Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
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July 20, 2007

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It is obvious that the only thing that is "incorrect" is claming that one or the other situations is the "tecnical" truth.

First of all, grammar rules are not written in stone. Chaucer couldn't pass a modern grammar test and neither could Shakespeare. Language evolves based on usage.

In this whole forum, nobody has established an absolute, clear-cut rule. Additionally, nobody has defined their terms, and after doing several internet searches I still haven't gotten a good definition of what a copulative verb, a coordinated pronoun, or a substituted non-coordinated pronoun are. Why would a person use a fancy linguistical term that has no definition? The only answer I can come to is that they are just making it up to sound smart and reduce the possiblity of a retort. (If I'm wrong on this, prove it by providing simple definitions)

There is clearly, even among linguists, a division over whether it is correct to say "This is her" or "This is she" which leads me to suggest that this is a poor construction to use. Therefore, in my opinion, BOTH are wrong. When somebody asks:

"Is Jane there."

The ONLY absolutely correct answer that nobody can complain about is.

"I am Jane."

Furthermore, this kind of conversation is dangerous because people start misapplying the poorly explained rule to other situations. I had a friend of mine who is a high school ESL teacher try to tell me that it´s incorrect to say:

You are smarter than me.

And it should be:

You are smarter than I.

I´ve looked all over to see if there is any truth to this suggestion and the closest thing I found to a treatment of this was in the Raymond Murphy grammar book in which they said you can use EITHER "You are smarter than me." or "You are smarter than I am." but it said nothing about only using "You are smareter than I."

However, this should not be taken as an absolute rule either for there is a precident in the English language where implied words are not stated and the sentence is still gramatically correct.

So, to sum up, if linguists can't agree, then there is no hard and fast rule, OK.

And just to leave you with a little bit of a brain teaser, what about when somebody brings you something and says: "Here you go." How many grammatical rules are broken with that statement? Or is there some loophole "official" rule in the linguistic bible that justifies it?