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I understand all the rules that make the sentence, "Please give the reports to John, Mary and me" correct. But I've been advised that if the verb is a form of "be", "I" should be used. Example: "The three selected will probably be John, Mary and I." Is this correct????
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In speech, "me" is the most common. Some people do not like to see "me" in writing.
Me is a perfectly good word. Some people hypercorrect and use "I" because they somehow think it's too informal for business writing. Whether to use "me" or "I" depends on whether it's the subject or the object, NOT whether it's in formal or informal writing.

Often, as you were told, the "correct" usage with "to be" is nominative, or I. "It is I" is correct - but almost never used. (However, I do say "this is she" when someone calls on the phone and asks for me.)

With your case, someone does the selecting, and someone is selected - the person selected needs to be in the object case, or me.
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Here's what some grammar books want you to say.

It is I.
It was I.
It has been I.
It will be I.
It will be John and I.
The selected person is I.
The selected person will be I.
The person selected will be I.
The persons selected will be John and I.

Here's what we actually say, most of the time. This form is also accepted by many, many writers of grammar books.

It is me.
It was me.
It has been me.
It will be me.
It will be John and me.
The selected person is me.
The selected person will be me.
The person selected will be me.
The persons selected will be John and me.

CJ
CJ, I almost never question anything you say, but "The persons selected will be...X" - does X not require the objective case?
I agree with CalifJim.

The following might be too advanced for this forum. Please feel free to ignore it.

The prescriptive rule is to always use "I, he, she" etc after "be". The argument is that "be" is a copula and the copula requires the nominative case. This is how it is done in Latin.

While some people do use "I, he, she" in some cases, it is always acceptable to use "me, him, her".

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says

"But constructions like It is me have been condemned in the classroom and in writing handbooks for so long that there seems little likelihood that they will ever be entirely acceptable in formal writing."

not that I necessarily believe them.
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Yes, I'm onboard with the "It is I" and "This is she." But when you have a transitive verb like selected (or smiled at, or pounced on... or anything like that) - you still use the nominative?

The first person the baby will smile at will be I? The person the cat always pounces on is I?

I agree that "It is I" is falling into disuse, but I still recognize it as grammatical. The sentences above just sound ridiculous! (Not that it would be the FIRST time something was ridiculous about grammar.)
The first person the baby will smile at will be I? The person the cat always pounces on is I?

Yes, these sentences are silly. The prescription to always use "I" after "be" is silly. (imagine a smiley here)

I'd be inclined to tell a learner to always use "me", since it is always acceptable.
CalifJimHere's what some grammar books want you to say.

The person selected will be I.
The persons selected will be John and I.
But CJ (who, like I said, I consider to be an absolute authority on these things, so when my understanding is different from his, I almost alwasy assume he's right) says

The person selected will be I is "grammatically" corrrect, which seems just as strange as The person the cat pounces on will be I.
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