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I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he?

Which is grammatically correct?

My friends seem to be having more fun than I, Me, Myself, and Them

Also,

Good people are always ready to help those who are not as fortunate as Theirs, Them, They, Us

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I'd pick me for the first one, and use themselves for the second. –  J.R. Jun 16 '12 at 9:35
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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jul 11 '12 at 23:07

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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

For the first sentence:

  • Me is the most natural choice: My friends seem to be having more fun than me.

  • I in this context would be old fashioned and sits uncomfortably with a modern phrase like having fun. (It would be more natural in something like Is there more pitiable a wretch than I?, where both the choice of words and the sentiment itself are old fashioned.)

  • Myself is odd here. American English seems to make more use of reflexives, but generally for second person, I think, that is, substituting yourself for you. My guess is that this indirectness may be something of a politeness strategy. If so, then even these dialects might resist use of myself here (no need to be polite to yourself).

  • Them is of course fine, but it would not refer back to you, the speaker. It would refer to some other salient group.

For the second sentence:

  • The most common pronouns here would be them or themselves. (There's a dialect split here, but I can't recall the details.)

  • Oddly, they doesn't sound old fashioned here to me, just wrong. I feel it needs to be followed by are (not as fortunate as they are). Maybe other native speakers can weigh in here.

  • Theirs is out. It's a possessive pronoun, and, so, would give the sentence meaning that good people help people less fortunate than something previously mentioned that they possess.

  • Finally, us is fine, but it implies that you are not one of the good people and that good people use your standard of living as the benchmark for their altruism. If you want to say that, that's your business ;-)

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Great answer. re: Myself - I know that we're supposed to recognize that the language evolves and all, but I have to say it drives me nuts when people use "myself" when they mean "me". They think they're sounding formal and clever when in fact they are just sounding dumb. –  Joel Brown Jun 16 '12 at 12:38
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*They’re having more fun than I am” does not sound old-fashioned nor does it sit uncomfortably in the mouth. –  tchrist Jun 16 '12 at 13:54
    
@Daniel Harbour, Are you the "Kiowa" guy? If you are, you'll understand me. If not, sorry! –  Alex B. Jun 16 '12 at 18:56
    
Second sentence: 'They' is fine if followed by 'are'. see tchrist above (+1 from me) for 'I' equivalent. –  Qube Jun 16 '12 at 20:55
    
@tchrist: I agree that They're having more fun than I am is fine (in contrast to They're having more fun that I). Didn't mean to imply otherwise, so thanks for clarifying. –  Daniel Harbour Jun 17 '12 at 8:49
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