1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    he or him ...or neither?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jannert, Nov 5, 2014.

    Ever get stuck to the point where nothing sounds right? I'm going crosseyed :crazy: and have lost all sense of perspective on this one, because I've changed it so many times. Help, please, you grammarians out there...

    He and his horse were both fashioned of warmer stuff: him with his swarthy, wind-ruddied skin and black hair, his horse with its golden coat, creamy mane and tail. Both were clad in beaten leather, faded linen, cotton, old wool—the scratched hues of baked clay, lazy watercourses and dusty southern grassland under hot sun. He felt disapproval emanating from these ice-covered mountains as they crowded close. He knew the reason. He and his kind did not belong here at all.


    Is that sentence grammatically correct?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    "He and his horse" is grammatically correct, but I don't think "him with..." is right. The way to tell is take each one separately: He was; his horse was.

    "Him with" should be "He with." It's 'with him' and 'he with'. In the first one 'him' is the object of the preposition. In the second one, he is a noun and the verb is implied without saying it.

    Regardless, the sentence is awkward.

    I think, "The horse and he were ...." sounds better there.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Using "he with" is the correct way to go. Everything else looks grammatically correct.
     
  4. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Both him and his horse ...

    or:

    Both him and the horse ...

    I come across things like this a lot and I find that rearranging the sentence sometimes helps.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    But that's wrong, @cutecat22.

    Take out the chaff: "Him was fashioned...." You can see that is wrong.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    'He' is correct in both cases. At the beginning of the sentence, 'He and his horse' is a compound subject, so the subject pronoun is called for. The modifiers after the semocolon refer back to the subjects, so the subject pronoun is called for there as well.

    Don't go by the 'sounds right' test. Compound subjects and objects are so frequently constructed incorrectly, even by people who should know better, that the wrong way can easily sound more natural.

    'He' is a subject pronounn, 'him' is an object pronoun.
     
  7. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Both he and his horse ...

    Both he and the horse ...

    Might be grammatically wrong but it sounds right. I appreciate what @Cogito says about not going by the sounds right test but sometimes you have to write for your readers and that means sometimes having to rearrange a sentence or going with what sounds right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Both of those sentence fragments are correct. That's not what you posted above.
    Perhaps you meant to say both were wrong? :confused:
     
  9. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    no, apologies, the first part was me writing correctly, the second part was me defending my earlier post that was grammatically wrong but sounds right.

    Rather like my mind at the moment, fragmented.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm still confused but no worries, it wouldn't be the first time. :)

    But I don't think, "Him and his horse" sounds right at all.
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    LOL

    I think it has a lot to do with dialect and also where you come from.

    A lot can be lost in translation, even within the same language/country but different regions.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    The compound part is easy - just take out the extra part (temporarily) and you'll know which pronoun to use.

    He and his horse were both was fashioned of warmer stuff = right, so "he" = right

    The second part is harder for me because I'm not really sure what part of speech "he" or "him" would be playing, b/c it's not a full sentence. But Cogito's post makes sense, that it's referring back to the original subjects, so you'd use the same pronoun.

    But I'd be more likely to gloss over the wrong pronoun in the second part. If you used "him" in the first part, it would absolutely grate and seem wrong.
     

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