"Be a man like HIM" or "Be a man like HE" ?

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  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hello,

    If I really had to choose, I'd probably say "be a man like him", but my personal favourite would be "be a man like he is/was"
     

    bikoalive

    Member
    South Africa
    I thought "Be a man like HIM" would be colloquially acceptable but did not think it was grammatically correct.

    It does not want to say "Be a man like he is" because it does not want to point his characteristic or activity but rather only the subject HE (the guy.)

    How would you explain?
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Well, actually, "be a man like he is" doesn't point to any characteristic other than the fact that he's a "real man", or "the kind of man I want you to be", so I don't see what's wrong with it. :eek::D
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you want to indicate that you are talking about a particular man (perhaps pointing to the man in question as you speak), then "Be a man like him" is fine, in my view. But definitely not "Be a man like he".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The final "is" is understood.

    You answer the phone:

    "May I speak to The Amazing Twin Wonder, please?"

    "This is she."

    "Is" takes the nominative case. (I, he/she, we [are])

    So since "is" is understood in the first sentence:

    "Be a man like he [is]."

    Then the truncated version is: "Be a man like he."

    On the other hand, prepositions will require the accusative case:

    This is for him. (You, him/her, them).
     

    TheAmzngTwinWndr

    Senior Member
    United States
    And just as a side note (I'm not saying anything against your example) but I've always thought it would be more correct to say "This is him", but "this is he" sounds correct to me because it is always used in that particular situation (as if it were an idiom). But that's just me and I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just a thinking out loud (so to speak :) )
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    There are two types of verbs:

    Transitive verbs that require a subject and an object.

    I shot him. (I = subject; shot = transitive verb; him = object.)


    Intransitive verbs do not take an object.


    He died. (He = subject; died = intransitive verb.)


    "Is" is an intransitive verb; it takes the nominative case. (This is he.)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    There are two types of verbs:

    Transitive verbs that require a subject and an object.

    I shot him. (I = subject; shot = transitive verb; him = object.)


    Intransitive verbs do not take an object.


    He died. (He = subject; died = intransitive verb.)


    "Is" is an intransitive verb; it takes the nominative case. (This is he.)
    The way that pronoun case has changed in English has led to some previously grammatical uses now sounding simply wrong: It's I, for example, now sounds nonstandard to me, even more nonstandard than between you and I--I would be more surprised to hear an educated speaker say It's I than I would to hear him say between you and I.

    In the case of Be a man like him versus Be a man like he, I have my doubts that even traditional grammar would find the latter to be acceptable. In Be a man like him, the word like is functioning as a preposition and so takes the accusative form him. Substitute he is and it still works, because the clause itself is the object of the preposition. But attempting to substitute he, on the theory that like he is an elided version of like he is, simply doesn't work. Be a man like he just sounds too odd.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    ... Be a man like he just sounds too odd.
    I agree.

    I answer the phone:

    May I speak to Packard?

    This is he.

    (Alternatively: "This is Packard") Which nicely allows me to sound OK and still keep within the rules of English.

    On the other hand I would be inclined to write as you have here ("Be a man like him.") even though I know it is contrary to the rules of English. I would do so for the same reason you have; it sounds right. That is by usage, not by the rules of English, in my opinion.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    "Be a man like HIM" or "Be a man like HE" ?

    Which is correct? Thank you for your help.
    For the object of the preposition like, use him. Be careful with like as a conjunction before a subject and verb. If it can be replaced by as or as if without changing the meaning, many grammarians will insist that you use the alternative: "Be a man, as he is."
     
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