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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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    #1

    Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    Hello!

    Can I write like this:

    "He, John, has never fought in his life."

    For example, in such a passage:

    "They all went fighting in the school. But He, John, has never fought in his life."

    Or:

    "Everyone in the house cooked very well, but she, Sarah, did not know to cook."

    (It is possible in Russian, so I am curious if it can be used in English as well).

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    I suppose you could get away with it, if you really emphasized the name. Still, it's rarely if ever used, and certainly isn't standard.

    I wouldn't recommend you use this construction in English. If I've ever seen anything like it, it was perhaps in some story or other fiction writing.

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    #3

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    I think it's mostly used in spoken English, and in the fiction you've seen it in, it could have been in passages of speech.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    I am a first language British English speaker (but not a Teacher) and I would agree that it is possible to use it, but not recommended. I agree that it would be more used in the spoken language now but would probably be considered rather old-fashioned or affected.

    To me it brings to mind classic writers such as Agatha Christie and nineteenth century novelists. Most people nowadays would just think why didn't you just say or write that it was John or Sarah straight away.

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    #5

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    Good point- it is rather dated.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    It is so dated, I don't recognize it.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Can you use 'he' ('she') together with the name for emphasysing?

    You're more likely to hear this as a clarification rather than for emphasis - maybe that's what you meant.

    "Sarah was a strange girl. Emma and Jane cooked very well, but she, Sarah, did not know how to cook." This clarifies that 'she' doesn't refer to Emma or Jane. In speech, the name would be added in the split second that you realized there might be some ambiguity. I agree that you don't need it in writing.

    By the way, if John never fought and John was in the school, you can't say they all went fighting in the school. Similarly, if Sarah can't cook and if Sarah is in the house, you can't say that everyone in the house cooked very well.


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