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"He looked the same as her" or is it "He looked the same as she"

I thought the rule was to complete the clause to figure this out such as "He looked the same as she looked" in which case the answer would be "she" but I'm fighting this conclusion because it just sounds wrong.

marked as duplicate by tchrist Dec 15 '18 at 20:03

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    People who believe that English is an inferior sort of Latin, so its grammar must ape Latin grammar, will tell you that it should be "she". Such people took over education a couple of centuries ago, and persuaded lots of people that they should use their Latin-manque version of English, so you will still find such a rule in old-fashioned grammars. The rest of us prefer to speak English, and say "her". – Colin Fine Dec 15 '18 at 15:30
  • If the pronoun is seen as a clause reduced to a single element, the choice depends on style. In formal style, it appears as the nominative "she", as in the unreduced clause "He looked the same as she looked". But informal style has accusative "me" (though the verb cannot be added). You could avoid the choice altogether by retaining a verb: "He looked the same as she did/does". An alternative is to say that the complement of "as" is not a clause at all, but simply a noun phrase serving directly as complement of "as", in which case only accusative "her" is possible. – BillJ Dec 15 '18 at 17:12
  • The example sentence is a bit of a red herring. No matter which is the correct pronoun, the sentence would normally be rewritten anyway, depending on its meaning. (Whether her or she, and whether technically correct or not, it would still be awkward.) At it stands, the sentence is ambiguous and can mean one of two things: (1) He looked at it in the same way that she did. (2) His appearance was the same as hers. – Jason Bassford Dec 15 '18 at 18:45
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In a comment, Colin Fine wrote:

Peo­ple who be­lieve that English is an in­fe­rior sort of Latin, so its gram­mar must ape Latin gram­mar, will tell you that it should be "she". Such peo­ple took over ed­u­ca­tion a cou­ple of cen­turies ago, and per­suaded lots of peo­ple that they should use their Latin-manque ver­sion of English, so you will still find such a rule in old-fash­ioned gram­mars. The rest of us pre­fer to speak English, and say "her".

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As @Colin Fine and @BillJ point out, according to our teachings of grammar it should be 'she', but 'her' is more commonly used and accepted and therefore also valid (unless when talking to a grammar-nitpick).

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In a comment, BillJ wrote:

If the pro­noun is seen as a clause re­duced to a sin­gle el­e­ment, the choice de­pends on style. In for­mal style, it ap­pears as the nom­i­na­tive "she", as in the unre­duced clause "He looked the same as she looked". But in­for­mal style has ac­cusative "me" (though the verb can­not be added). You could avoid the choice al­to­gether by re­tain­ing a verb: "He looked the same as she did/does". An al­ter­na­tive is to say that the com­ple­ment of "as" is not a clause at all, but sim­ply a noun phrase serv­ing di­rectly as com­ple­ment of "as", in which case only ac­cus­ative "her" is pos­si­ble.

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