3

The sentence is,

Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time.

Should it actually be you and me or you and I?

  • You mention Kim and I in your example. Is that who you mean? Also, your tenses are off. – anongoodnurse Mar 22 '14 at 5:31
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    Possible Duplicate: english.stackexchange.com/questions/313/… – Kris Mar 22 '14 at 5:44
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    @Noah nothing wrong with turn in if they still return their reports on time – msam Mar 25 '14 at 12:22
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    This isn't a duplicate (though there are some common items), for the OP's question involves an it-cleft construction involving pronouns. (To even make things even more interesting, the OP's question also involves a supplementary apposition that involves pronouns, and also involves the question of case in coordination of pronouns.) – F.E. Mar 25 '14 at 17:52
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    Ignoring all the aspects mentioned in F..E.’s comment, the sentence would be much improved by getting rid of the cleft sentence: “He finally noticed that we—Kim and I—are the ones who always turn in our reports on time” is much simpler, flows better, and does not have any problematic pronouns to give you grey hairs. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 25 '14 at 21:19
2

The sentence is,

  • Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time.

Should it actually be "you and me" or "you and I"?

There are a lot of different issues involved, and it would have been helpful if you had described the situation better. For instance, who all is present in that situation, and who is being addressed?

There seems to be two main issues here:

  • issue 1.) Usage of "Kim" versus "you".

  • issue 2.) Pronoun case, nominative versus accusative.

For issue #1: "Kim vs you"

If the speaker is directly addressing Kim, then it would be weird if you used the "Kim" versions. If Kim is not being directly addressed by the speaker, then you can't use the versions with "you" (that is, if the pronoun "you" is supposed to refer to Kim).

I think that probably addresses your question as to the usage of "Kim versus you".

For issue #2: "nominative vs accusative"

Both of these versions are grammatical:

  • 1.) Our supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time.

  • 2.) Our supervisor finally noticed that it was us, Kim and me, who always turn in our reports on time.

As to which version would be preferable, that depends on the style. Version #1 would be preferable for formal styles, while version #2 would be considered to have an informal flavor. But both versions are grammatical and acceptable in today's standard English.

I'll provide my grammar rationale below in the "long version".

LONG VERSION:

For issue #2: "nominative vs accusative"

Your example sentence involves an it-cleft, and all the grammatical issues are related to it. The it-cleft portion of your sentence is bracketed in the following:

  • Our supervisor finally noticed [that it was we/us, Kim and I/me, who always turn in our reports on time].

In that it-cleft, the following grammatical topics are involved:

  • the case of a pronoun when it is the foregrounded element of an it-cleft construction.

  • the case of a pronoun that's functioning as a predicative complement in a main clause.

  • the case of pronouns in coordination (that is a supplement).

Let's first consider the it-cleft portion of your example minus the supplement. Notice that it is the subject element of the it-cleft's relative clause that has been foregrounded:

  • it was we/us who always turn in our reports on time

A non-cleft version could be:

  • We always turn in our reports on time.

Be aware that in the main clause of the it-cleft, the subject is the dummy pronoun "it". This can be verified by noticing the subject-auxiliary inversion that occurs when the it-cleft is converted from a declarative clause to an interrogative clause:

  • Declarative: It was we/us who always turn in our reports on time.

  • Interrogative: Was it we/us who always turn in our reports on time?

And so, the pronoun "we/us" is the predicative complement in the main clause. The choice of which to use will depend on the style the speaker/writer wants to use. For this specific situation -- where it is the subject element of the it-cleft's relative clause that has been foregrounded -- the nominative version ("we") would often be preferable for more formal styles, while accusative version ("us") would be considered to have an informal flavor.

Here's a related excerpt from the 2002 reference grammar by Huddleston and Pullum et al., The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, section "Constructions where nominative and accusative are in alternation", pages 459-61:

There are a number of constructions where both cases are found. In most, the nominative is restricted to formal (or very formal) style, with the accusative appearing elsewhere.

(a) Subjective predicative complement

[9]

  • i. a. It is I who love you. - - - - b. It's me who loves you.

  • ii. a. It is I she loves. - - - - b. It's me she loves.

. . .

Probably the most frequent use of a nominative case predicative is in the it-cleft construction, as in [i-ii]. And here we can make a distinction according to whether the pronoun would be in nominative or accusative case in the non-cleft counterpart: compare [i] with I love you and [ii] with She loves me. In the former, the accusative version [i.b] certainly has an informal flavour, whereas in the latter the nominative version [ii.a] seems very formal and accusative [ii.b] relatively neutral in style.

Notice that in the above excerpt, it is example [9.i] that is related to the OP's example.

Now as to the supplement "Kim and I/me", I'd think that for many speakers that it would probably be preferable that the supplement's pronoun case be consistent with the pronoun case of its anchor (the anchor is the predicative complement in the it-cleft's main clause). But this topic is basically unclear to me, as accusatives are often the only option or the preferred option for many types of constructions (e.g. "Me, I wouldn't trust him further than I could throw him"; "Well, there's always me, I suppose"; "Yes, there's certainly her to consider" -- page 462, CGEL).

And so, these are the two versions that I've been looking at:

  • 1.) Our supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time.

  • 2.) Our supervisor finally noticed that it was us, Kim and me, who always turn in our reports on time.

Both versions are grammatical and acceptable in today's standard English; the difference is a matter of style.

1

My gut says this sentence should read:

Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was us, Kim and myself, who always turn in our reports on time.

  • Myself is inappropriate here. It is not a first person pronoun. – Chenmunka Mar 25 '14 at 11:55
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    @Chenmunka No, myself works here: it’s an appositive to us, and it is irrelevant. See linguist Arnold Zwicky and related links for discussion about logophoric pronouns and other unexpected reflexives. – tchrist Mar 25 '14 at 20:59
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It would only be "you and I" if you were directing your speech to Kim. "Our" works with the third person grouping "Kim and I" because you're telling the third party audience that the supervisor belongs to you and Kim. However, I do think your sentence would be better if you left out "we" altogether. It's redundant, and not in a clarifying manner.

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Well, if the sentence isn't being addressed to Kim, Kim is right.

If it is being addressed to Kim, then it would normally be you, though referring to the second person as if they were a third person is sometimes done.

I is correct.

I'd definitely go for "it was ... who always turned in" or "it is ... who always turn in" though.

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This is debatable. One argument is that "it was us/me" is wrong because "us/me" are the subject and should thus be "it was we/I". However, common usage is often "it was us/me". Hence your options are:

"Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time."

"Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was us, Kim and me, who always turn in our reports on time."

If speaking to Kim:

"Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was we, you and I, who always turn in our reports on time."

"Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was us, you and me, who always turn in our reports on time."

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