300 Days of Better Writing

June 20, 2014

Use subject pronouns in comparisons with implied verbs.

This is easier to demonstrate than explain in technical terms. Consider this sentence:

“I am taller than she/her.”

Which pronoun do you use, “she” or “her”? I often hear people use “her” in cases like this, but this is incorrect. This sentence implies the final verb is, as in “I am taller than she is.” Since the pronoun in question is serving as the subject to the implied verb is, you need a subject pronoun: “she.”

Here are two more examples.

“That man is smarter than I.” [“That man is smarter than I am.”]

“Who knows better than he?” [“Who knows better than he knows?”]

This is the strategy for day 177 in 300 Days of Better Writing, available at Hostile Editing in PDF, Kindle, and paperback formats.

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