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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Unhappy 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    "[X] happens so frequently it is now a part of we girls' daily lives."

    or

    "[X] happens so frequently it is now a part of us girls' daily lives."


    ...and can you explain why?

    Background of my confusion:
    I was told it should be 'us'
    But the object of the preposition is not 'we/us', but 'lives', right?
    Must EVERYTHING in a prepositional phrase take the objective case?

    e.g.

    "History is written by them whom are the victors?"


    Thank you SO much - this is eating away at me! :)


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 55
    #2

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Hi,
    I would tend to say
    "[X] happens so frequently it is now a part of girls' daily lives." (without 'us' or 'we').

    But if those girls your refer to are your daughters, you can say:
    "[X] happens so frequently it is now a part of our girls' daily lives." (then we use 'ours' because it's possesive, the girls are your daughters)

    As to why you can't use 'we' or 'us', I can't actually explain that, sorry... It just feels more natural to me. Since I'm not a native English speaker, I wouldn't risk trying to give you an explanation either because it might confuse you. So, I just leave that to the experts. Hope that this has been helpful to you, though


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #3

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Thanks, Filip.

    In this case, the author wishes to make it known that it is a group to which she belongs whose dynamics have recently changed in the way she describes.

    But that aside...

    I do realize that there would be other, better ways of phrasing.
    But my MAIN objective, however, is to get a clearer explanation of the grammar rules that apply in such a situation.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    No great grammar rules. It is simply one of the meanings/uses of the pronoun 'we': used to refer to the speaker together with other people regarded in the same category.


    Hence, "We girls know better than men that..."
    and, albeit a mouthful
    "...happens so frequently it is now a part of we girls' daily lives."
    'of' governs the collective, 'girls', which shows no change in the objective case.

    Trying for 'of us girls' is as much a hypercorrection as "between you and I".

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    #5

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Both we and us sound terrible. It would be better to say...................so often that it has become part of mine and my girlfriends' daily life.

    I am not a teacher.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Perhaps you need to be English and a bit twee to appreciate expressions like

    'We boys of the old brigade still recall'

    and from an early America: see thumbnail

    Searching for language: ...so often that it has become part of mine and my girlfriends' daily life.
    is too much of a mouthful and sounds terrible, perhaps improved if we grammarians in the forum of the old school make the correction:

    ...so often that it has become part of my and my girlfriends' daily life.

    Nuh. Still sounds terrible.

    (I won't comment on the implications of girlfriends' and 'life' in the singular. Perhaps this is some quite innocent ménage à commune.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gettysburg.jpg  
    Last edited by David L.; 01-Apr-2009 at 00:14.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 7
    #7

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I agree fully with all who are suggesting that there would be better ways to phrase this. Absolutely.

    (I am the 'unregistered guest' who started all this, by the way)

    Thank you, David L. You answered both the first (which is correct? 'we' or 'us') and second (can you explain why?) parts of the question.

    Please indulge me one further question.

    What is the grammatical function of each of these words (or combination of words)?
    lives (obj of the preposition, I presume)
    daily (adjective modifying 'lives', I presume)
    we girls' (???)
    we (???)
    girls (???)


    (as an aside, I would also accept the interpretation that that is 'five further' :) )

    Background: This question was asked of me, a native English speaker, by a Chinese friend who is teaching English at a Chinese university.
    The usage appeared in a student's essay, and my teacher friend was asking for a grammatical explanation to give to her student.

    Thanks to everyone for all the participation thus far!


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 7
    #8

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    I didn't mean that only David L could reply...


    Does ANYone know the grammatical function played by 'we' and "girls' "?


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 7
    #9

    Re: 'us' or 'we' within a preposition but not the object

    Okay,
    I can see that we girls', together, act as a possessive adjective.

    ... but how does one describe the independent grammatical functions
    of we (?)
    of girls (?)


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 7
    #10

    Do I win a prize for stumping all the teachers?

    Wow - I never thought I'd be the one to find the 'unanswerable question'

    Am I in trouble?




    One offered explanation was that 'we' and 'girls' were 'in apposition',
    with 'we' modifying 'girls'
    and 'we girls' modifying 'lives'

    But is that the correct categorization of their grammatical roles?

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