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I'm totally frustrated. Here is a practice and please tell me what pronoun would you choose to each sentence:

1. It could have been (them, they)

2. Yes, it was (us, we)

3. The runway girl was (her, she)

4. This is (him, he)

5. The winner was (me, I)

And of course I chose "objective pronouns (them, us......)" for all of them except maybe #5, "I" seemed to be a smarter choice (don't ask me why, I can't explain). So the correct answers were "they, we, she, he, and I". Now I have to ask, is it just total bull-s88t? Pardon my language, but I am just completely frustrated! Could someone be kind enough to explain? that is to say you agree with their answers. Thanks a million.

Raen
Full Member422
In my point of view, if you're really confused in deciding which one to use, just try exchanging the subjects and objects' positions like these :

1. It could have been (them, they) - this can be, " Them could have been it." and "They could have been it."

2. Yes, it was (us, we) - this can be, " Yes, us was it." and "Yes, we was it."

3. The runway girl was (her, she) - this can be, " Her was the runway girl." and "She was the runway girl."

4. This is (him, he) - this can be, " Him is this" and "He is this."

5. The winner was (me, I) - this can be, " Me was the winner" and "I was the winner."

You might be smiling now,as you can see that the green one of each sentence is making (more) sense.
After all, this's my logic, don't know whether it's the right way Emotion: smile
And all comments are welcomed ^_^
New Member14
Thank you so much nungning, that's a fantastic trick. But in colloquial English people don't really say:

"It could have been they", right? Man, that would just sound awful! Even in books or literatures, I honesty haven't read: It could have been they. or

It was she.

Yes, it was we.

This is he........and so on.

Just wierd.

Raen
Obviously, people don't say like that Emotion: smile , it's just the way of thinking which can help you decide which one to choose ^_^
Thanks for the comment Emotion: smile
Find out if your book and your teacher expect the highly formal versions (now old-fashioned, but still encouraged in some grammar books), or the less formal, more modern versions. Once you know that you can answer "correctly" more often!
Old version:
Use the nominative pronouns for the subject of a sentence.
Use the nominative pronouns for the subject complement after a linking verb, i.e., after is, are, was, were, has been, could have been, might be, should have been, seems to be, used to be, ought to be, had better be, .......

Use the objective pronouns for everything else.
___

New version:
Use the nominative pronouns for the subject of a sentence.
Use the objective pronouns for everything else.
_____

The only difference is the linking verb rule.
And every example you cited in your post has a linking verb.
So if you are asked to use the old version in class, use
1. It could have been (them, they)

2. Yes, it was (us, we)

3. The runway girl was (her, she)

4. This is (him, he)

5. The winner was (me, I)
If you are asked to use the new version, use
1. It could have been (them, they)

2. Yes, it was (us, we)

3. The runway girl was (her, she)

4. This is (him, he)

5. The winner was (me, I)
CJ
Veteran Member51,926
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Wow, thank you Jim. I did not know there's old and new versions on this rule. I will sure find out. Thanks a lot. I personaly so prefer the new version, but I doubt my opinion matters much as far as the test goes. But I will sure find out. Thanks again. Emotion: smile

Raen
This problem of the subject complement is an ongoing debate. It caused because nouns in English don't differenciate between subjective and objective. Only English pronouns do that. In everyday speech and writing the pronouns used in this instance are almost always objective case and if someone were to use the subjective case pronoun it would be seen by most as a deliberate break from convention, or that they were raised in an environment where they where exposed to the infuence of an old conservative prescriptive grammarian who believed the rules of Latin grammar should also be applied to English. That's my opinion by the way.
Incidently, English is my native language but my children's is Spanish. When I speak English I always use the objective case pronoun in these instances. My children, who have no contact with English speakers other than me, always use the subjective case pronoun here. No one has taught them one way or the other, it's just what comes to them naturally, maybe because that's what's used in Spanish.
Regular Member637
Anonymous:
You make errors even as you discuss errors!
1. You link singular "someone" with plural "they";
2. Childrens' is wrong;
3. "than me" should be "than I"!

Scary.

George
I think CJ's advice is the best.

My maternal step-grandmother was an English teacher who (through my mother) insisted that I use nominative and objective case pronouns correctly. I'm now in my 70's and get a lot of strange looks because I can't seem to break the habit. - A.
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