Davis Banter
Is this sentence grammatically correct? "The last thing I heard him say as him and his buddies walked off was..." Doesn't it have to be 'he' instead of 'him'? (This sentence is an excerpt from the novel 'It' by Stephen King)
Nov 2, 2018 9:56 PM
Answers · 4
Good observation. This looks like reported speech - i.e. the language of one of King's characters. Stephen King writes perfect English, but he also writes well-observed characters, including their 'native' speech patterns. Many native speakers get this kind of construction 'wrong', certainly in Estuarine English you will find all of the following, quite commonly: 1 Me and my sister went to see mum. 2 They brought a bottle of wine for my wife and I. 3 Can I take some details from yourself? Explanations: 1 Object pronoun for a subject; this is your King example 2 Subject pronoun for an object. 3 Using the reflexive in place.of.the object pronoun. Telesales and customer services agents often use this on the phone, I think as a way.of.trying to be polite. It doesn't work with me. Declension of pronouns is a tiny, obscure part of English which is a relic of the language's history. Many native speakers don't really acquire a sense of case as small children, and it is no longer taught in schools, at least in the UK, hence the muddle.
November 2, 2018
Ooops, scrap that last answer. The last thing I heard him say as he and his buddies walked off ... is the correct version. When you're not sure whether to use the subject or object (I / me; he / him; she / her) in a compound subject (that is, a subject joined with "and"), just transform the compound subject into a simple subject by leaving of the part after "and", then it will be apparent: She gave it to John and he - or - She gave it to John and him Transform this to: She gave it to he - or - She gave it to him. Making the subject compound doesn`t change its case, so She gave it to John and him. So transform your example to: The last thing I heard him say as he walked off - or - The last thing I heard him say as him walked off. Obviously ... as he walked off.
November 2, 2018
Because this is actually reflexive, that is, the subject of the sentence cropping up again in the middle of the sentence, it should actually be "The last thing I heard him say as himself.... " (i.e. before he was someone else). Colloquially this would get clipped to "The last thing I heard him say as him...".
November 2, 2018
Yes
November 2, 2018
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Davis Banter
Language Skills
English, German
Learning Language
English