I'd say 'It's him', some things sound very unnatural when they are put together like that.
Like we don't often say.. It is time in conversation, rather just, 'it's time.'
Conversely you don't always want to put it together. When you're saying what you are.. well that sentence there is a good example. You don't shorten the second you are.
'When you're saying what you're' is unnatural. As is 'When you are saying what you are' and even 'When you are saying what you're'
Whether you, I think it's conjugate, is very dependent on context. In the context of this sentence, yeah abbreviate to: It's him.
In English, when "to be" is used as the "copula," or "linking verb," to identify one noun as another, both nouns are in the nominative case. Typically, the noun to the left of the verb is the subject of the sentence, and the noun to the right is the object; e.g., in the sentence, "They eat those," "they" is the subject and "those" is the object, but in the case of the linking verb, both the subject and the "object" are in the nominative case: "those are they" rather than "those are them," "them are they" or "them are those."
An easy way to remember which is correct is to reverse the order of the nouns. Would you say "he is it" or would you say "him is it?" "It is he" reverses to "He is it;" whereas, "It is him" reverses to "Him is it." "It is him" is incorrect for the same reason that "Him is it" is incorrect: with the copula, or linking verb ("to be," in this case), the subject and what looks like an object should both be in the nominative case. Mutatis mutandis, since "he is it" is correct, "it is he" is also correct.
With other verbs, such as "action verbs" rather than "linking verbs," the object does appear in the objective rather than subjective (or "nominative") case: when the subject and object change places, "he eats it" would "reverse" to "it eats him" rather than "it eats he;" "he eats them" becomes "they eat him;" and so on.
In the case of "linking verbs," the subject IS the object; therefore, changing the position of subject and object does not change the identity. "It is he;" "he is it."
It is him is considered bad English by some because it violates standard grammar rules. Grammar requires it is he.
Others, including yourself apparently, think it is good English because it is what you call normal. Normal means something conforms to norms and the norm in English is based on grammar. It is him is the most common phrasing however which is probably what you were referring to.
But I'm assuming that's a context where Roachster1 would use "he". Who stole it? It's he. He stole it. A better example would be something like "Whom did you pick? Him. I picked him." But that would call for different Russian. Either way, in English, it's becoming more and more acceptable to use object pronouns after forms of be. So "It's he" is prescriptively better, while "It's him" is descriptively better.
There are actually two different это's (ack!). One is the unchanging это which means "this is" or "it is". The other is the changing это which means "this" and changes for number, gender and case. You are right that the neuter version of the changing это is the same as the unchanging это. To better explain how to use these different words and when, here is a link written by someone who understands it a lot better than I do: http://www.public.asu.edu/~deliving/russgram/eto-1.htm
Sad to relate, Friend Daughter of Albion, I am compelled to report that here in the New World, we Colonials continue in our unabated, headlong rush to corrupt and degrade the Mother Tongue. I seldom hear the use of the nominative form in sentences following the verb “to be.” Much more frequently I hear the objective form used (e.g., It’s him). There was a time when that would evoke in me a feeling similar to that caused by fingernails scratching a blackboard. So sad, but this prescriptivist, drowning in the sea of utterances of the unlettered, is becoming de-sensitized to “ungrammatical” English. I know, this “elitist” statement will no doubt result in reflexive shouts of outrage from the descriptivists hereabout, those who consider the most popular speech to be the correct usage, but I cannot hold my tongue. O tempora! O mores! Surely, entropy in action!
But in the Russian part of the world the verb is isn't present in the sentence. Adding it is a common way for English speakers to satisfy their notion of logical word order in a sentence. There is no need to add additional grammar rules that have nothing to do with the original Russian.
That's him over there is a perfectly natural and common thing to say in my part of the world. As is this is him here, in the last row of the photograph.
Whether to be is present in Russian is irrelevant to the construction of the English translation, since it is impossible to omit it from the translation: we can say neither "This - he" nor "That - him". (Whether or not you use the option of contracting is to 's - which is possible after that but not after this - also makes no difference.)
When writing English, we follow the rules of English grammar, not those of Russian.
I respect your evidence that you commonly hear the phrases that you quote; is that also what you were taught to use when you were at school?
In reply to hud214: I would not ever say either "she and she" or "she and I" - nor have I ever heard anyone say either! As far as I am aware, "they" is the only possible plural here - there is no way of specifying that you are talking about two females in English via pronouns.
But yes, I would say "Anna and I went to the shops", not "Anna and me...".
For the people that who speak dialects that say "It is him", though, were they to be corrected with "It is he" they would just be more confused and vent in the comments about how stupid Duolingo is et cetera.
Besides, there actually is a name for this phenomenon: disjunctive pronouns, different forms of pronouns you'd use in isolation or in certain circumstances. It's just one of many borrowings from French, where you would always and uncontroversially say « C'est moi » instead of « C'est je ». It's just that French has a different word for the disjunctive and object pronouns ( moi / me ), while English does not (me/me).
It is true that "c'est je" is not the standard way to say "it is I" in French; it is also true that in French, "moi" has several meanings, including "ego" (as in "the ego"), "I," and "me;" however, in Old French, "ce suis je" was indeed the standard way to say "it is I." How the "ce suis je" of Old French became the "c'est moi" of French today is a somewhat complicated history, but the "ce suis je" of Old French and the "c'est moi" of modern French both mean "it is I."
To use your terminology, in the French sentence, "c'est moi," "moi" is a "disjunctive pronoun" meaning "I" rather than an "object pronoun" meaning "me." In French, the disjunctive pronoun has several functions, but the pertinent function in this case is for emphasis or contrast. For example, "Lui, il aime jouer" means "(As for) him, he likes to play." In English, we do not generally use disjunctive pronouns this way; certainly, at least, English does not have a special set of pronouns used for contrast or emphasis, as languages such as French and Irish have; thus, in the French sentence, "lui" is a disjunctive pronominal form, but in the English translation, "him" appears to be the objective pronominal form following the preposition "for" in the phrase, "as for him" (and simply saying "him, he likes to play," is regarded as an ellipticism that implies the entire phrase, "as for him," for instance). English does not have a special set of "emphatic," "contrastive," or "disjunctive" pronouns; so, rendering such constructions in English is at least a little problematic.
However, more to the point, notice that in French, the disjunctive pronoun can express emphasis or contrast by itself, that is, in place of the standard pronominal form: contrast "lui n'est pas au courant de cela," and "il n'est pas au courant de cela;" both sentences mean "he is not aware of that," but the disjunctive form, "lui" emphasizes "he," whereas the standard form, "il," does not. In other contexts, "lui" can be an objective pronoun meaning "him" or "her" (e.g., "envoie-lui un paquet" means "send him a parcel" or "send her a parcel"), but in this sentence, "lui" is a disjunctive pronoun meaning and emphasizing "he:" it would be grammatically incorrect to translate "lui n'est pas au courant de cela" as "him is not aware of that" (or "her is not aware of that"); because, here, "lui" means "he" rather than "him" or "her." Mutatis mutandis, it is incorrect to translate "c'est moi" as "it is me;" because, here, "moi" means "I" rather than "me:" in "c'est moi," "moi" is a disjunctive pronoun meaning "I" rather than an objective pronoun meaning "me."
The "moi" of "c'est moi" is the modern, emphatic form of the pronoun "je" (in Old French, "ce suis je" was indeed the standard); that is, in "c'est moi," "moi" is the "disjunctive" equivalent of "I" rather than the objective equivalent of "me." There is no precise analog in English, because English does not have special pronouns for such purposes (in English, if you want to contrast or emphasize a pronoun, you just say that word louder, but not coincidentally, English routinely stresses certain syllables of words whereas French almost never does). "Disjunctive" means "disjoined," "unconnected," "not clearly related to," or "an alternative," especially an alternative exclusive to the standard. The emphatic form, "moi," is "disjunctive" in "c'est moi" for the very reason that it means "je," the equivalent of "I" in English, rather than the equivalent of "me" in English, as "moi" typically means, e.g., when used as an indirect object in a sentence such as "donne-moi le stylo" ("give me the pen"). If "moi" were really objective ("an object pronoun") in "c'est moi," then its use as such would not be "disjunctive" there, that is, "disjoined from" or "out of joint with" its typical, standard application of "me;" indeed, what makes "moi" disjunctive there is the fact that it means "I" ("je" in French, as in the Old French, "ce suis je") rather than "me."
No offense intended, Friend hud214, but not all Americans use the objective form (“him”) when the nominative (“he”) is clearly called for. Ignorance may be rampant, but “correctness” is not determined by plebiscite (though the “descriptivists”among us will disagree). Yes, either form will certainly be understood by all English speakers, but be advised that in certain strata (e.g., formal and academic), adverse inferences about the speaker will likely be drawn by such usage. Yes, I know that most will agree with you, but for this old fart–sorry, make that “geriatric windbag”–some old rules are worth preserving.
The fact is in America we do say "It's him." The nominative form isn't clearly called for least why would the French use the objective form. I'm sure we can all agree that the French are the most cultured of 'em all. True sophisticates! The adverse inferences of saying "It is he." is sounding too much like Martin Prince and running the risk of getting a punch in the arm. I wouldn't recommend it, if you're in gymclass. Of course if you're a Harvard English professor, you might want to go with "It is he." In any event I find it in terribly bad taste to tell somebody else how to talk. You talk however you like! No offense intended.
No offense taken, Friend hud214, but I take a comparison to a ten year old with a 216 IQ to be a compliment-- regardless of how it was intended. And though I like the French a lot, I’m not ready to concede the supremacy of their “sophistication,” a word that is about as vague as any I can think of. It may be that my eyesight is failing, but I fail to see why how the French speak is in any way relevant to the subject at hand. And I agree with you, I think I would taste terrible, even liberally seasoned. [(:< )] And yes, to date at least, everyone here (though not everywhere) can speak as he/she wants. Some of us try to speak English as we were taught in school. And you may speak as you wish. Bonne chance, mon ami (Correct or not, that about exhausts my knowledge of French).
Some old rules are indeed worth preserving, like the disjunctive nature of English pronouns. Every amateur grammarian laments their recent introduction when they're been around since at least Priestley & Lowth's campaign to eradicate 'em. For the uninitiated that was 250 years ago. I can only reasonably assume they came over with the Normans. As everybody knows, or might know, Modern English has its foundations in Old Anglo-Saxon, Norse and French with French holding the prestige position. Finally you and me can agree. Preserve the old ways! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunctive_pronoun
The fact is not EVERYONE in America says, "It's him." Many do, I grant you. But I live in America, and I do not say, "It's him." And I know some others who do not either.. So you can say, "Many people in America say, 'it's him,' and be factually correct. However the blanket statement, "in America we do say 'It's him' ignores the exceptions, of whom I am one; it is only partially accurate at best.
"This Is Us" may be elliptical for "This Is (the Story of) Us."
If "to be" is really equating "this" with "we," wouldn't the title be "These Are We" rather than "This Is We?"
Because the title uses the singular "this" rather than the plural "these," and the objective "us" rather than the subjective "we," interpreting the title as elliptical for "This Is the Story of Us" makes more sense.
The comparison with French is disanalogous, incorrect, misleading, and historically inaccurate: what you are calling "the objective form" is not really an objective form; rather, those pronouns (such as "moi," for example) were emphatic or contrastive forms in Old French, yet survive today as standard in contemporary, Modern French.
More to the point, as for "least why would the French use ...," French and English are distinct languages; the rules of French grammar and English grammar are different. Perhaps not in this case (again, what you are calling "the objective form" really is not, for historical reasons that even many native French speakers are unaware of), but the point is, there is no reason whatsoever to think that English grammar should follow the rules of French grammar: English has its own grammar.
>So you concede that we do say "It is him." in America?
I understood the disagreement to be over not whether anyone in America ever says, "It's him" - obviously some do - but over whether anyone in America says, "It is he." I know from personal experience that some do. I also understood the argument to be about whether "It's him," was a BETTER, more grammatically correct form than "It is he", that you were arguing that "It is he," was a grammatical blunder, a flat-out wrong form. Perhaps we misunderstood each other.
So you concede that we do say "It is him." in America? I might say we play baseball in America. Doesn't mean everybody plays baseball. Doesn't mean there isn't an American "Anti Baseball League". It just means that baseball is played in America. It might imply all manner of things. You're on your own on your inferences, but "It is him." is said in America.
Object (or, I guess, disjunctive) pronouns are usually only used after copulae, not before.
Who is it? - It's him.
Where is he? - Here he is.
Where is he? - Here's him.
This doesn't happen in question form because of the inverted word order. For instance, most speakers I know wouldn't say "Where are them?", but rather "Where are they?".
There actually is a logic to the madness, despite what some prescriptivists think. If you want, you can take a look at this Wikipedia article that sums it up.
Yes, I know that English is not French, but nor is it German. English is more like a Germanic language with heaps of French influence thrown on top.
You may feel good speaking that way, but you are in fact making the English language more complicated by introducing exceptions to the grammar rules. Would you like to argue that English isn't complicated enough? Why are you so passionate about your position? Is this how you were taught in school?
Occasionally in the U.S. you'll hear somebody answer the phone "This is she." I believe in the U.K. it's more common, particularly among the posh set. I heard June Brown on "Who do you think you are?" referring to one of her antecedents by way of "This is he." Mind you she has my full support if she cares to talk that way.
You're correct, however it is a common English myth that you must use two subjects with "to be."
Typically, you will find two subjects used in formal writing and speech and a subject and an object used in informal speech as objective pronouns are typically associated with pointing at people or directing a verb at someone.
I think that that would be э́то оно́. In languages that don't have a neuter gender, "it" is usually expressed by the pronouns for "he" or "she", but Russian does have one.
он - masculine / he
она́ - feminine / she
оно́ - neuter / it
они́ - plural / they
You'll find this kind of pattern a lot in Russian. Masculine nouns usually end in a consonant, feminine in а or я, neuter in о or е and plural in и.
стул (stul) - m
соба́ка (sobáka) - f
со́лнце (sólnce) - n
де́ти (déti) - pl
Those are the words for chair, dog, sun and children. This is far from a foolproof rule, though; the plural for стул, for example, is сту́лья (stúl'ja), not сту́ли (stúli), because стул is a loanword from German. Even then, there are still multiple other patterns; it just seems like this one is the most prevalent.
Sure does. Some people deny the disjunctive nature of the English pronoun. Take the name of the tv show "This is us." Wikipedia lists five other shows and albums named "This is us." Wikipedia doesn't list anything named "This is we." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunctive_pronoun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Us
That is because .... it is he..... is grammatically correct English but violates common English conversation protocols. Had Duo required that OH be translated as he, there would be pages of objections from English speakers. It was just easier to go with the flow of normal English conversation.
So, Iʼll be the first to admit that I was one of those people in this forum declaring with absolute certainty that the verb “to be” requires two subjects, unlike regular English verbs. I am no longer one of those people, and Iʼd like to explain why both “to be” with two subjects and “to be” with one subject and one object are both correct.
Essentially, people have been trying to make parallels between English and Latin because people believe that a decent amount of English came from Latin; this belief is incorrect. In fact, English used to be written in the fuþorc (“futhorc” using modern English alphabet) alphabet, which is an Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet; English didnʼt even start using Latin alphabet characters until later. (If youʼre wondering why English spelling is weird in a lot of cases, itʼs because English was forced into the Latin alphabet, where certain sounds had to be replicated using combinations of Latin characters where Latin characters did not exist to express said sounds, but you can look that up.)
The main thing to be said is that English is not Latin, meaning you canʼt just claim that because a rule exists in one language, it, therefore, must necessarily exist in another language. Therefore, both “it is he” and “it is him” should be accepted, as “to be” is an intransitive, linking verb.
I came to realize, at least for me, that English objects are associated much more with the idea of pointing to someone, as in if someone were to ask something like, “who is the criminal”, a person responding would most likely point to someone and say either, ”he is the criminal” or, “him”. This is a bit strange, as the ellipsis for “he is the criminal” should be the shortened version, “he”, as it is implied by the question that whoever gets called out is the criminal.
The reason I brought this up is because the convention is to use two subjects with “to be” in formal writing and a subject and an object with “to be” in informal writing, and I think that thatʼs because of most peopleʼs instinctive reactions to use objects when referencing or pointing to people in speech.
In addition, I also realized that “he is he“ and “he is him“ actually seem to have different meanings, where the first is suggesting that the subject of the sentence is himself, whereas the second stating that the subject is now being equated with some previously-known “him”: “heʼs that actor weʼve seen a thousand times!” ”Oh! heʼs him!”
I apologize for the long and rambling post, but the short answer is that both are correct and people here shouldnʼt be trying to stop other people from saying whichever version they want to say as both are correct. Speak whichever way you like!
Using two subjects with “to be” is something that is supposed to be done in formal writing, but not really in informal writing or in speech, so thatʼs why you donʼt really hear people saying it, but it is perfectly fine in English.
You might hear it said if someone is giving a formal presentation or reading a paper out loud or in some other formal context where what is being spoken has been previously written down.
The problem with "grammatically uptight" things, though, is that grammar is usually more of a system of debates and language analysis, not one rulebook that a niche people decides to follow. I doubt the "grammatically uptight" need moral support, as nobody is slandering them; debate is not an attempt at insult, just debate.