Posted by: Jack Henry | December 8, 2020

Editor’s Corner: More Pronoun Information

Hi, folks.

Recently, I wrote about the pronouns I and me. And I asked whether it is correct to say, “It is me” or “It is I.” (Hint: the correct phrase is “It is I.”)

I have a little more information about pesky pronouns. Today, I’m offering you some comparisons, and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick the correct sentence from the pairs listed here:

  • She sings better than me.
  • She sings better than I.
  • I am taller than she.
  • I am taller than her.

If you chose mefor the first pair and herfor the second, you’re in good company. But just as I mentioned last time with the phrase “It is I,” they sound right because of many years of incorrect usage by many people. Here are the correct sentences:

  • She sings better than I.
  • I am taller than she.

And here is the reasoning: what we really mean to say is, “She sings better than I sing” and “I am taller than she is.” If you want a trick to help you remember which pronoun to use, all you have to do is repeat the verb:

  • She sings better than I sing.
  • I am taller than she is.

And just one more comment about pronouns. We have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating—at JHA, we advocate and encourage the use of they as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. For example, we would write, “If the client experiences any problem, they should open a case” (rather than “he or she should open a case”). Using they as a singular pronoun, even in professional writing, is also endorsed by Merriam-Webster, the APA, the Oxford English Dictionary, and many other well-regarded resources because it is respectful and inclusive of all people, and it helps writers avoid making assumptions about gender.

Now go enjoy your day!

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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