as smart as...

hasim4

Senior Member
indonesian
Hi everybody,

a. I am not as smart as he (is).
b. I am not as smart as him.

Which sentence is more right? Thank you.
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, neither is correct. The first one would be correct if you included the word in parentheses: I am not as smart as he is.

    ". . . as smart as him" is incorrect. Would you say "him is smart"? I wouldn't.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    "I am not as smart as he is", is a regular, indisputable sentence.

    "I am not as smart as he", is the classically correct sentence obtained by omitting the second copula. Compare "He is as tall as I"; "She runs as fast as I". In conversation, these sentences sound pedantic. The final pronoun is in the nominative (subject-form) because it is the subject of the omitted copula.

    "I am not as smart as him", is what an average person would say in conversation. "As" is re-interpreted as being a sort of preposition (the same thing happens to "than" in "She runs faster than him"), and the pronouns go into the accusative (object-form) as being the objects of these prepositions.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No, neither is correct. The first one would be correct if you included the word in parentheses: I am not as smart as he is.

    ". . . as smart as him" is incorrect. Would you say "him is smart"? I wouldn't.
    If you make a statement like this, it is up to you to explain why you think as smart as him is incorrect and, in particular, why as cannot be regarded as a preposition, as pointed out below.

    The AHD (American Heritage Dictionary), commenting on the sentence She is just as proud as me, says that as can be regarded as a conjunction (i.e. She is just as proud as I am) and goes on as follows:

    "Another way to view this situation is to say that the second as functions as a conjunction, not as a preposition ... Whatever the merits of this logic, the as me construction is very common in speech and appears regularly in the writing of highly respected writers. Moreover, it can be argued that the second as is really a preposition in these constructions and so requires the objective case. There is the further objection that as I constructions are overly formal, and even pretentious."

    The AHD is not alone in its view. Perhaps you could tell us why you rule out as as a preposition?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Perhaps you could tell us why you rule out as as a preposition?
    I do so in this construction because I believe that what follows has to be a clause, not an object pronoun. (I do agree that leaving off the verb, "is" in this instance, is pedantic and sounds silly.) To me, "I am not as smart as him" is just wrong.
     

    hasim4

    Senior Member
    indonesian
    If you make a statement like this, it is up to you to explain why you think as smart as him is incorrect and, in particular, why as cannot be regarded as a preposition, as pointed out below.

    The AHD (American Heritage Dictionary), commenting on the sentence She is just as proud as me, says that as can be regarded as a conjunction (i.e. She is just as proud as I am) and goes on as follows:

    "Another way to view this situation is to say that the second as functions as a conjunction, not as a preposition ... Whatever the merits of this logic, the as me construction is very common in speech and appears regularly in the writing of highly respected writers. Moreover, it can be argued that the second as is really a preposition in these constructions and so requires the objective case. There is the further objection that as I constructions are overly formal, and even pretentious."

    The AHD is not alone in its view. Perhaps you could tell us why you rule out as as a preposition?
    Thank you for your explanation e2efour.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I prefer the second (b). It sound more elegant to me.
    Thanks hasim, the second is fine for everyday use. I could use either version, both sound about the same to me.

    In writing I would prefer to use I am not as smart as he is, because I know that some people regard I'm not as smart as him as uncouth. The version I am not as smart as he is the one that I personally avoid, because I find it old-fashioned and maybe over-fastidious.

    If you have to use this type of sentence in an examination, just use the version(s) you have been taught is correct. :)
     
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