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I’d like all of you to please consider the following sentence:

It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me.

I have known that after 'to be' verb pronouns words take the subjective form. For example:

It is he who was absent yesterday.

So, can I say that the first sentence is erroneous? Would it be correct to write

It must be he with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not I.

marked as duplicate by Bradd Szonye, MetaEd, Kris, Mitch, Kristina Lopez Sep 9 '13 at 17:18

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Oh for gosh sakes, call off the Pied Piper already! You just really just want:

It must be him you enjoy doing your assignments with, not me.

Anything else is overkill in varying degrees. If you’re just dying to stick a whom in there to pair with your him, put it here:

It must be him whom you most enjoy working with, not me.

But even with that one it’s getting awfully stuff in here, and as for the pied-piping you proposed, all those funny with-businesses are very unnatural.

As for “correct”, I don’t know what that means. Certainly you can find people who will say anything, and both those ugly forms can probably be dug out of a large enough set of specimina. But I’ve told you what I would say, and what I think you should say, too.

As for the rest, remember that in English, the pronoun’s objective case is normally the default case, even when copulae are involved, and sometimes other places, too.

“Correctness” you’ll have to ask a kindergarten teacher, who is more likely to be interested in that sort of normative language instruction.

  • In question form, however, you could say without too much stuffiness, "With whom do you enjoy doing your assignments: him or me?" Agreed? – rhetorician Sep 6 '13 at 19:58
  • You have not answered his question. Also, I agree that there is a less 'stuffy' way to say it, but both of your ideas are incorrect. You ended your relative clause with a preposition. Also, I disagree that the study of grammar is useful only to kindergarten teachers. What about linguists? Translators? – ShadowCat7 Sep 6 '13 at 23:35
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    @ShadowCat7 There's nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition. And what part of the question wasn't answered? He directly addressed the he/him issue, with links. – Bradd Szonye Sep 7 '13 at 0:18

The correct usage is It must be he with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not I.

To understand why, split the sentence up. There are two parts, the main clause: It must be he, not I., and the relative clause: with whom you enjoy doing your assignments.

The main clause uses an intransitive verb (be), which means the pronouns he and I are not in the objective case. Therefore, both he and I are the correct pronouns to use.

  • Not everyone agrees that “It must be he” is correct. While some prescriptivists insist on things like “It is I,” very few people actually talk that way. – Bradd Szonye Sep 7 '13 at 0:19
  • Let's define our terms, please. Just because few people actually speak that way does not mean people agree that it is not correct. My answer describes what an English professor will tell you. – ShadowCat7 Sep 7 '13 at 0:25
  • I think you might find a couple of English professors around here who would disagree. – Bradd Szonye Sep 7 '13 at 0:30
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    The original question regards 'correctness'. While I would never say Juliet, with whom Romeo fell in love, I would certainly write that in a paper. I assumed the original question to be about that kind of standard. – ShadowCat7 Sep 7 '13 at 0:35
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    @ShadowCat: 'Just because few people actually speak that way does not mean people agree that it is not correct.' Myth: Expressions like "It was me" and "She was taller than him" are incorrect; the correct forms are "It was I" & "She was taller than he."_ Pullum responds: The forms with nominative pronouns sound ridiculously stuffy today. In present-day English, the copular verb takes accusative pronoun complements and so does "than." My advice: If someone knocks at your door, and you say "Who's there?" and what you hear in response is "It is I," don't let them in. It's no one you want to know. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 7 '13 at 9:39

Yes, the sentence " It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me " is correct.

Also, you can write the sentence like this :

It must be he with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not I. I think this sentence is more appropriate than the first one.

When pronoun is added after the verb, it becomes the object Both are correct as in first sentence, where you have used object form of both the pronouns ( him, me) and in second sentence : you have used subject form of the pronouns (he, I )

Another way, in which you can write this sentence is : I think he's the one with whom you enjoy doing assignments not me.

Please refer this link for details : http://eslus.com/LESSONS/GRAMMAR/POS/pos6.htm

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    The link does not cover this usage at all. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 6 '13 at 22:04
  • This link is not here to explain the usage, it is here to explain the rule of subject-verb agreement. – Sweet72 Sep 7 '13 at 12:19

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