They are they/them

He is he/him

Which ones are correct?

Is there some sort of agreement rule because for ex- we say it is he, so would we also say "they are they" or "he is he"?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Chenmunka, ScotM, Drew, Mitch, Mari-Lou A Jun 13 '15 at 23:03

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    "for ex- we say it is he" -- what? – dbliss Jun 11 '15 at 4:51
  • 1
    "he is him" is correct. "he is himself" also works. "they are them" or "they are themselves" is correct. – dbliss Jun 11 '15 at 4:53
  • 'He is him' sounds far more jarring than say Tony Blair's 'John is John'. 'He is who/what he is' is probably more idiomatic. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 11 '15 at 12:49

"They are they" and "he is he" are the correct forms because the verb "is" is a linking verb.

As a linking verb, the verb "is" doesn't take an object, which would require the objective case pronoun for your predicate, i.e. "They are them" and "He is him." Rather, it takes a subject complement, such that you end up having to actually use the subjective case pronouns "they" and "he" (again, in the case of your less commonly used sentences).

More commonly, however, if you pick up the phone and someone asks if you are Sol, you'd say, "yes, this is he," for the above reasons. Also, if you were to enter a room swinging a big something and wanting to identify yourself for whatever reason, you'd announce, "Everybody, it is I, Sol."

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.