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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Grammar Pronouns

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, Apr 26, 2014.

    Without recasting, which are correct below? My choices are in bold font.

    You are not I.
    You are not me.

    You are not he.
    You are not him.

    You are not she.
    You are not her.

    You are not they.
    You are not them.

    The winners of the contest were Morgan and I.
    The winners of the contest were Morgan and me.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    All your bolded choices are correct, but, excluding the last one, no one, and I mean no one, but the most affected would ever use those structures in day to day speech. The presence of the verb, though it be a copula, makes the syntax feel like the second pronoun should be an object, thus declined into the objective case. It's really not, and it really should be the bolded choices, but if this is for dialogue, don't go with the bolded save for the last example. No one speaks that way in real life.
     
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  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    wrey... will you please explain why the second pronouns in those choices you say are correct are not the objects of the sentences, thus requiring the object form...
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In the examples given, the copular verbs (the verbs of being) are intransitives; thus, they do not create an opening for an object clause, though there is an innate feeling that they should, which causes many (in fact, the majority) to do exactly that in casual speech. In this case (save for the last one) they are equating one thing as being (or in this case not being) equivalent to another. The verb is serving only as a linking verb.

    This would be much easier to explain in a language that still has a full compliment of declined cases like Russian. English still has vestigial case structure, but it's so vestigial that what remains has been given different names and is looked at differently in order not to cause the confusion that would result from a missing rest of the system. We say the possessive in English, not the genitive case when we talk about an apostrophe S. The fact that it's vestigial is also what causes confusion in certain forms because the other structures one would compare against are no longer used and haven't been used for many centuries.

    In Russian, the phrase I am not a brother would be: Я не брат*. Брат (brat - brother) is the nominative form of the noun. Only subject nouns are in the nominative because the nominative is the case denoting subjects. Я (ya - I) is also in the nominative, because it is also the subject. The phrase answers to the same syntactic logic as the ones given by the OP because in Russian all nouns change depending on their job, not just the pronouns. But even if you complicate the sentence and make it I am not his brother, the word for brother in Russian remains in the nominative because it is still a subject: Я не его брат. Only the word for his changes to genitive (possessive) его, exactly as it does in English, his, not he.

    The last one is more likely to get said with the /I/ instead of with the /me/ in casual speech because it's easier to flip that one around and get a logical comparison that points you in the right (though admittedly prim) direction. But still, though I think it more likely that someone would use the /I/ with that last one than with the other examples, I still think it would be more likely in general, just referring to the one example, that folks would go with the /me/ in casual speech.

    Remove the Morgan from the syntax since it's not a pronoun and only confuses the issue:

    The winner of the contest was I.
    I was the winner of the contest.

    The winner of the contest was me.
    Me was the winner of the contest.

    * In the present tense, the physical form of the verb to be (быть) in Russian is always elided, not actually written or said, and only has a past and future tense form.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  5. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Yep. That's exactly what I was thinking.
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Pues, mira, piénsalo de esta manera:
    (Well, look, think about it this way: )

    Yo no soy tu.

    0...

    Yo no soy tú.

    Sabiendo que cuando la palabra (tú/tu) conlleva el acento significa que es el sujeto sintáctico de la frase, ¿cuál de los dos usarías?
    (Knowing that when the word (you) has the written accent over it, this means it is the syntactic subject of the sentence, which of the two would you use?)
     
  7. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    ¡Si fuera tú, me cobraría por una explicación tan excelente!
     
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  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For those who don't speak Spanish, @Patra Felino 's answer is cleverly given in a bit of word play typical to our culture. ;) :D

    What he wrote in Spanish is:

    If I were you, I would charge for such an excellent explanation!
    ¡Si fuera tú, me cobraría por una explicación tan excelente!

    Notice that the Spanish tú (you) correctly carries the orthographic accent in this clause. In Spanish, this immediately points the word out as a subject just as it would be in English. Because Spanish is a pro-drop language, the first subject pronoun is not written or said and only implied. The understood structure is: Si (yo) fuera ...
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that was an interesting discourse on the subject, but i was really only offering you a chance to demonstrate it for the unknowing in a simpler, less encyclopaedic manner, amigo... ;)

    such as by turning the sentences around... e.g.:

    I am not you.
    Me am not you.

    He is not not you.
    Him is not you.

    She is not you.
    Her is not you.


    They are not you.

    Them are not you.


    (Morgan and) I was (were) the winner(s) of the contest.

    (Morgan and) me was (were) the winner(s) of the contest.

    ...and then explaining the why/wherefore a bit more--succinctly? :cool:

    ...guess i should've known your prodigious professorial talents would come to the fore... ole!
     

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