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Which of the following choices makes this sentence is grammatically correct? or is there a better approach?

It's unclear whether he/him or I/me is/are first in line.

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Edwin Ashworth, Drew, choster, David Aug 24 '17 at 7:48

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  • 1
    You may also be interested in looking at the other questions about subject-verb agreement in sentences with disjunction. To summarize, most textbooks/usage guides say that proximity agreement is standard (which would lead to "whether he or I am" in this case), but this actually often sounds awkward to native speakers, and as far as I know there is no deep linguistic reason why proximity agreement must be the correct way to resolve the problem. – sumelic Aug 21 '17 at 21:12
  • See John Lawler's answer here for a linguist's perspective: “My brother or one of my sisters” — singular or plural? – sumelic Aug 21 '17 at 21:14

Only one of you can be first in line, so it has to be is. "which of us is first in line" would be a neat way of avoiding the problem posed by whether he is/whether I am.

  • 1
    So it would be "It's unclear whether he or I is first in line."? – YPCrumble Aug 21 '17 at 21:03
  • Yes, it would be that. – Khuldraeseth na'Barya Aug 22 '17 at 1:30

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