Why is this right? Give the baton to he who is closest to you when you run by. Does the case of the restrictive clause drive the case of the sentence object?

  • 6
    I'd say that accusative "him" is correct, not nominative "he".
    – BillJ
    Oct 13 '19 at 13:18
  • New American Standard Bible: He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. English Standard Version: Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. Oct 13 '19 at 13:24
  • 2
  • The pronoun in the OP's example is object of a preposition, not a subject, or object of a verb, so the imperative "Let he/him who ..." is irrelevant here.
    – BillJ
    Oct 13 '19 at 14:20
  • 3
    It's not the personal pronoun that is subject of the relative clause but the relative pronoun "who", which is neutral in respect of its antecedent, i.e. both accusative "him" and nominative "he" are possible. But since the pronoun is object complement of the prep "to", then "him" is correct.
    – BillJ
    Oct 13 '19 at 16:44

Well, how about this?

Give the baton to he whom you trust.

It sounds worse to me than your example, so I'm guessing that you are right, and that "he" in your example is due to agreement in case with the "who" of the relative clause.

  • "[Give the baton] [to --> him] [whom <-- you trust].") Object of preposition in objective/accusative case; object of "trust" likewise.
    – joan
    Oct 14 '19 at 11:43
  • Yes. In accordance with your theory, "whom" should imply "him", at least when "him" is already in an object position.
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 15 '19 at 19:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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