him or his

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Ted replies that he won't miss Brian's non-witty, non-snappy remarks about his age. Emmett has to add, "Although I did think that him referring to you as Dead Man Walking was kind of amusing."


Shouldn't it be his referring?
 

MikeNewYork

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wendy said:
Ted replies that he won't miss Brian's non-witty, non-snappy remarks about his age. Emmett has to add, "Although I did think that him referring to you as Dead Man Walking was kind of amusing."


Shouldn't it be his referring?

Yes. I would not accept "him" in that sentence. That would make "him" the subject of the clause "him was amusing". One could use "he" but "his" is far better. :wink:
 

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In British English, 'his'is the formalform and 'him' the informal. ;-)
 

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tdol said:
In British English, 'his'is the formalform and 'him' the informal. ;-)

You would accept "him" as the subject of a clause? :roll:
 
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MikeNewYork said:
tdol said:
In British English, 'his'is the formalform and 'him' the informal. ;-)

You would accept "him" as the subject of a clause? :roll:

In formal English, a possessive adjective is used to modify a gerund, as in
Mr. Jones complained about our coming to class late.

In informal English, the object form of a pronoun is often used, as in
Mr. Jones complained about us coming to class late.

The same is true for nouns used to modify a gerund.

formal: Mr. Jones complained about Mary'scoming to class late.
informal: Mr. Jones complained about Mary coming to class late.
 

Tdol

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In BE, it doesn't really matter whether it's subject or object; many would use 'him' there. In fact, many speakers would never use the formal form at all. ;-)
 

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tdol said:
In BE, it doesn't really matter whether it's subject or object; many would use 'him' there. In fact, many speakers would never use the formal form at all. ;-)

True. True. I hear it, too. The standard, ahem, informal standard these days is to use a noun (e.g. Michael) or the object pronoun (i.e. him) instead of a possessive noun or pronoun (Micheal's / his). The evolution of such wonderful new forms has everything to do with that nasty little, Chomsky-lovin' preposition 'about'. It's a great example of Language in Change--right up their with It's me ~ It's I. Speakers, having lost the traditional form, rely on the general rule: use an object noun/pronoun after a preposition.

What's wild about that is this. Changing the rule changes the syntactic and associated semantic structure:

They (Subject) disgaree about (Verb) him (Direct object) putting up his posters (Indirect object).

They (Subject) disagree about (Verb) his putting up his posters (Object).

:D 8)
 
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