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  1. #1

    Question More ... than me/I?

    Hi!

    I have been trying to find what is the better English expression in cases like: More ... than me/I (For example "He is more knowledgeable than ... (Is it me or I the correct pronoun?) I know the general rule about I/me/myself. Still, this particular case puzzles me and I will appreciate if someone could help me clear it.

    Best regards,
    Stela

  2. banderas's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: More ... than me/I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stela Mild View Post
    Hi!

    I have been trying to find what is the better English expression in cases like: More ... than me/I (For example "He is more knowledgeable than ... (Is it me or I the correct pronoun?) I know the general rule about I/me/myself. Still, this particular case puzzles me and I will appreciate if someone could help me clear it.
    Hi, Stela,
    welcome to the forum!
    .............than I am or than me.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: More ... than me/I?

    Thank you, banderas!

    ".............than I am or than me." was what I would go for, if I had to follow my gut reaction. But I decided to ask for an emotionally detached (pundit) opinion, anyway .


    Thanks again for both the forum welcome words and the grammar answer.

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    #4

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    Welcome to the forums!.

    as ... as, than, but, like are always followed by an objective pronoun.

    Examples:

    Bob can't run as fast as me / as I can.
    Nobody but him was so rude.
    My brother looks exactly like me / as I did when I was thirteen.



  5. #5

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    Thank you, Snowcake!

    Now I feel more confident to use this particular pattern (or is it "stucture" ;)?)

    Regards!

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    #6

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    1. He likes her more than me.
    2. He likes her more than he likes me.
    3. He likes her more than I.
    4. He likes her more than I do.

    Some people say that #1 is correct with meaning #2, but incorrect if meaning #4 is intended, since "than" is a conjunction and should therefore be followed by a subject pronoun.

    Others say that #1 is correct in both cases (meanings #2 and #4); "than" is indeed a conjunction in #2, but is a preposition in #1. That "than" can serve as a preposition is demonstrated by the usage with "whom", e.g.

    5. Marcus Varro, than whom no one more learned ever lived, says that XYZ...

    Ordinary usage seems to favour #1, where meaning #4 is intended: #3 seems artificial or stilted, to many people.

    Thus whether you say #1 or #3, you are likely to displease someone. If this thought is distressing, you can always use #2 or #4 instead; or simply avoid comparisons altogether.

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  6. #7

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    Interesting aspect of the problem "more than me/I", thanks, MrP! All the more so as your list of sentences exemplifies in a way the reason why that problem was gnawing at my mind and I needed clarification. To me #1 does sound like having a slight difference in meaning compared to #3. I have also read somewhere that #3 tends to be very formal, but nevertheless I have seen it in quite many texts in British and American press, "yellow" one included. I wonder whether it is difficult for native speakers to distinguish between the correct and incorrect usage of me/I in this particular context or it comes naturally to them.

    Regards,
    Stela

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    #8

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stela Mild View Post
    I wonder whether it is difficult for native speakers to distinguish between the correct and incorrect usage of me/I in this particular context or it comes naturally to them.
    It comes naturally to them because they're the ones that formed it. It's called a structure by the way.

    The rule of thumb is as follows:

    1. He likes her more than me.
    => If there isn't a verb on its way, then add an object pronoun. After all, adding a subject pronoun would feel awkward without its verb, right? If a verb is on its way, then a subject pronoun is added:
    4. He likes her more than I do.
    2. He likes her more than he likes me.


    Children learn to speak language by listening to how speakers use language around them. If mom says, "than me", then the child will say that, until, that is, the child is told or hears to do otherwise.

    3. He likes her more than I.

    The debated question is, do speakers know intuitively that utterances like 3. above are elliptical in form; i.e. than I [like her]), and the reason they use "I" instead of "me" in sentence-final position? No one knows the answer to that, and we won't ever know, because thinking about it gives the answer away.

    A question worth further looking into would ask whether than I and than me are system-generated grammatical patterns of the language and, therefore, not a matter of preference (i.e., register).

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    #9

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stela Mild View Post
    I have also read somewhere that #3 tends to be very formal, but nevertheless I have seen it in quite many texts in British and American press, "yellow" one included. I wonder whether it is difficult for native speakers to distinguish between the correct and incorrect usage of me/I in this particular context or it comes naturally to them.

    Regards,
    Stela
    For some people, "I" seems to come naturally, in sentences such as #3; though my impression is that most people find it "awkward", as Soup says.

    It's interesting that you seldom see or hear a "we" or "they" in that position, for instance:

    1. They seem to think they're better than we.
    2. We'll show them we're smarter than they.

    (Except perhaps in Babelfish.)

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  8. #10

    Re: More ... than me/I?

    I am charmed that what seemed an annoying and somehow awkward grammar predicament of mine, gave occasion for serious linguistic analysis. I truly appreciate your message, Soup!

    Stela

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