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Which sentence is more grammatically correct:

Jack’s predilection toward competitive sports resulted in him becoming a great tennis player.


Jack's predilection toward competitive sports resulted in his becoming a great tennis player.

marked as duplicate by choster, tchrist, Drew, Chenmunka, ghoppe Nov 7 '14 at 17:34

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I vote for his, because becoming is a gerund and hence a noun. And we wouldn't say 'That is him house', would we.

  • 1
    On the other hand, the result we are talking about is "He became a great tennis player" If I showed you a picture of him practicing as he was honing his skills, I might say, "This is him becoming a great tennis player." – Jim Nov 7 '14 at 1:27
  • @Jim Quite so. Because in that example 'becoming' is not a gerund but a present participle forming part of an adjectival clause. – WS2 Nov 7 '14 at 1:35
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    I think both are correct, and they are different in terms of what they emphasize. The first sentence puts the stress on 'him', and the second one on 'becoming'. For this concrete example the difference is not quite visible, but consider these: I remember him becoming a great tennis player and I remember his becoming a great player. The first version tells about the author remembering how good he was during that period, and the second - about the efforts he spent to become a great player. So to me, they are both correct. – Arsen Y.M. Nov 7 '14 at 1:37
  • @ArsenY.M. You may be right. But my response to Jim's comment stands. – WS2 Nov 7 '14 at 1:46
  • @Jim There is an excellent answer under choster's link above to a former OP, confirming why, in your example, it has to be him (accusative), rather than 'his' (genetive). – WS2 Nov 7 '14 at 1:54

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