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Tdol

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What part of speech is 'not' here?
 

Casiopea

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tdol said:
What part of speech is 'not' here?


It's an adverb.
Used elliptically.

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not me. (It was not me.) *popular

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not I. (It was not I.) *traditional grammar

According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not I.

On the phone:

Pat: Hello, may I speak with Sam, please?
Sam: This is she.

But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.

Other 'not' example:

Q: Is she coming?
A: I hope not. (I hope she is not coming)

Q: Do you want it?
A: Certainly not! (I certainly do not want it.)

Cas :) That was fun! Thanx
 

RonBee

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Good explanation!

  • "Who ate my porridge" said Baby Bear?
    "Not I" said Mama Bear.
    "Not I" said Papa Bear.

:wink:
 

Tdol

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What do you think of the current usage of 'particle' for 'not'? ;-)
 

Casiopea

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tdol said:
What do you think of the current usage of 'particle' for 'not'? ;-)

Well, hmm, well, lemme see. The word 'not' in not at all and not quite and not John functions as an adverb. It negates the verb.

I slept until 6:00.
Not John. He did not sleep until 6:00.

Adverbs are major parts of speech, as are nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions.

Particles, on the other hand, are defined as minor parts of speech, especially short undeclinable ones, like the ones we see attached to phrasal verbs.

However, if you can show that not is a part of (a particle) of a phrasal verb, then I'd have to agree with using the term 'particle' in that particular context.

Do you have some examples?

Cas :)
 

Tdol

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I'm not a fan of the term 'particle' at all. I think it's not particularly useful to have what is basically a dustbin category. I think of phrasal verbs consisting of verb & adverb combinations. Some use the term particle for 'not' and 'to' as the infinitive marker. Again, I'm not enamoured of this. I was interested to see what you thought.

Thanks ;-)
 

Tdol

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[quote="Casiopea]

It's an adverb.
Used elliptically.

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not me. (It was not me.) *popular

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not I. (It was not I.) *traditional grammar

According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

Q: Who ate the cake?
A: Not I.

On the phone:

Pat: Hello, may I speak with Sam, please?
Sam: This is she.

But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.

Other 'not' example:

Q: Is she coming?
A: I hope not. (I hope she is not coming)

Q: Do you want it?
A: Certainly not! (I certainly do not want it.)

Cas :) That was fun! Thanx[/quote]

Which do you use? I would only use 'I' in very formal conversations. ;-)
 

RonBee

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You would usually say not me, right?

:wink:
 

Casiopea

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I think of phrasal verbs consisting of verb & adverb combinations.

You know, I've never thought of it that way. Thanks :)

Some use the term particle for 'not' and 'to' as the infinitive marker.

Oo, I used to be a 'Some' once.

Some people are not sure how to classify 'not' and 'to', and hence their use of the catch-all term 'particle'.

Cas :)
 

Casiopea

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Which do you use? I would only use 'I' in very formal conversations.

Me, too. So would I.

Or is it "I, too. So would me?" Hehe

I speak the Language of my generation--the "Me" generation. However, when communicating with speakers who(m) ascribe to traditional conventions, I tend to, but not always, use the nominative form, "I".

Cas :D
 

Tdol

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The OED calls 'not' an adverb. The more I think about the term 'paticle', the less I like it. ;-)
 

Phospheratu

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This could be either, depending on the circumstance.

Q: To whom did she give the answer?
A: Not me. (She did not give the answer to me.)

or

Q: Who will bell the cat?
A: Not I. (I will not bell the cat.)
 
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Isra

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Excuse me, finally which is the right answer, I'm really confused by all this explanations..:-|

So, If we use both, isn't wrong???
 

riverkid

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According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.

I think this makes it sound as if there was something to the prescriptive rule, Casiopea. It was wrong from the get go, penned as it was using Latin as a guideline.

Language rules are not simply a matter of popularity. Just because Latin deals with something in a certain manner [using the nominative in predicative complements] doesn't mean that English must follow that rule.

English is English and Latin is Latin and never the twain shall meet, though they might pass each other in the night. :)
 

riverkid

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Excuse me, finally which is the right answer, I'm really confused by all this explanations..:-|
So, If we use both, isn't wrong???

Both are right, Isra, and both are in common use in English.


"... the nominative form I ... belongs to (very) fromal style, while accusative me is neutral or informal."

[CGEL at page 9]


Results 1 - 10 of about 5,780,000 English pages for "it was I".

Results 1 - 10 of about 2,400,000 English pages for "it was me".

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,240,000 English pages for "it was she".

Results 1 - 10 of about 4,970,000 English pages for "it was her".
 

MrPedantic

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Out of interest, Riverkid, how are you excluding non-complements from your googles?

For instance, a simple google on "it was I" brings up cases such as:

1. A solemn thing it was, I said.

2. I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the building collapsing...

Similarly, "it was she" brings up e.g.

3. She lived her life the way - she wanted to live it. Was she upset that she wasn't up on the Hill?

4. It took her just under an hour to do whatever it was she did.

While "it was her" includes e.g.

5. Specialist Sabrina Harman, one of the accused MPs, testified that it was her job to keep detainees awake

MrP
 

riverkid

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Out of interest, Riverkid, how are you excluding non-complements from your googles?
For instance, a simple google on "it was I" brings up cases such as:

I made no attempt to exclude non-complements, Mr Pedantic. I didn't do a simple google. I did an "with the exact phrase" search. Admittedly they aren't perfect, but they clearly indicate that these are very common collocations.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

MrPedantic

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Yes, they are very common; but if you look at the first three pages of the "exact search" on "it was I", for example, you'll find that 10 out of 30 (at most) relate to "It was I" in the sense "it was me".

MrP
 

mykwyner

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How about this:

"I have to fire someone today."

"Not me, please."

This is not idiomatic. I don't want to be the object of the firing. "Don't fire me, please."

Also, I've always thought of particles as prepositions that were pressed into service as idiomatic and superflous adverbs:

Start up your engine.
Flatten out the newspaper.
 

riverkid

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Yes, they are very common; but if you look at the first three pages of the "exact search" on "it was I", for example, you'll find that 10 out of 30 (at most) relate to "It was I" in the sense "it was me".
MrP

Well then, if we use that as a guideline

5,780,000/3 = 1.9 million or so English pages for "it was I". :)
 
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