I know there's something wrong with the way the indirect-object pronoun "him" and the gerund "having" are being used here, but I can't put my finger on it or find it on Google. Here's another example:

The whip was unable to muster the votes of her caucus members, due to them being divided over the amendments.

  • This error does not have a name.
    – Toothrot
    Apr 24, 2019 at 21:07
  • But you could call it: the error of putting the subject of a gerund in the accusative rather than the genitive case.
    – Toothrot
    Apr 24, 2019 at 21:10
  • 3
    What is the error???
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 24, 2019 at 21:17
  • Fowler (A Dictionary of Modern English Usage) calls it a fused participle; not the most felicitous name, as the error is in mistreating a gerund as a participle. Apr 25, 2019 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


So far as a I can tell, as a native English speaker, there is nothing strictly ungrammatical about either of your examples.

Some rudimentary research, however, has turned up the equally grammatical "due to his having....". This may be why "due to him having...." sounds wrong to you.


Both his having and him having are correct, in my view. This is counter-intuitive as we are used to one case being considered correct and one incorrect in what otherwise appears to be a single grammatical construction.

But there is an explanation in the history of English which relates to the perennial argument about whether -ing words are adjectives or nouns, and whether they should be called "present participles" or "gerunds"/"verbal nouns".

Originally there were two words: -ing which was a noun (so his having would be correct) and -and which was an adjective (like French ayant) (so him havand would be correct, in what is sometimes called an "absolute" construction, popular in Latin).

But since both words are now spelt the same we now have two completely different constructions (that would have much the same meaning) looking like variants of the same construction.

  • You can't say that having is a noun in sentences like his having his own way bothered me because nouns don't take direct objects; only verbs do. The possessive determiner applies to the entire gerund clause. This is a bit odd, so it's little wonder that an oblique/accusative pronoun is commonly used there. Notice what happens with people having their own way bothers me: that proves you don't need the possessive due to its singular concord.
    – tchrist
    Apr 25, 2019 at 0:29

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