Obviously, my questions refers to the pronoun him. Am I wrong to suppose that the use of the subject case pronoun he instead of him would not improve the previous statement? What about this one: “… if you know the man or are the man, call …”? Can you come up with a natural sounding wording?

  • 4
    You cannot be he. You can only be him.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 11:27
  • See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/4032/…
    – anemone
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 11:34
  • 7
    If you know or are this man...
    – mplungjan
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 11:51
  • 1
    if you know the identity of this person should cover it.
    – TimR
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 12:10
  • 1
    What's wrong with it the way it is??
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 13:53

3 Answers 3


Yes, it is correct.

“… if you know the man or are him, call …”

can be separated out into two separate phrases:

“… if you know the man, call …”

“… if you are him, call …”?

both of which are grammatically valid.


Alternatively you could say "If you or someone you know is the man..."

  • 2
    People don't like that because the verb cannot agree with both subjects ("If you ... is the man").
    – Hellion
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 14:37
  • True, but isn't it more concise then using both 'man' and 'him'?. I ran a search and it seems to be commonly used.
    – Sherif
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 16:06

Consider using an alternate sentence,

If you are the man, or [you] know him, please call ...

which is grammatically (and importantly, also naturally) correct.


If you know the man, or you are him, please call ...

is only a three-letter word more, but also sounds natural and allows the order of concepts in the original phrasing to be kept.

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