead of HIS ACTION, but very rarely are such difference intended by the speaker nor noticed by the listener.

    So while you can substitute in "him" be aware that some people will find this a lapse in grammatical correctness. Others find the original to sound stuffy. I personally would prefer "I was proud of him for not getting scolded by his teacher" instead of either of those. (But then, I have higher expectations for my children, so simply not getting into trouble would not exactly be a source of pride and joy.)

    More natural, to my ear, for the other two:
    She insisted that he accept the gift.
    She complained (note the tense) about his call last night.

    There's also no need for the "having called" instead of "calling."
    And lastly, drop the "up."
    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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    #3

    Re: his/him

    Thanks for the great comment, Barb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    She complained (note the tense) about his call last night.

    There's also no need for the "having called" instead of "calling."
    Why the past tense instead?

    And even if it's the conversion of 'She complains that he called last night/ 'She complained that he had called last night'', doesn't it have to be ' 'She complains about his/him having called last night'?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: his/him

    If she complains, it's habitual. She complains about his calling at all hours.
    Since he called last night, it's not a habit. She complained, or if she's doing it right now, she is complaining.
    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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    #5

    Re: his/him

    Good.

    And what about the question about the conversion? Is it that it doesn't have to be that grammatically strict?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: his/him

    I see no difference between "I'm not happy about your calling me last night" and "I'm not happy about your having called last night."

    Others may disagree.
    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: his/him

    OK.

    Thanks, Barb!

    (By the way, those three examples were originally written by someone else, not me)

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