"Ydy e'n enwocach na hi?"

Translation:Is he more famous than her?

March 17, 2016

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen228621

It says 4 comments, but I can't find any. I have been frightened off "he was more famous than she."

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ibisc

The forms we use and accept in this context are those in modern English textbooks for both British and American English: either '... than her' or '... than she is'.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen228621

But not simply "than she"? What modern textbooks are you referring to?

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ibisc

The ones on my desk these days are Swan's 'Practical English Usage' and the 'Longman Student Grammar'.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTWils

So, is "than" a preposition in English now? I had always thought of myself as a native speaket of the language with a rather broad exposure to it in both written and spoken form, but style guidelines like that sound increasingly alien to me. I will have to come up with a new name for whatever language it is that I speak.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

So, is "than" a preposition in English now?

That depends on how you want to analyse English.

You could say that for many speakers, "me" etc. have become disjunctive pronouns like French moi etc., and will be used in all cases except when they are the sole subject of a verb and immediately before it (or immediately after it, in questions). Under this analysis, "I" is not the subject or nominative form and "me" not the object or accusative form, but rather, "me" is the general form and "I" is a special form used when it's the subject of a following verb. In which case, not only prepositions but also conjunctions would be followed by the disjunctive forms, and we have "... than her", since no verb is following, or "... than she was", with the special form "she" that is only used when a verb follows, as it does in this case.

Or if you prefer to treat English as if it's Latin with funny words, with Latin cases and Latin parts of speech that affect following words in Latin ways, you could say that "than" has, for many people, become a preposition.

The "disjunctive pronoun" analysis has the advantage that it not only explains "He is bigger than me" but also "Him and me went to the playground" or "Who broke the window? -- Not me!".

Perhaps "nominative case" isn't a useful term in English any more if the way the language is used by many native speakers doesn't resemble Latin so closely any more.

I will have to come up with a new name for whatever language it is that I speak.

I'd just consider it a different register within the same language. I'm sure you don't write exactly the way you speak, but you probably consider both the written form and the spoken form "the same language".

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

Love this explanation. It definitely explains something I've been observing for a longime and have been trying to explain to prescriptivists on the forum. Discussions around me too and Mr neither come to mind, as well as than her, than us, etc.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I don't remember who introduced me to this "disjunctive pronoun" analysis with its comparison to French, but I've also found it very useful.

The system is internally consistent; it's just different from how Germanic languages used to (and German still does) work -- making it a bit more difficult for many English speakers to learn to speak German properly.

But just as nobody (I think) would presume to correct a French boy responding to J'en veux un! with Moi aussi! to say Je aussi!, so perhaps at some point, people will accept that as a response to "I want one!", "Me too!" is just fine in English and that "I too!" would be a hypercorrection.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

Interestingly, a lot of English learners who learned much of their English on the street use me everywhere - even where we use I. So the learners have picked up on this. It's actually hard to correct this bad habit.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CathyComma

Stephen228621, you can get around that with "than she is." It's a little bit of a pain but worth it if you, like me, find "more famous than her" unpleasant to the ear. (I'm not a strict prescriptivist, but I'm not ready to embrace disjunctive pronouns, and it annoys me that Duo marks "more famous than she" incorrect.)

July 21, 2019
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