1. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Which is grammatically correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by eden baylee, Nov 12, 2010.

    "You sound more disappointed than I am."
    "You sound more disappointed than I do."
    "You sound more disappointed than me."

    I think the first one is correct as I can switch the sentence around and say "I am less disappointed than you are." I am not sure, however, if this kind of logic applies here.
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    But what about: I do sound less disappointed than you.

    The first two are talking about slightly different things, and can both be correct. The first one the disappointment, the second one the sound.

    The third one I think would properly be 'I' instead of 'me', but if it's dialog or a heavily voiced prose, then shrug.
     
  3. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Good point, you got me thinking about the second sentence. I could rephrase that as "I sound less disappointed than you do," which means that it may also be correct given my initial logic.
    I'm not sure about using "I" in the 3rd one as you would not say
    "You are taller than I" or "You run faster than I". In these instances, I think it would clearly be "me." For some reason, my sentence sounds bizarre with "me", but it may be correct.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure that they're all grammatically correct, though slightly different in meaning.

    Edited to add: I went Googling to look at "than I" versus "than me", and apparently there's a long, long running controversy.

    ChickenFreak
     
  5. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Yeah, controversy:

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/than-I-versus-than-me.aspx

    Who knew grammar was so sexy.

    I'm pretty sure my Grandmother would say 'You are taller than I' and that that's still technically correct, depending on where you side with the above controversy? The way I vaguely remember learning it is to fill in the second part of the sentence: You are taller than I am tall. You run faster than I run. You sound more disappointed than I sound. You sound more disappointed than I am disappointed.

    In all instances it can be shortened to 'I' to end the sentence, as the rest is implied.

    But again, I only vaguely think this is right. In my opinion the way it should be written in fiction prose is what sounds more natural to the ear, not what's technically correct. If I was writing an academic paper I'd call a linguist friend, or something, to make sure.
     
  6. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Haha, yes, grammar is definitely sexy, and I love Grammar Girl. I think I 'll need a clearer head in the morning to read through her post. Thanks for the link. Your grandmother sounds like a wise woman!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first you have to decide whether you mean that the person IS more disappointed or only SOUNDS more disappointed...

    then, to be specific, you'd have to write one of these two:

    "You sound as if you're more disappointed than I am."
    "You sound more disappointed than I do."

    this one is both grammatically incorrect and ambiguous:
    "You sound more disappointed than me."
     
  8. lumivalko
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    lumivalko Member

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    Is "You sound more disappointed than I" correct?

    Whoops, you had already discussed this matter.
     
  9. lemurkat
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    lemurkat Senior Member

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    If it is written in dialogue, does it it really matter if it is grammatically correct or not? I doubt we all speak in proper grammar (unless we have attended a special kind of school). Try reading it out loud - what feels more natural?

    Even though it is grammatically incorrect according to Mammamaia, I think it sounds more like the way someone would actually speak. Then again, that isn't answering your question, is it?
     
  10. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    I often argue that even prose, depending on how much it's 'voiced,' proper grammar isn't required.

    You don't want grammar so improper as to seem amateurish or confusing, of course, but writing fiction has a bit more leeway than writing professional or formal writing.

    I have a story with the line "She closes it quick" and it went through classroom workshops. What usually happens is the students find something they can nitpick and get all excited and point out how wrong it was, but the teachers of the two different workshops that story went through, didn't mind. One's an accomplished writer, the other a writer and accomplished editor for a literary journal.

    So people will nitpick such things, but that doesn't meant they're unacceptable from a fiction perspective, even if wrong grammatically.
     
  11. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    If this is for dialogue:
    I believe it can be horribly misspelled and grammatically incorrect. Especially if you want to portray somebody like him:
    :D

    [​IMG]
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the main goal must be to not confuse the reader... period!
     

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