''Believe/Thougt + pronoun + verb + adjective'' or ''Belive/Thought + pronoun + adjective''? What is the difference between the two sentence constructions below? 1) ''They all thought he was dead...'' 2) ''They all thought him dead...'' 3) ''If all the world hated you and believed you wicked...'' 4) ''If all the world hated you and believed you were wicked...'' Thank you very much.
Nov 11, 2018 11:35 PM
Answers · 9
Hi Luiz, I would like to respond to your sentences (1) and (2). (A) They all thought he was dead. (B) They all thought him dead. The difference is that sentence A is correct but not sentence B. I am guessing that you used “him” in sentence B as an object pronoun because you may have often come across sentences such as: (C) “She misses him.” (D) “She thinks of him.” (E) She wanted him dead.” And yes, the use of “him” in sentences C, D and E is correct. So when should we use object pronouns? In sentence C, the man is the object (receiver) of the woman’s thoughts (you can also think of the man as the “done-to” of the verb (misses) in the sentence), so the object pronoun (him) should be used. “She misses him.” (correct) / “She misses he.” (wrong) In sentence D, an object pronoun is used because object pronouns come after a preposition. “She thinks of him.” (correct) / “She thinks of he.” (wrong). In sentence E, again, the man is the receiver of the verb (wanted), so we use an object pronoun (him). Sentence B is wrong because “thought” is a stative verb (verbs that describe a state, such as mental processes or emotions, rather than an action. Therefore, we cannot use “him” as an object because there is no action verb in the first place. Sentence A is correct because “They all thought” about something which they believed, and in this case, the something is “he was dead”. Final example: Think (another stative verb) I think he is done. (correct. “he” is used as a subject pronoun for the verb “is”.) I think him done. (wrong.) I hope this helps.
November 11, 2018
2 and 3 sound more old-fashioned. (edit) 2 is however correct.
November 11, 2018
Darryl: No, of course it isn't the one thing. There are plenty of native speakers that have little idea about their own language. There are non-native speakers like Lance who have spent a lot of time learning grammar, and who understand that much better than I do. The difference to me is cases like this, where a native speaker is able to tell the difference between a slightly archaic usage, and a mistake.
November 13, 2018
Lance: Firstly, you have chosen to either block me, or make your profile private, so that I, or other people can't make direct comments on your answers. I find it hard to reconcile that with your comment about 'we are all here to learn from others'. When you first came here, you earned my respect for the fact that despite the fact that your English was not perfect, you were prepared to take on criticism, and learned from it, and I have seen your English improve considerably over that time. You have just lost quite a bit of that respect.
November 12, 2018
I dunno, Gary. I've heard a lot of people throwing around the "native speaker" thing on italki like it's the one thing that makes a person more qualified over another. I've read Lance's reply and makes an effort to answer all questions in a way I haven't seen other "native speakers" do. Lance, when are you going to make a "covfefe" mistake that will qualify you as a native speaker?
November 12, 2018
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