October 2, 2014

Case: Nominative

Using the nominative case indicates that the pronoun is acting as the subject of a given clause or as a predicate nominative following a linking verb.

Subjective Pronouns
Singular I, she, he, it
Plural we, they
Singular and Plural you, wh0

Pronouns as the subject of a clause

He will never leave basketball completely.

  • HE is the subject of the sentence.

While I was playing,” he said, “I had another dream that had nothing to do with winning championships.”

  • I is the subject of the first clause. HE is the subject of the second clause, and I is the subject of the third clause.

She can recognize somebody who needs a boost—teammate or community.

  • SHE is the subject of the independent clause. WHO is the subject of the dependent clause.
  • Remember: Relative pronouns are part of the dependent clause.

 

Who is going to be available in two years or three years?

  • WHO is the subject of the sentence.

Pronouns as the Predicate Nominative

We both recalled that it was she who offered the proposal.

  • WE is the subject of the independent clause.
  • IT is the subject of the dependent clause.
  • SHE is the predicate nominative to IT.
  • WHO is the subject of the final dependent clause.

It is he who has allergies.

  • IT is the subject of the independent clause.
  • HE is the predicate nominative to IT.
  • WHO is the subject of the final dependent clause.

If I were she, I would take the job.

  • I is the subject of the dependent clause.
  • SHE is the predicate nominative to I.
  • I is the subject of the independent clause.

Remember the paintings that I told you about? These are they.

  • I is the subject of the dependent clause.
  • THEY is the predicate nominative to THESE.

Pronouns in a comparison

Use the subjective case after “than” when the pronoun would use the same verb in an “implied clause of comparison” as the subject of the sentence,

My friend likes studying more than I.

  • This means that my friends like studying more than I do.

My friend likes studying more than me.

  • This means that my friends like studying more than they like me.

We drive faster than they. (drive)

Use the subjective case after “than” when the pronoun is being compared or contrasted to a quality only (e.g., adjective or adverb) of the subject.

She is taller than he. (is tall)

  • If the sentence included a noun with taller, the pronoun would be objective (There is no taller player than her).

He is happier than she. (is happy)

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Comments

  1. is this correct? you can ski on wednesday as well as she.

  2. It depends. Do you mean she can ski as well or she can ski on Wednesday as well?

  3. Chris Sands says:

    My local grammar guru insists the past conditional invalidates the predicate nominative. She acknowledges “It was I who was wrong.” but insists “It would have been me who was wrong.” Does the verb ‘to be’ somehow change from a linking verb to an action verb in this case?

  4. I’ll be honest that it took me forever (or nearly) to respond because my brain froze in response to the question. I did a bit of reading to determine the answer, but mostly failed. And I mostly failed because I live in a weird nether world of maintaining a grammar web site and not quite caring about this sort of thing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I care about subjects and verbs and widely accepted rules and at least TRYING to write well. But when we start talking about variations on the verb tenses and their effect on words, I want to go watch a re-run of NCIS. So bottom line, your guru could be right. Your guru could be wrong. And I am damn proud of both of you for THINKING about the words you use. AWESOME!

  5. Perhaps you can help me to determine if the following sentence is grammatically correct.
    They are my friend and my teacher.

    Thank you from a teacher of English in Thailand!

    PS
    Just stumbled on you website and love it.

  6. i like this web page i can learn a lot of things but is it true that she can ski on wednesday??♥♥♥♥♥

  7. gegamoja says:

    What a great response to that question.

  8. can you help understand this rule??
    RULE #9
    when the subject and predicate nominative are different in numbers, the verb agrees with the subject

  9. Do you guys know complement nominative the thing is like direct address,Subject complement,Appositive,Subject?Can someone help me

  10. Regarding the sentence …
    “They are my friend and my teacher.”
    It depends on the context, circumstances, and the intended meaning.
    It is correct in answer to the question …
    “Who are those two people with you in the photo?

  11. Could you use some pronouns as predicate nominatives? But with verbs other than to be?

    “It is I” sounds pedantic but legit. “The leader remains I” sounds like a stroke in progress.

  12. I suppose predicate nominatives just sound like crap except for the ones we’ve gotten used to. They’re supposedly Latin grammar that we’ve included in English, glommed on. http://www.merriam-webster.com/video/0053-it_is_i_vs_its_me.html And this is implied to be why it sounds so off.

    I could be wrong, but maybe it still sounded like crap in Latin.

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