I’m proud of who/whom I am

Sarp84224

Senior Member
Learning English
I’m fairly certain that ‘who’ is the correct choice, but why? Normally ‘of’ is followed by an object pronoun. Why in that case is a subject pronoun used?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s not who or whom that’s the object of the preposition of, but the whole noun clause — “who I am”.

    Also relevant is the fact that the complement of “I am” should, strictly speaking, be a subject pronoun (he/she) rather than an object pronoun (him/her).

    You can see “who I am” as a reduced relative clause:


    {Being who I am} is what I’m proud of
    I’m proud of {[being] who I am}

    See also this thread on the same subject: for who/whom I am
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Learning English
    It’s not who or whom that’s the object of the preposition of, but the whole noun clause — “who I am”.

    Also relevant is the fact that the complement of “I am” should, strictly speaking, be a subject pronoun (he/she) rather than an object pronoun (him/her).

    You can see “who I am” as a reduced relative clause:


    {Being who I am} is what I’m proud of
    I’m proud of {[being] who I am}

    See also this thread on the same subject: for who/whom I am
    Thank you!

    So does that mean that a preposition as part of a noun phrase can sometimes have a subject pronoun like ‘he’ or ‘we’ after it?
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    I’m fairly certain that ‘who’ is the correct choice, but why? Normally ‘of’ is followed by an object pronoun. Why in that case is a subject pronoun used?
    I'm proud of who(m) I am.

    With personal pronouns and the verb "be" the accusative case is used in certain constructions as a less formal variant of the nominative. Almost everyone says "It's me", not "It's I".

    But with "who", things are the other way round: it's the nominative form that is less formal, so "who" is the correct choice here.

    If you're interested in the syntax of your example, "who I am" is a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question) where the meaning is:

    "I'm proud of the answer to the question 'Who am I?'"
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Depending on who is doing the marking.

    "Who" is the subject in its own clause (who is doing the marking).

    Compare with the sentence below, where "whom" is the object of the verb in the embedded clause:

    Depending on whom/who we select to do the marking. (Objective form "whom" is correct, but it's increasingly falling into disuse.)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ‘On’ is a preposition.

    And the sentence “I’m proud of who I am” shows a subject pronoun being used after a preposition.
    Yes, but that juxtaposition doesn’t make it the object.

    Depending on {who is doing the marking} :tick:

    = Depending on the person/whichever person is doing the marking
    I’m proud of {who I am} :tick:

    Depending on who :cross:
    I’m proud of who :cross:

    The subject pronoun who cannot, on its own, be the direct object of a preposition. But it can directly follow a preposition as the relative pronoun beginning the clause that is the object.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I see no need to introduce “being.” The grammar can — and should — be explained without it.
    It’s not essential, no. But I thought it might help show how this works. There are different ways of looking at it – as shown by post #17 in the thread that I gave a link to above, and by the explanation given by billj in the last line of #7 of this thread.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    But I thought it might help show how this works.
    I’m afraid it doesn’t. There is no elided “being.” You could add any semantically meaningful gerund (depending on context) and it would still be “who”: “loving/hating/embracing who I am.” It’s “who” because it’s a predicate nominative within the noun clause. Any gerund that might be added is a red herring because it has nothing to do with the case of the pronoun.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, I understand. But if you add being, isn’t the meaning (if not the grammar) effectively the same?

    I’m proud of who I am = I’m proud to be who I am = I’m proud of being who I am

    Which would not apply with the gerund of any other verb:

    I’m proud of understanding/parading/liking who I am :tick:
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Sure, the meaning is the same or very similar. It’s this grammatical analysis that I was objecting to:
    You can see “who I am” as a reduced relative clause:

    {Being who I am} is what I’m proud of
    I’m proud of {[being] who I am}
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Learning English
    Give it to him.

    Give it to whoever/whomever wants it.

    I’m confused because the first sentence used an object pronoun after “to”, but in the second sentence I think the subject pronoun “whoever” is right because he or she wants it. Is that right? If so, why is a subject pronoun used after a preposition?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The correct version is "give it to whoever wants it."

    The reason "whoever" is correct, and "whomever" is wrong, is that the word serves as the subject of the verb "wants." If the object of the preposition were a single pronoun, you would choose "whomever." However, the object of the preposition is not a single pronoun, but is instead a clause with its own subject, verb, and object: ""whoever wants it."
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Learning English
    The correct version is "give it to whoever wants it."

    The reason "whoever" is correct, and "whomever" is wrong, is that the word serves as the subject of the verb "wants." If the object of the preposition were a single pronoun, you would choose "whomever." However, the object of the preposition is not a single pronoun, but is instead a clause with its own subject, verb, and object: ""whoever wants it."
    Does that mean that “whoever wants it” is the object phrase of the preposition “to”?
     
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