[Grammar] Older than me or I

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Kondorosi

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Adding together the numerical values that denote the length of his lifespan in years and minus one times mine, we would get a number bigger than zero. ;-)
 

Raymott

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Adding together the numerical values that denote the length of his lifespan in years and minus one times mine, we would get a number bigger than zero. ;-)
Exactly!
 

kfredson

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He is older than me. :tick:
He is older than I am. :tick:
He is older than I. :cross:
(I what?? ;-) - Example: He is older than I thought :tick:)

Tdol, theoretically everything is possible, but correct grammar is always welcome :)

Cheers!

If you accept "He is older than me" then you must accept "He is older than I."

You indicate that "He is older than I" requires another word, such as "thought." If that were the case, then it would equally be true of "He is older than me."

Of course, that would sound very incorrect. The reality is that "He is older than me" is actually incorrect for that very reason. The sentence requires a subject ("I") and not an object ("me.)

Now, you will hear people use "me" but most people will know it is a colloquialism and not, in fact, grammatically correct.

To many people, both versions sound incorrect. Hence, we would say "He is older than I am."
 

RonBee

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"He is older than me" is grammatically incorrect? Then most of us are wrong.

:roll:
 

Kondorosi

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If you accept "He is older than me" then you must accept "He is older than I."
You indicate that "He is older than I" requires another word, such as "thought." If that were the case, then it would equally be true of "He is older than me."


He is correct to state that after 'I' there has to be something. He might not know, however, that something is there, actually, that something is understood but has been removed via resort to ellipsis of the whole predicate. The preposition 'than' followed by a pronoun in objective case, on the other hand, makes the sentence complete, he might think with partial, if not full, justification, especially if we take into account that the only minute detail that Nightmare, our indomitable warrior, is missing is the fact that by origin, 'than' is a subordinating conjunction and not a preposition. Even though it is ill-founded, I have to hand it to Nightmare that his logic has its moments.
 

julia333

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Same case must be compared in a sentence.

He is older than I.

"He and "I both are Nominative

He is older than me


"He" is nominative while "I " is Accusative.
 

kfredson

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"He is older than me" is grammatically incorrect? Then most of us are wrong.

:roll:

But it is incorrect. That is not to say that I haven't used "me" in such a context many times. I might also tell you that I feel "pretty good" today. However, while it is fine that we take liberties with the grammar in everyday speech, on this forum it is important to be consistent with the grammatical rules. Both "he" and "I" are in the nominative case.

It actually does become clearer when we consider that the sentence is actually short for "He is older than I am." We can very naturally and correctly drop off the "am." But what if we try to then complete the sentence: "He is older than me"? What word would you use: "am" or "is"? Clearly we can't use either one. The original sentence is simply incorrect.

I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this. You may well have a better command of the language than me. :-o
 

Raymott

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I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this. You may well have a better command of the language than me. :-o
I don't think it's a matter of having a better command of language.
But your point about what should be taught as being correct on this forum is a good one. Consistency is also always a good thing.
But where is the virtue in teaching that "He is older than me" is wrong when everybody says it? It's similar to the singular "they". If learners are going to actually speak English (rather than just doing grammar exams) they want to know how they should say something.

Since "He is older than me" is accepted by educated people in all major English speaking countries (on present evidence), then this should be considered an exception to the rule, rather than being called "incorrect".
Grammar describes how a language works. Although grammar has a useful prescriptive function, and one that teachers and students should respect, the majority usage of a term such as this makes it idiomatic, and hence not "incorrect".

At least that's my viewpoint.
 

kfredson

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I don't think it's a matter of having a better command of language.
But your point about what should be taught as being correct on this forum is a good one. Consistency is also always a good thing.
But where is the virtue in teaching that "He is older than me" is wrong when everybody says it? It's similar to the singular "they". If learners are going to actually speak English (rather than just doing grammar exams) they want to know how they should say something.

Since "He is older than me" is accepted by educated people in all major English speaking countries (on present evidence), then this should be considered an exception to the rule, rather than being called "incorrect".
Grammar describes how a language works. Although grammar has a useful prescriptive function, and one that teachers and students should respect, the majority usage of a term such as this makes it idiomatic, and hence not "incorrect".

At least that's my viewpoint.

I fully agree. Your point is very well taken. But isn't it important to point out the rule, while at the same time explaining that the common use of "me" has become an acceptable exception?
 

Raymott

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I fully agree. Your point is very well taken. But isn't it important to point out the rule, while at the same time explaining that the common use of "me" has become an acceptable exception?
Yes, I agree. It's a matter of where you lay the importance. I think this thread has explained the truth of the matter.
 

Searching for language

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I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this. You may well have a better command of the language than me. :-o

This sentence, then should also end with I, rather than me, to be correct.

I am not a teacher.
 

bhaisahab

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I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this. You may well have a better command of the language than me. :-o

This sentence, then should also end with I, rather than me, to be correct.

I am not a teacher.

Yes it should.;-)
 

RonBee

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I'd appreciate your further thoughts on this. You may well have a better command of the language than me. :-o

This sentence, then should also end with I, rather than me, to be correct.
Yes, because it would be short for You may well have a better command of the language than I do.


:)
 

Nightmare85

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I must honestly say this topic seems to be more complicated than I thought.

Anyway I found this post:
GenJen54 said:
I found the following from the Rutgers "Andromeda" English Grammar Website and The Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch.

It's the quickest substitution I could find since my style books and old ESL text books are in storage. Let the debate begin...

Than I versus Than Me.

Than, as used in comparatives, has traditionally been considered a conjunction; as such, if you're comparing subjects, the pronouns after than should take the "subjective case." In other words, "He's taller than I," not "He's taller than me"; "She's smarter than he," not "She's smarter than him." If, on the other hand, you're comparing direct or indirect objects, the pronouns should be objective: "I've never worked with a more difficult client than him."

There are some advantages to this traditional state of affairs. If you observe this distinction, you can be more precise in some comparisons. Consider these two sentences:
  • He has more friends than I. (His total number of friends is higher than my total number of friends.)
  • He has more friends than me. (I'm not his only friend; he has others.)
The problem, though, is that in all but the most formal contexts, "than I" sounds stuffy, even unidiomatic. Most people, in most contexts, treat than as a preposition, and put all following pronouns in the objective case, whether the things being compared are subjects or objects. "He's taller than me" sounds more natural to most native English speakers.

(Mods, please let me know if this is inappropriate and I will gladly remove it and/or paraphrase the text to fit the WR formats.)
redface.gif

It's taken from some other forums.
I like the both sentences I marked.

What would be the exact question for this sentence:
I'm taller than John.
Than who am I taller? - Than who is John taller?
Than whom am I taller? - Than whom is John taller?
(Please correct the questions because I believe they are all wrong.)

In my opinion if it's who, we should use I, this means:
John is taller than I

What else I read:
"...than me" sounds correct to most guys, but it seems to be wrong.
"...than I" sounds odd to most guys, but strongly seen (grammatically) it should be correct.

I really would like to know this.

Cheers!
 

bhaisahab

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I must honestly say this topic seems to be more complicated than I thought.

Anyway I found this post:


It's taken from some other forums.
I like the both sentences I marked.

What would be the exact question for this sentence:
I'm taller than John.
Than who am I taller? - Than who is John taller?
Than whom am I taller? - Than whom is John taller?
(Please correct the questions because I believe they are all wrong.)

In my opinion if it's who, we should use I, this means:
John is taller than I

What else I read:
"...than me" sounds correct to most guys, but it seems to be wrong.
"...than I" sounds odd to most guys, but strongly seen (grammatically) it should be correct.

I really would like to know this.

Cheers!

"Who are you taller than?" "Who is taller, you or John?" These would be appropriate questions to get the answer "I am taller than John".
 

RonBee

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Than who am I taller? - Than who is John taller?
Than whom am I taller? - Than whom is John taller?
(Please correct the questions because I believe they are all wrong.)

You've got that right.
;-)

A: Who is taller--you or John?
B: John is taller than me.

(Listen to bhaisahab. He knows what he is talking about.)

:up:
 

Nightmare85

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Thanks,
But are you 100% (or let's say 99% :)) sure that
B: John is taller than me.
is correct?

I'm starting to believe that me sounds better but it's grammatically seen not correct...

Cheers!
 

RonBee

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If you don't want to say taller than me, then don't. Just don't say I am wrong when I say it.
:)
 

Nightmare85

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Don't worry, Ron :)

I just can't believe that no one checked some grammar books.
There must be simple rule.
There's also an Oxford site (or something else) that contains plenty of grammar rules.
I just want to know it :up:

Cheers!
 

RonBee

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This one has been discussed before. In any case, there is no reason for me to consult anyone or anything on this one.

:)
 
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