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    #1

    That was me vs. That was I

    Dear Sir/Madam

    For the question, “Whom did he criticize yesterday?”, should the answer be “That was me” or “That was I”. I think “That was me” sounds natural. Is it OK please?

    Thank you

    With regards

    V P Kannan

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    #2

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    Yes, it's natural.

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    #3

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    However, some people say that after a be verb or linking verb, pronoun should be in subject form only, and therefore, "That was I" is only grammatically correct. Is "That was me" also grammatically correct?
    Last edited by vpkannan; 02-Apr-2015 at 10:28.

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    #4

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    I agree with Dave, but given the formality of the question (with the use of 'whom'), the more formal answer 'That was I' might be heard.

    Click here to read a similar thread on the topic.

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    #5

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    Quote Originally Posted by vpkannan View Post
    Is "That was me" also grammatically correct?
    Some grammatical traditionalists claim that it isn't. However, the vast majority of native speakers use it. I think the case for claiming that it is wrong is very weak. It's perfectly correct in my opinion.

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    #6

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    Though "That was me" is natural and even grammatically correct for “Whom did he criticize yesterday?”, I think the answer for "Who was at home yesterday when my friend came?" must be "I was" or "That was I" rather than "That was me" at least grammatically if not idiomatically.


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    #7

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    There is a "rule" that a pronoun must be in the objective case if it is being used as an object. So "that was I" is "correct" following that "rule."

    But this "rule" does not seem to be followed by the vast majority of actual native speakers, so it's usefulness as a rule is in question.

    The rule applies generally, but I would consider this to be an idiosyncratic exception. I own a book on language called "Woe is I," the title pointing out this very "rule" and how un-natural it is. "Woe is me" is the normal way you would hear this. You could live a million years and never hear anyone say "woe is I."

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    #8

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    Quote Originally Posted by vpkannan View Post
    Though "That was me" is natural and even grammatically correct for “Whom did he criticize yesterday?”, I think the answer for "Who was at home yesterday when my friend came?" must be "I was" or "That was I" rather than "That was me" at least grammatically if not idiomatically.
    Many would say I was in answer to that, but almost no one would say That was I. Far more would answer with me than I. I was would not be questioned, but if you want to make out a case that That was I is somehow grammatically superior to That was me, please remember that the vast majority of native speakers prefer the inferior grammar. I would honestly be surprised if 1% of native speakers would use That was I.

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    #9

    Re: That was me vs. That was I

    And not many people would say “Whom did he criticize yesterday?” anyway.

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