Posted on 09/11/2019 at 05:40 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

In our seventh-grade English class, Mrs. Segura looked at us and asked the class, “If I called Sadye’s house and asked for Sadye, and she had answered the phone, how would she respond?”

Our classmates all answered, “Speaking.”

They were correct, of course, but they weren’t providing the answer Mrs. Segura was seeking.

Should they have said “This is she” or “This is her”?

Grammar Girl has great news (belatedly) on that question — language experts have mostly conceded defeat when it comes to pronouns after linking verbs.

Technically, one should use the subjective or nominative case (I, you, he/she/it, we, they), which at best sounds incredibly formal and at worst sounds wrong.

(So Mrs. Segura wanted her students to respond with, "This is she.")

But grammarians — if not middle-school English teachers — now say it's acceptable in most (casual) usage to use the objective case (me, you, him/her/it, us, them).

Read the rest of Grammar Girl's post to understand why it's "woe is me" and not "woe is I" and to learn how to conjugate a verb following "It is I who ..."

Categories: Behind the scenes

Tagged As: Grammar Girl, Language

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