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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,678
    #1

    It's them.

    Who's there? Is it them? - Yes, it's them.

    Is such exchange possible? Should "they" be used instead of "them"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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      • English
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      • England
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    #2

    Re: It's them.

    Yes. No.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

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    #3

    Re: It's them.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Should "they" be used instead of "them"?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, EnglishHobby:

    You have already received the answer.

    *****

    I only wish to share some ideas that may interest you:

    1. In the 1950's, when I was in secondary school here in the United States, we were told to follow the old rule: It is I, he, she, we, they.

    2. But even by the 1950's most Americans were ignoring the rule.

    3. Some books still say that "It is I" is "possible" or "formal."

    4. In reality, however, almost NO one uses the subject(ive) form.

    5. I have to tell you that I do (whenever I have time to think). That is, I try to remember to say, "It is I." But I probably "naturally" say "It is me" whenever I do not have time to remember the rule, for I hear everyone else always using the object(ive) form "me."

    6. In my OPINION, if you say "It is they," you would be speaking "correct" English, but it would NOT be natural English or the English that almost all native speakers in the United States now use.

    7. In formal writing (for example, at the university), it is my OPINION that it would be a good idea to follow the rule, but it is my educated guess that here in the United States most university students and professors no longer follow the old rule.

    8. Let me quote what one book on "good" English says:

    "[L]anguage is a living thing, always evolving, and It is I is just about extinct."

    --Patricia T. O'Conner, Woe Is I (1996 edition).


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 10-Aug-2014 at 12:50. Reason: I forgot to mention the edition date.

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

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    #4

    Re: It's them.

    Thank you, TheParser, your comment is very informative and useful. In my language there are also some rules that scholars impose on people. I am against some of them, because they sound unnatural and, as you said, people use them only if they make a mental effort. I think that linguistic surveys should be made and depending on the statistics rules should be introduced (or cancelled).
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  3. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Saudi Arabia
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      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Aug 2012
    • Posts: 1,616
    #5

    Re: It's them.


    Hi.
    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Who's there?
    I think we can also say who is it, can't we, please?

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