Submitted by Steph  •  March 20, 2011

The taller of her and...

In the sentence “Karen is the taller of her and Lin”, why is the pronoun ‘her’ used (as opposed to ‘she’)? I would have thought that, since Karen is the subject of the sentence, the appropriate pronoun would be ‘she’? This sentence comes out of the Institute of Professional Editors Accreditation Exam, so I can only assume that it is correct. Thanks to anyone who can help!

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Whichever way you go with that, it is a horrible, ugly and confusing sentence. What is wrong with "Karen is taller than Lin"? So far as I can see, that conveys exactly the same information, is more succinct, and is a lot more elegant.

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Yes, it's because of the preposition "of". The object of the preposition has to be the objective case "her".

However, “Karen is the taller of her and Lin”, could be changed to "Karen is taller than she and Lin". Then the nominative "she" is used.

Digging WAY back into what little I remember from school! :)

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Most prepositions requires cases that don't show up much in English.
Of turns it into sort of an accusative case, I'd assume.
"That's not nice of him" instead of he.

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Obscure

Reverse the objects. Try “Karen is the taller of Lin and her” instead. Makes sense as opposed to “Karen is the taller of Lin and she”.

I also favor "Karen is taller than Lin".

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Yes, it's because of the preposition "of". The object of the preposition has to be the objective case "her". "She" is nominative, I believe.

Digging WAY back into what I remember from school! :)

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“Karen is the taller of her and Lin” = ".She is the taller of the two." NOT "Her ist the taller...: right?

"Karen is the taller of the two girls."
"Of her and Karen, Lin is the taller."

And, yes, the NOP sort of forces the move. Pronouns were supposed to make our lives easier! .

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You guys are funny, and i have just fallen off of my horse on the Road to Damascus. Its amazing to see that there are other people who are as fascinated with language as i am! (Stevie, please note the lower case for the personal pronuoun)

I believe that the pronoun "her" is in the genitive case. This is because of the preposition, "of" which always returns the genitive case to the connected noun. We forget, or those of us that did not do Latin possibly never knew that there are six cases to every vowel, even if the word itself does not change with each case.

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“Karen is the taller of her and Herr Linmann"

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Thanks everyone! Crashdummy, you make sense. 'Her' being the object of the preposition sounds right. I've looked up prepositional phrases and the object of the preposition must always be in the objective case. I feel at peace with the world again! :)

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'She' is used for the subject of the sentence; 'her' is used for the object.
In "Karen is the taller of her and Lin", 'Karen' is the subject, and 'her' and 'Lin' are objects. So 'her' is correct.

It's the same thing with 'I' (subject) and 'me' (object). You say "Tom is taller than me" not "Tom is taller than I."

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Matt, you are correct that in "Karen is the taller of her and Lin", her is the object of the preposition "of".

However, it is not the same for "Tom is taller than me". "Than" is not a preposition so the objective case "me" is not used. If you were to extend the thought of the sentence - it would read "Tom is taller than me am tall". "Tom is taller than I" is the correct way to say it ("Tom is taller than I am tall") - even if we're not used to hearing it that way.

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