They did, but the point is that "it is him" should not be accepted, as it's grammatically incorrect, but it is
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.
It depends on the context. For example,
"It is him!" The woman shouts, pointing at a man walking down the street, "The man who stole my purse!"
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.
One would assume 'он' to be a masculine pronoun and use the corresponding masculine demonstrative pronoun 'этот'...but it's neuter and requires 'это'. Weird. Is there any logic to this?
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
It's just the equivalent of "this is a book" vs. "this book".
Это is a pronoun, этот/это/эта is a determiner.
If you look at the grey lettering under a post, right next to the "reply", it says "give lingot". Try clicking on that. it will ask you whether you really want to give a lingo to the poster of the comment. If you do, click yes.
J.C.Fink is correct but you should know that you can only give one lingot at a time. So if you want to give fifty lingots you have to click the entry fifty times to do so.
Annoying to say the least.
Thank you ! Great site. It gives us examples where we can see the subtleties of the language. I will ponder on it and hopefully the " это" will become like a second nature to me! :-)
Not sure if it got sped up on my system, but it sounded like "Этон." Slow down, it's really clear, but it sounds sped up at normal speed.
это он is probably pronounced like этон due to elision. if you eliminate that extra о it's a lot easier to say quickly. many languages elide like thus, i can't think of it happening in English other than with contractions...
However, это он is not pronounced like этон. First you pronounce это and then он.
if it's not pronounced like that, then why does the robomaid say it like that? plus, try saying это он quickly without it sounding like этон.
I'm hearing something more like "eta one" here, like she's adding in a /w/ sound to make sure the two words are separated.
Well, "она и он" evidently uses Russian nominative pronouns, so DL wants you to use English nominative (not disjunctive) pronouns - "she and he" to show you realize those Russian pronouns are nominative.
oh? when you point to a friend in a picture do you say "that's he!"? when asked who made this mess do you say "he!". no, no, i say! "that's him!" and "him!" are the proper responses. but you talk how you see fit.
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?
I get what you're saying, but it's misleading a bit to call it an exception; it is indeed proper English. It's called a 'disjunctive pronoun' and we got it from French. 'It is me' and 'It is I' are both equally valid, but I don't know anyone who says the latter.
How do you do? You have just met someone (in this discussion forum) who says "It is I". And when someone asks for me by name on the phone, I invariably say, "This is she."So now you know at least one native English speaker who says the latter.
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 should never translate word by word, it's the meaning you should get across and not "the form". different languages express things differently. and in English it is usually said: this is him.
I have never heard "this is him"! In English, the subject and the complement both take the nominative: "this is he" is both the correct, and the normally used form (in my part of the world, anyway).
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 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...".
Would you say "She and she went to the store."? I would say "She and her went to the store."
But if you use "him", DL will not know you realize that "он'' is nominative because you did not use an English nominative pronoun.
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).
Probably something like э́то его́, although do note that this would only be used in a circumstance that calls for the accusative (direct object) or genitive (possessive) case.
Whom did you hit? It's him. Это его.
By "some" I mean "a number of individuals", without specifying how large or small a percentage of the total English-speaking population of the United States I believe that to be.
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.
Generally speaking, taking a language learning course is all about being told how to talk.
Touché! Of course we're all here to learn Russian. I was referring to rather the more unsolicited variety of advice on grammar. Don't need nobody thinking they can tell me how to speak English! And neither do you, unless of course you do.
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.
Partially accurate at worst. Take the show "This is us." not "This is we." Why do you think that is? Maybe because TV studios want shows with mass appeal.
"This is we." would be a series on Masterpiece Theater. Sounds interesting too. I'd watch it!
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 actually is that in America SOME of us - apparently including you - do say, "It's him." and in America SOME of us - I am a living example; so is stanmann - do say, "It is he."
>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.
you mistook my cry of cultural pride and use of the pronoun "we" for the authoritative tone of a grammarian. very understandable.
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.
Based on the "it is him" answer you'd have to say "Here him is". I know, my horns are showing.
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.
can ''it is he'' instead of ''it's him'' be accepted or does it have to be ''it's him''
Of COURSE you can say "It is he," and if you do, DL will realize that you know the Russian pronoun он is nominative.
As a rule an American would say "It's him." Rarely you might hear "It is he." I have a feeling it might be more common in the U.K.
"Here he is." and "This is him." pretty much mean the same thing in English. Duolingo is rather literal sometimes though.
On the other hand, "Here Bob is" is a rather odd way to answer the question "Who the hell is it?"
You mean "It's he."? You wouldn't say "It's he." in America unless you're the college professor type.
Let me ask you this. Do you point at yourself and said "Me" or "I" or something else? In English mind you! No correct answer. Academic curiosity.
It sounds like "Этон" due to the speed of the pronunciation. I find myself using the turtle/slow down button almost every time so I can hear and understand.
Когда it speaks fast, Я немного понимаю
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
But why "он" is translated as "him"? I think "him" is equal "его", isn't it?
Many speakers of English would regularly say "It is him" no matter what case "him" is in; this is called the disjunctive, and it comes from French, where you would always say « C'est lui » instead of « C'est il ». "It is him" could be either "Это он" or "Это его".
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.
Considering Duo teaches English, I'm a little concerned that they wrote "it's him", as this is grammatically incorrect. Since "to be" is a linking verb, it means that the two sentence elements on either side must be the same part of speech, meaning that using the subject "it" on one side means you must also use the subject form of the third person, masculine pronoun: "he". The correct translation is "it's he" even though this sounds really stupid to a lot of native English speakers
I think your understanding of linking verb theory might be faulty. Have you ever consulted a French grammar?
The English grammar rule is: A linking verb is one that indicates a state of being. As such, the pronoun following the linking verb must be in the same case as the subject.
French Grammar rules are interesting, in fact very interesting to the extent they impacted English grammar. But French grammar rules do not determine English grammar rules.
The only issue here is should Duo ensure that students conform to the standard, prescribed English grammar rule? Or should it encourage Duo students to conform to the descriptive, almost universal English speech pattern present in these kinds of examples?
Personally, I think they should allow both. Good grammar and good speech style. Let those concerned about the niceties of prescriptive vs. descriptive grammar rules check it out on the comments pages.
It is him is never wrong in ordinary, common conversation. It is he is always correct when following the laid out rules of English grammar.
While your idea sounds perfectly good, I disagree. You wouldn't want something that's trying to teach you a language to teach you something grammatically incorrect, even if it is said a lot. The reason it's said a lot is because people don't realize they're being grammatically incorrect, and people think it sounds weird to say, "it's he" because they've never heard anyone say it correctly. At least for me, I would like everything I'm learning to be grammatically correct so I can decide if I want to use the more commonly heard phrase that's grammatically incorrect. My real problem with it is that Duo is passing it off as grammatically correct when it's not. Really, if they are going to teach commonly spoken phrases that are grammatically incorrect for the sake of nonnative speakers learning how English speakers really speak, then they should have a separate lesson for it so that way people will at least have a choice. There are certain expressions in English that aren't grammatically correct, such as, "long time, no see", but they don't have a grammatically correct version; that's just how they're said. In this case, "it is him" has a grammatically correct version, so that's why I would like the right thing taught to me. It's kind of like learning the proper way to do something before you learn a shortcut or a slightly better way to do it. At least those are just my thoughts on the matter
Who says it is grammatically incorrect, though?
Sentences like "It was he" or "That's I" can safely be categorised as preferred in more formal speech by some native speakers and recommended by some teachers. As a non-native speaker I would rather learn the actual usage and be aware that there exists another praised use of a higher grade of rightness, which is in practice quite rare.
The problem is, a language's grammar is supposed to explain how it works. If it contradicts the actual usage the more likely reason is that the chosen grammar is a poor model of what is going on under the hood. In this sense, other languages may indeed provide some inspiration. It turns out, non-Nominative forms of a complement are not particularly uncommon—even if the exact situation English found itself in is unique (e.g., Russian and Japanese do it differently).
The question is, can a native speaker of a language use it incorrectly when they think their usage sounds right? In the end, language IS how its native speakers speak and write. Still, certain structures are considered prestigious; some are considered less so.
It's not. "It is him" is grammatically incorrect and I don't know what you mean by "a French grammar"
In French they use sentences like "Je suis moi." être being a linking verb. "A French grammar" is a French book on grammar. It might help clear some misconceptions on the limitations of linking verbs. Let us not forget that French is a cornerstone of Modern English.
Yes, but you cannot compare the rules of one language to the rules of another as English and French are completely different languages. In this case, you are assuming that "moi" translates to "me", when, in fact, it translates to "myself", or rather it must necessarily translate to "myself" if one is to correctly follow English grammar rules. In English, saying, "I am myself" is grammatically correct and actually conveys some information, which is why no one would say, "I am I" in English, as the sentence is a tautology (although it is still completely grammatically correct and could be said if one wanted to). However, one must never say, "I am me", as, in addition to being a linking verb, "to be" is also intransitive, meaning a subject must immediately follow the verb, and "me" is an object, or rather the objective form of the first person, English pronoun
you know the whole tradition of english grammarianship is rooted in comparing languages. priestly & lowth and those types. all they DID was compare english to latin. they were comparative grammarians.
of course you can compare rules of different languages. that's the whole point of comparing. you don't compare things that are the same.
Thank you for being so literal. You SHOULDN'T compare different language rules expecting said comparison to be valid as the rules might not necessarily work the the same and thus might not be comparable. You cannot expect one language to work like another
It's only myself in a certain number of circumstances and usually when you want to add extra emphasis to something you said. You wouldn't say, "je suis moi-même."
you're welcome for being literal. it helps for clarity. i compare languages when there is implication that there is a universal or inherent quality of linking verbs which isn't inherent or universal at all because the french do it. and there's nothing with the english doing it.
seniorhitler: It does. The nominative form is “он”, and the accusative (objective) form is “его”. And no offense intended, Friend, but I’ll bet that moniker does make an impression on folks!!!
"To be", in English, is a
linking verb. This means that the verb isn't actually performing any action, but rather is just there to link one part of speech to another. The key, here, is that linking verbs equate equal parts of a sentence, and linking verbs take no objects.
Regarding third person, singular, English pronouns, "he" is the subjective form of the male pronoun and "him" is the objective form of the male pronoun. Since linking verbs must equate equal parts and don't take objects, then we cannot use the objective form of the pronoun: "him". We need to use the subjective form since "this" in the sentence is the subject, "is" is the linking verb connecting "this" to whatever "this" actually is, and "he" is the subject which is being equated to the subject of the sentence, "this". It sounds really weird to a lot of English speakers because they aren't used to hearing it as most people don't know that they are using "to be" incorrectly and because, typically, what follows most verbs is an object!
"This is he" is grammatically correct, though that being said, most English speakers will probably say, "this is him" since they don't know any better and that's what they've been saying their whole lives.
That being said, while "this is he" is grammatically correct, there's a debate here in the comments that "this is him" should also be accepted since probably about 90% (just a guess) of English speakers would say, "this is him". I disagree with this because this is a language learning app and they are here to teach the rules of the language as they are, and, "this is him" breaks those rules. In addition, if we allow this just because a lot of people say it, that definitely leads to a cascade of, "oh, well we should accept this because some people might say this even though it's wrong," and I think that's a slippery slope which would just degrade the quality of the course.
However, you would be perfectly fine if you said, "this is him" instead of "this is he" in spoken English because most people mess up their grammar when speaking. I would say that when writing a paper you should use "this is he", but when speaking I guess it really doesn't matter.
Yes that is true but I was more wondering why it was "IT is him/he" instead of "THIS is him" but thanks for that too haha, have this lingot. :)
Why? "он" means "he", not "boy". The word for "boy" is "мальчнк".
In addition, that's just not proper English. You need an article before "boy" unless "boy" is a proper noun, which is only the case if it's a title or a name given to someone
People who are using correct grammar. "To be" is an intransitive, linking verb and therefore requires a subject to directly follow the verb. The reason for this is that you can think of the verb "to be" as an equal sign which is equating two, equal parts of speech. You can also think about it like the verb is, instead, a colon, where the stuff on the right gives new information about the stuff on the left, and therefore, needs to be comparable with the stuff on the left, meaning it must be of the same part of speech.
All this means that the sentence, "this is he" is grammatically correct and saying, "this is him" is grammatically incorrect, since "he" is the subjective form and "him" is the objective form. This is also why we say things like, "who is he" and not "whom is he", since "who" is the subjective form and "whom" is the objective form
It seems a bit flawed to come from the viewpoint that a large portion of native speakers of a language are simply ignorant and do not know "correct grammar" when what they are using actually can be backed up using grammar, or at least using grammar terminology. Excuse my quoting a Wikipedia article, but here's a Wikipedia article on this:
Yes, I do realise that English usage is compared with French here and that English is not French. English, though, has been influenced by French tremendously, to the point where disjunctives are second nature for many (if not most) native English speakers.
Here's a second article, with discussion and all:
"Play it by ear" isn't the best argument, but for some people it works well when it comes to descriptive grammar. If you create a rule that doesn't describe what many people say when actually using the language the rule applies to, then what's the point of the rule?
The subject, I suppose, follows the verb in English questions and inversions, perhaps also in "there is" structures:
- Is it your house ?
- A great writer he is.
- Gone are the days when I cared about their words.
- Not only was he arrogant but criminally adorable, too.
- There was a huge wave. (or you may classify "there" as a dummy subject)
In run-of-the-mill declarative sentences, the subject goes first. You can put adverb(ial)s of certain kinds at the beginning but that is it.
This applies to English, of course. Some languages have a different typical word order or their word order is more flexible. Some languages do not have subjects that behave as in European languages.
as a rule the grammatically uptight. to the grammatically uptight out there: there ain't nothing wrong with that! live like you gotta live, ain't nobody putting you 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.