« Were or Was? | Main | The House is A-Rockin'? »



So under this argument, you would say:
"The person in this picture is I."
"That's supposed to be we."
"Look! It's he."


BTW, 'ye' was used originally only as a plural pronoun of the second person in the *subjective* (not objective) case.

Crawford Kilian

Yes, really, and I know it sounds odd because almost everyone would say "me," "us," and "him." I use those constructions myself in most cases, rather than draw puzzled stares.

My dictionary tells me "ye" was also used as an objective pronoun. A good etymological search would probably clear up the question.


I'm not disagreeing with the idea that the sentence is wrong, that 'whom' is marked for objective case, or even that the slot in this sentence is a complement--all correct for the case cited.

It is your parenthetical, "It was he who asked the question. (Notice--it's not "him" because "him" would require a transitive verb.)" that I see as problematic.

The claim that objective-case pronouns are legal only after transitive verbs (leaving aside prepositions) is rather odd. If, as you admit, almost everyone uses the subjective case, then what makes the objective case correct? The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (p. 459) clearly says both are acceptable, noting that "the nominative (what we're calling objective) is restricted to formal or very formal style."

As for 'ye', indeed, it was later used as both objective and subjective pronoun, the way we now use 'you'. But your example makes no sense in light of such usage.


I meant to write, "The claim that *other* objective-case pronouns are legal only after transitive verbs (leaving aside prepositions) is rather odd."


michael murphy

Let's not foget that subjects of infinitives are in the objective case. (I want HIM to be president.)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

ESL/EFL Resources

My Blogs

Read The Tyee

November 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

English Teacher's Visitors