86 votes
Accepted

Why is "whomse" not a word?

The easiest way to think about this is to compare to he him his: Who gets the benefit? He gets the benefit. To whom does the benefit accrue? The benefit accrues to him. For whose benefit ...
1006a's user avatar
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52 votes

Why is "whomse" not a word?

There aren't two different nominative/objective pairs Who -> Whom Whose -> *Whomse, *Whom's, etc. Instead, there's three choices Who - Nominative Whom - Objective Whose - Possessive Who can'...
John Lawler's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Thank thou or Thank thee

On a quick look through the concordance, it appears that Shakespeare rarely wrote Thank you and never Thank thee without a subject. He often wrote I thank you and we thank you (and forms such as to ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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30 votes

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

The answer is, unsatisfyingly, that it depends. Most native speakers aren't fluent in the borrowed language and so won't know the grammar principles there. Sometimes things are borrowed exactly, like ...
Mitch's user avatar
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28 votes

Thank thou or Thank thee

From A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 5 Scene 1. PYRAMUS Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams. I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright. For by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams, I ...
WS2's user avatar
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24 votes

"...will divide the people (who/whom) most need to be brought together"

Because the subject of who most need is simply who, you have to use With a two-party system, our nation will divide the people who most need to be brought together. If you want a whom example, try ...
tchrist's user avatar
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23 votes
Accepted

Why does second person only have 'you' whereas first person has "I" and "me"?

The simplest explanation is that in Middle English the unstressed forms "ye" (subject) and "you" (object) were both pronounced the same, /jə/. This led to confusion as to how they ...
Stuart F's user avatar
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17 votes

Why is "whomse" not a word?

Whose is (originally and now) the genitive of who. From Etymonline: whose: genitive of who; from Old English hwæs, genitive of hwa (see who). In all Indo-European languages that I know, a genitive ...
Cerberus - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Construction of “woe is me”

It is indeed old, and can be found in Beowulf: Wa bið þæm þe sceal þurh sliðne nið sawle bescufan in fyres fæþm, frofre ne wenan, wihte gewendan; wel bið þæm þe mot æfter deaðdæge drihten secean ond ...
Laurel's user avatar
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16 votes

Thank thou or Thank thee

Firstly you should realise that the English language was in a state of flux during Shakespeare's time. You will find inconsistencies. Shakespeare's English was not Old English -- it was Early Modern ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
15 votes

What is the possessive case and the objective case of "ye?"

In Early Modern English, ye was the nominative case and the objective and possessives were the familiar you (objective), your (possessive determiner) and yours (possessive pronoun).
Mark Beadles's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

It was he ... / It was him

Strictly speaking, proper grammar requires subject pronouns be used when they rename the subject. So the subject pronoun "he" follows the verb "to be" as follows: It is he. This is she speaking. It ...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
13 votes

Did noted 17th century poet Katherine Philips make a grammatical error?

At the time Philips wrote the poem, around the middle of the 17th century, the use of 'I' as the object of a verb or preposition was (sometimes) considered grammatical. As noted in the entry under I, ...
JEL's user avatar
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11 votes

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

You must, as always, write for your audience. If you are writing for a technical journal where your audience is multi-lingual, then you should strive to get it absolutely right. That goes without ...
Mick's user avatar
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10 votes

When do I use "I" instead of "me?"

It depends on what you mean by “correct”. As others have confirmed, your method of removing the other coordinated noun phrases, then checking if you have the correct case for the single remaining ...
herisson's user avatar
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8 votes

I am [who/whom] G-d made me

If I could choose neither, I would, since I'm not sure if the sentence is grammatical (I have asked a separate question about that here: Is "I am who(m) God made me" grammatical?). If I had ...
herisson's user avatar
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7 votes

"Us Americans" or "We Americans"?

To address the points that @FumbleFingers raises in his bounty: Merriam-Webster Unabridged offers these observations in its definition of the pronominal us (albeit not without some nose-holding, and ...
Gnawme's user avatar
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7 votes

"Being [he/him] is not easy." Which is prescriptively "correct"?

I cannot offer a systematic treatment of this subject, but I have found one interesting data point, English Grammar Simplified, Its Study Made Easy by James C Fernald, LHD (1916, which, alas, predates ...
deadrat's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

"whom...must...": is this real sentence grammatical?

In Winnie saw the truth at once, knowing as she did the character of her, whom, if she had ever looked upon as a mother, must from this moment forfeit every claim upon her feelings, unless it ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
7 votes

Possessives with gerunds

You're tripping up on terminology, which is understandable since it's hard to find reliable information about English grammar, especially online. Everybody uses their own terms, with whatever meanings ...
John Lawler's user avatar
6 votes

Which is correct, "you and I" or "you and me"?

The correct phrasing is "between you and me". This brief article does a great job of explaining why. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/between-you-and-me In standard English, it’s ...
WonderGrub's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

"He had me do this" vs "He had me doing this" vs "He had my doing this"

Those are three different problems. "He had me do this” vs “He had my doing this” The former is correct. The latter is nonsensical. He said me being here was wonderful. Yes, ...
Ricky's user avatar
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6 votes

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

Other parts of the question have been discussed extensively but I haven't seen much about the grammatical case so let me contribute in this area. On cases There's a more general problem with this ...
The Vee's user avatar
  • 400
6 votes
Accepted

What's up with "this," in Old English(Ænȝlıſ͡ċ/Anglo Saxon‽)

1. I was able to find an article that explains how this, that, and the changed. (You may not be able to get into the full article, unless you're paying a lot for college tuition like I am.) It ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 65.3k
6 votes

What is the possessive case and the objective case of "ye?"

Genesis 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. Here is an example from the Bible showing all ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
6 votes

Why does second person only have 'you' whereas first person has "I" and "me"?

In addition to Stuart F's discussion of the second person plural "you" which has for the last 300 years been the only form in most types of English the (now obsolete) second person singular ...
BoldBen's user avatar
  • 17.1k
5 votes

What’s the rule for using “who” and “whom” correctly?

This is an attempt to also formulate an answer to my own recent question which was marked as a duplicate: How do I choose between ‘who’ or ‘whom’ when the subject pronoun is murky? I am still ...
English Student's user avatar
5 votes

"Us Americans" or "We Americans"?

I agree with the rule of thumb described elsewhere which recommends using "we Americans" or "us Americans" depending on whether the context calls for the subject or object pronoun. ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 17.9k

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