English can and does end sentences with prepositions. It's an old, old myth that it doesn't. Here's a nice link about that: http://grammar.about.com/od/grammarfaq/f/terminalprepositionmyth.htm
I will enjoy reading your link on prepositions. However, when I was in school, and my mother was in school, and my grandmother was in school, if one ended a sentence with a preposition, it was marked incorrect by the teacher. This was also the experience of other people I've known, from schools in all parts of the U.S., in these particular age groups. I guess those in charge of curriculum back then believed the myth. ? I've always wondered about the "rule makers" in general. Are they simply based on accepted norms of the day? Anyhow, thank you again for your in-put.
From the article:
If, in the process of avoiding ending a sentence with a preposition, the sentence begins to sound awkward, overly formal, or confusing, then it's acceptable to ignore the preposition rule. However, it is still best to try to conform to this rule if it does not alter clarity, particularly in professional and academic writing.
In my opinion this is an argument in favor of "For whom are you waiting". It's not very hard and doesn't alter clarity. She uses an example of a sentence where adhering to the rule results in a bad sentence: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!".
Indeed it does. But rarely like this, which is neither free and colloquial nor strict and traditional.
In modern speech, few people actually use the accusative whom, which is generally seen as archaic and existing only for old people left behind by life to find something to gripe about...
Most people say: 'Who are you waiting for?' Grammatical or not.
Those being consciously 'correct' would say: 'For whom are you waiting?' They would say it in a casual tone suggesting everyone else spoke like that too, even though part of the thrill is the little sense of personal superiority from knowing the others don't but they themselves do, and that they are the ones who are grammatically correct: because they have standards and because they were taught better...
This version grasps one rule of 'correct grammar', thereby highlighting the flagrant disregard of the other. It's neither 'rules are for fools' iconoclasm, nor I eat cake with a fork, even when alone stickler-for- standards...
Excellent... I blame the Romans! I think this is another example of languages developing and changing over the years.....new words are accepted and therefore new sentence structures should also be accepted if they become common usage. BUT it might be sad to totally lose a language because it changes too much. Any thoughts????
Actually, the Quakers dropped "thou" and used "thee" for both nominative and objective. There is an old joke about a Quaker who wakes up in the middle of the night to discover a burglar in his abode. Quakers, of course, are pacifists. He grabs his shot gun and says, "Friend, I would not harm thee for the world, but thee is standing where I am about to shoot."
I was thinking that we don't really hear things like that anymore, until Neil reminded me about 'me and thee' which I hear all the time! We also use 'tha' a lot, as in "Tha's got a lot of nerve stealing my chocolate biscuits!" Don't ask me where that fits in grammatically though!
It was both singular and informal, actually. (See, e.g., Wikipedia.) Both the plural and the formal used "ye"; only if you were speaking to one person you knew well would you use "thou."
Based on some other Wikipedia articles, it looks like the original sense of "ye/you" (in Middle English) was indeed purely plural, but then it developed into a formal pronoun by the Early Modern English period.
It's my view that the change you mentioned took place during the Early Modern period, between the time of Tyndale and before the A.V. and Shakespeare.
The A.V. relied heavily on Tyndale and earlier translations and continued to use the singular form despite it being nearly abandoned in then-current usage.
The Wiki's statement seems therefore overbroad in stating that thou was informal for the Early Modern period. By the same token, my statement was equally overbroad in saying thou wasn't informal for the Early Modern period.
I'd say that "For whom are you waiting?" is the formal variant, and "who are you waiting for?" the colloquial variant. "Whom are you waiting for?" seems like a weird mix-up of the two, but I suppose they may have chosen that variant to make the sentence more parallel to the German one - this course is, after all, supposed to teach us German, not English
"Who" may be colloquially used, but it is simply wrong grammatically. Unless you expect the answer to be "I am waiting for he", you should be using "whom" in your question. What makes the translation sound formal is putting "For" in front of the sentence -- for which there is no real rule in English.
"Dictionaries certainly do not label whom as archaic." True, AFAIK. The OED says "no longer current in natural colloquial speech," which is not the same as being archaic. As far as I can tell, it is still common in three situations: 1. highly formal language; 2. following a preposition, as discussed elsewhere on this thread; 3. as a form of snobbery, as also witnessed here ;-)
Fun fact: Men who use the word "whom" in online dating ads get 31% more responses. https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=10398
The opposite is true. The rule for pronouns is to use the nominative in the initial position of a finite clause and the accusative elsewhere. See http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001762.html "Whom are you waiting for?" is a hypercorrection, like "It is I."
Yep, my bad. I got so used to linking to that piece in debates about the grammaticality of sentences like "He is taller than me," which is a different issue. So instead, I'll just quote another of my favourite linguists, Geoffrey Pullum: "Kiss whom goodbye. It is rarely heard in conversation now, and just about never in clause-initial position. This word is nearly dead. It is close to being no more. It has all but ceased to be. If it wasn't Magic-Markered onto a defaced flag from time to time it would be pushing up the daisies. This is almost an ex-word."
No, predicative nominatives can, and IMHO should, take the objective case. Like I said, we say "It's me," not "It's I."
There is a difference between formal writing and informal speech. I would never dream of saying or writing "It is me," because it is syntactically nonsense. I cringe if I hear it. Yes, I have grown used to people saying "It's me," with the already informal contraction, but that doesn't make it correct. It's just informal. Just because something is understandable and common does not make it syntactically correct. Heck, most common speech is full sloppy communication and vulgarity.
Likewise, I would say "I am he." I would never say, "I am him," or "I'm him."
In no way am I arguing that "Who are you waiting for?" should be rejected as an answer. It is a completely acceptable way of speaking in modern English. I am against rejecting the perfectly valid and (syntactically superior) "For whom are you waiting?" or "Whom are you waiting for?"
"It is I," is not a hyper-correction; it is syntactically correct, even if rarely spoken. There is nothing incorrect about it. "Whom am I," is neither syntactically correct not commonly spoken. It is a hyper-correction.
"Oh my god, it's he again."
Actually, I would rarely say, "Oh my god, it's him again," either; I would say, "Oh my god, there he is again," or "Oh my god, here he is again."
No, that's not the case. The rule is to use the nominative for the subject of the sentence or for a predicate nominative. In this case, whom is the object of the preposition "for" and so must be in the objective/accusative case.
"Whom am I?" would be an example of a hypercorrection.
"The rule is to use the nominative for the subject of the sentence or for a predicate nominative. " No, predicative nominatives can, and IMHO should, take the objective (accusative/dative/whatever) case. Like I said, we say "It's me," not "It's I." Same with the other pronouns; if you see someone you dislike coming, you don't say "Oh my god, it's he again."
From @PatriciaJH's comment above:
"English can and does end sentences with prepositions. It's an old, old myth that it doesn't. Here's a nice link about that: http://grammar.about.com/od/grammarfaq/f/terminalprepositionmyth.htm "
The initial, voiceless dental fricative (the "th") is older. Modern German, like most Germanic languages except Icelandic and English, has lost dental fricatives.
Proto-Germanic *thu > Old English thu > Middle English thu/thou > Early Modern English thou
Proto-Germanic *thu > Old High German dū > Middle High German du > Modern Standard German du
I can say as a native speaker, who/whom are words that we often get wrong. Whom is notoriously used to 'sound' sophisticated, high-class and pretentious. More often than not, it is WRONGLY used.
In a typical English conversation, I'd argue that whom is rarely ever used, unless in specific situations, like before prepositions (i.e. to whom, for whom, as whom, etc).
If you must use 'whom', one way to know when you're using who/whom correctly,
=========================== "Whom are you looking for?"
"I am looking for HIM." (not he)
=========================== "Who is looking for you?" [strange question to ask]
"He is." (not him).
In summary, 'whom' would be CORRECTLY used when you'd use 'him/her'. 'Who' is used when you'd use "he/she".
I'd honestly avoid it, as whom am I trying to impress? It sounds ridiculous in a regular conversation, even if it's correct usage in written English.
One thing that's catching me a bit off guard here, is that the "wen" is taking the accusative from the 'auf'. I was under the impression that for dual-prepositions (eg. an, auf, etc) accusative implied motion (eg. "Er legt das Papier auf den Tisch") and that dative implied a lack there-of (eg. "Sie sitzt auf dem Stuhl").
Am I to take it that waiting implies motion here, or is this some sort of weird ambiguous case that hasn't formally been covered?
Except that Duolingo teaches quite the opposite. Accusative for 2-way prepositions (an, auf, über, neben etc.) is when a motion from one object to another is involved. In this case there's no physical movement but one object waits for another so a certain type of figurative motion between the two leads to the usage of accusative.
I think you misunderstood my point. If it's being used to indicate position/location/motion, it can be either accusative or dative (motion = accusative, location/position = dative).
However, in this case, it's not indicating any of the above. When not indicating position/motion, it's always accusative. (Assuming I didn't misunderstand something when I originally made that comment 2 years ago...)
I see what you mean but unfortunately it's not all that straightforward. Let's take the example of "Ich komme aus der Schweiz" that I just saw in the course. "Der" clearly indicates that it's dative where no movement should be involved. If we translate it as "I am from Switzerland", one could agree with the dative use (even though I must have come from Switzerland to the new place at some point so some sort of movement occurred previously but never mind) but in case of the "I'm coming from Switzerland" translation, there's obviously a motion going on, isn't there? Or shall we use accusative in that meaning?
I don't think "aus" is a two-way preposition. That is, unlike "in" or "auf", it cannot be used with different cases. Which is not too surprising by the way. German "in" can mean "in" (location) or "into" (direction), "auf" can mean "on" or "onto", hence dative/accusative cases are used to indicate the difference. "Aus", on the other hand, is just "from" or "out of". No location/direction dichotomy is applicable here. And it simply happens to take dative. So does "mit" (with). So what?
It's not a separable verb, actually; "auf" is a preposition here. Just as you "wait for someone" in English, you similarly "auf jemanden warten" in German. "Warten" is the verb, and "auf wen" is a prepositional phrase.
Even though your search that link is for "aufwarten," that site just showed you this phrase that included "auf" and "warten." The actual verb "aufwarten" is, I believe, not very common and doesn't mean "wait for."
The two suggested translations do not mean the same in English. To wait FOR someone is to stay where you are until they arrive or are ready to see you. To wait ON them is to bring food to their table, or pay them personal attention. It is not unusual to hear the latter when the former is intended (NEVER the other way round), especially in Scotland and Ireland, but it is dialect, slang or "wrong" according to viewpoint.
there is an english rule we use to decide whether to use who or whom. who=he whom=him you are going to the him because going to the dance with he sounds weird. therefore whom are you going to the dance with is correct, and who are you going to the dance with is incorrect, even though its more common and natural sounding.
A very late response to you, Mukesh, but your suggestion would mean that there are two prepositions in the sentnce - which would REALLY complicate matters. The proposition required here is "for", not "to", hence "For whom are you waiting?", or, colloquially, "Who are you waiting for?"
Yes, but only in a very limited set of circumstances. "You are waiting for whom?" (with the stress on "whom") can be used either when you did't hear the name of that person and want your respondent to repeat it, or else if you want to show your surprise/disapproval/disbelief that someone would be waiting for that particular person:
- I am waiting for Amelia Earhart to land.
- You are waiting for whom???
No, no motion.
I think it's accusative here because auf is used metaphorically, and not in a literal locative use.
über jemanden sprechen, auf jemanden warten, an jemanden denken, .... -- it seems to be common to use accusative with two-way prepositions when they aren't used literally, though I'm not sure how definite a "rule" this is.
The German question in this exercise is seeking to identify the person (or persons) for whom someone is waiting. That the person being asked is waiting is apparently a prestablished fact.
Your proposed solution seeks to determine whether the person being asked is waiting or not, with the "them" being already determined or known.
Yours could also be understood as something akin to, "are you waiting for them [group A] or them [group B]?"
The people in my age group and even much older, were strictly schooled that ending a sentence with a preposition was incorrect. "Never leave it ( a sentence) hanging on the 'at'!", was the teaching. I am not aware of this basic rule somehow changing. It may have become recently popular to do otherwise. I won't give my age away, but it has been some time since I was in school! : )
It has been argued over for much longer than you have been alive, but it has never been, is not nor ever shall be correct.
Such prepositions are not hanging; hanging is indeed incorrect - though this rule is widely ignored in American English.
Such prepositions are dangling which is quite different from hanging.
Hanging means the preposition has no object as in the ubiquitous "Where's it at?".
Dangling means the preposition follows its object. This is common in English and has been for centuries.
The only alternative to "dangling" is to "pied-piper" the adjective - drag it to the front of its object.
Whom are you waiting for? - Dangling.
For whom are you waiting? - Pied-pipered.
Both are fine.
I should assemble some links but I just don't feel up to it right now; any of these things will yield search results easily enough.
"Dangling" is a widely used term. Pied-pipering" is probably not, but it is rather appealing, don't you think?
"Stranding" is also used for prepositions which are not before their objects. I haven't looked closely enough to be certain - and I'm not likely to bother - but the two words seem to used identically.
It is, in a sense, a bit awkward when the preposition follows its object, but English resources often don't even acknowledge the existence of postpositions.
I have one last comment on this wonderful discussion. When I went to school, and my mother went to school and my grandmother went to school, (very early 1900's), if one ended a sentence with a preposition it was marked by the teacher as wrong. The same holds true for friends and family, in these three age ranges, in school systems from coast to coast. "Dangling" was used in the classroom. The common saying among people during my grandmother's day was "Don't leave it hanging on the at." Both meant the same thing.
Wishing my American Friends, a "Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!"
Auf wem wartest du?
That would mean "While you are waiting, on whom you are standing?"
auf is used metaphorically here, not literally in its position meaning "on top of, onto the top of".
Metaphorical uses of prepositions often use the accusative case: auf jemanden warten, über jemanden sprechen, an jemanden denken, ....
Oh, come now. It's hardly fair to complain of Chaucer that he used Middle English, seeing as how he lived in the 1300's!
Modern English by the way, developed from the dialect which Chaucer spoke. The popularity of his writings is largely credited with the triumph of that particular version of English over the others current in England at the time.
The two "rules" are completely unrelated to one another, and one of them is actually far more bogus than the other, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with 'Whom are you waiting for?'.
The rule about not putting prepositions at the end is actually a myth:
Be it as it may, it is often observed (to the extent where it's sensible) in formal speech. It also so happens that in formal speech people tend to keep the distinction between "who" and "whom" to a greater extent than they do in everyday speech. Having grown up with cases in my own first language, I have no troubles with "who" and "whom" - and I am personally amazed at people who do: how many of them mix "he" & "him" nearly as frequently? I do, however, consider the "no prepositions at the end" rule bogus and observe it only in formal writing.
What would indeed be absolutely and unquestionably wrong is to use "who" after a preposition (e.g. "with who I am friends") since a preposition should force the objective case. The converse is simply not true.
Only if you would find an answer such as "I am waiting for he" to be acceptable.
(The correct answer would be "I am waiting for
him": using the objective form of "he". Similarly, the objective form of "who" is "who
m". See this entry in Wiktionary as a start, and these usage notes for additional clarification.)
Sorry, but this rule is arrant nonsense. I keep seeing it on the web, but I have never encountered it in a serious linguistics text. There is no factual basis for the idea that a question should use the same case as its answer. Consider the following question: "Who wants ice cream?" One possible answer would be "I do," which seems to validate the rule. But another possible answer would be "Me!" which breaks it. Reasoning back, if "Me!" is correct - which it obviously is - then "Whom wants ice cream?" would be an acceptable question.
if "Me!" is correct - which it obviously is - then "Whom wants ice cream?" would be an acceptable question.
That inference is not appropriate.
(Or at least only if one accepts both "a question must have the same case as its answer" and "me can only be accusative case". It's probably best not to accept the second of those statements for those who accept "Me!" as an answer, and instead to talk about disjunctive pronouns as in French rather than accusative/objective case when explaining the form "me" in that position.)
Well that's the problem with classifying English using terms designed for other languages - which unfortunately we are stuck with. But generally "nominative", "accusative" etc. are used for morphology and "subject", "object" etc. are used for syntax. So I'd say this is a case of using the accusative pronoun form in the subject position, which sounds stupid, I know, but I don't know of a better terminology (just like "Simple Present" is a silly term for a tense that applies to no time in particular). Anyway, whatever we call it, there's a general principle that we only use the "nominative" in the initial subject position of a clause, so the poor "accusative" (or dative or whatever you want to call it gets roped in. The moral is that you can't dish out rules based on the interchangeability of pronouns in different positions.
The sources you cite are pedagogical grammars, not linguistic studies. Their aim is not to describe English grammar scientifically but provide rules of thumb which will help people avoid making mistakes or things that are (often incorrectly) perceived as mistakes. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but such works need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
As for the "Me" answer, you are of course right that "Me wants ice cream" is ungrammatical, but "Me" on its own is perfectly good English (while "I" on its own is not). See my answer above for why.
Seriously? "Me" on its own is perfectly good English by "I" on its own is not?
Neither are sentences. If one were to make sentences of them by explicitly stating the understood verb, the options would be "Me do" and "I do."
I know which one I would choose as correct. You can bravely choose your own course.
"Seriously? "Me" on its own is perfectly good English by "I" on its own is not?"
Well of course. "Who's there?" "Me." -> OK.
"Who's there?" "I." -> Not OK.
Now let's turn them into sentences. "It's me." - > OK. "It's I." -> hypercorrection, though arguably one that is so common that it is accepted usage.
"Whom" is correct grammar.
It may help the analysis to turn the question into a statement: "You are waiting for who
m." But of course, many will not find this clear either, so change the pronoun from the indeterminate who/whom to the more familiar he/him: "You are waiting for hi
m" and not "You are waiting for he."
This is one of the times where English has something akin to Dativ.