Translation:He arrived thirty seconds earlier than I.
"I" needs to be "me" in this English sentence."
I don't think so. He arrived earlier than I arrived.
I just submitted two reports for this. I got confused because I think maybe they half corrected it? I wrote "He arrived thirty seconds earlier than I," and the answer was given as exactly that. Nevertheless, I got "almost right!" and the pop-up message that "I needs to be me."
So it looks like the answer is now correct (no idea if it always was or not), but the pop-up message is incorrect. (As Jantoki is no doubt aware, "He arrived earlier than me" is very commonly used these days, but is still considered technically incorrect according to grammar as taught in school.)
Sorry to the course moderators for the double report! It took me a minute to realize what was going on.
Yes, I did a double take, too, when the pop up told me that the "I" I had typed should be a "me" in English. Not grammatical English. He arrived earlier than I (did). It may not be common usage, but is correct.
"Earlier than I" is correct English. Finish the sentence- "Earlier than I [did]." You wouldn't say "earlier than me [did]."
Adam, Of course! However, Duolingo “likes” the “colloquial” ... “me!”
Big debate "Than" conjunction or preposition?
Outlined here and here:
"She likes him more than I (like him)" = we both like him but she does more.
"She likes him more than (she likes) me" = she prefers him to me.
Allowing 'than me' for 'than I' would lead to ambiguities in sentences like the one above, when keeping it separate like this would avoid it.
'than' in English can now be used as a preposition, so "me" is grammatical too. Don't be an outdated prescriptivist.
Alas! It has finally been changed; we are victorious! Now to fix the thousands of other holes in this site…
Is there a grammatical reason that "sekundojn" takes the accusative -n here? Is it effectively being used as an object? That wouldn't seem to make sense...
The accusative is also used to show direction and time;
"Li saltis malsupren." (He jumped down) "Li marŝis en la arbaron." (He walked into the forest) "Mi alvenos la 12-an de Decembro." (I will arrive on the 12th of December)
Hope this helps!
Thank you, Jantoki! So every time we talk about time, it takes the -n? Or are there also situations where this doesn't hold true?
Measurements of difference or quality can either be marked with "je" or "-n." English uses "by" or nothing.
By ten seconds she ran the fastest. Je dek sekundoj ŝi kuris plej rapide.
It is ten centimeters long. Ĝi estas dek centimetrojn longa.
This should be "30 seconds earlier than I", me is accusative in English
As previous comments have mentioned, "than me" is by far more common in modern English, and "than I" sounds very odd/formal/outdated to most English speakers. English is not a prescriptive language, what's correct is determined by the consensus of its speakers, and therefore "me" is correct unless it's a situation that requires an unusual degree of formality.
People might not, but I would. However, I would always add the verb "did" because that poor old subject pronoun on its own invariably invites argument.
English plays fast and loose with whether pronouns should be accusative or not. For instance, "I did" is a lot less common than "me" to the question "Who did this?" Or "Who's there?" then "It's me: Jimmy."
The rules, if they're to be right or meaningful, have to reflect the fact that those examples are normal English.
Rusty, In refined conversation I say, "than I." In slightly less refined conversation, I wincingly add "(than I) did." --in "street" sort of conversation ... "than me ( ! )"