"This is her" or "This is she"

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Iteach782, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    When answering the phone.....which is it??
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    This is she.
     
  4. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    I usually get around this by saying "Speaking" or "This is" however, since I only have a cell phone, people rarely call me who don't know I'm the only one who will answer. :)
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I say "speaking" too.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    "He doesn't live here anymore and stop calling."
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    :spitwater:
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    This is she.......... unless you happen to be a guy...... in which case you say "are you selling something?"
     
  9. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    You guys are funny!

    I'm still not settled on this...but thanks!
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Where's that smarty, TG at, with all of her wisdom on the English Language?
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My mother is a high school English teacher. When my friends called me to come over, if I did not say "this is she" then I didn't get to go over to my friend's house. Is is a linking verb so you use the nomative form, not the subjective.


    Edited: I just remembered a time I got in an argument with a caller over "this is she" just before my senior year of high school. The guy repeated it with a questioning voice and I went off on a long winded explanation about how it was correct. Then there was nothing but silence on the line. It turned out to be the new high school principal who had called about my class schedule.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    "She's not available, may I take a message." is what I say when I don't recognize the number. Or it's obviously a telemarketer.
     
  13. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    I've always been taught "This is she". If I remember correctly I was even taught that in school. HAHA
     
  14. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Definitely "this is she"---
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I usually say, "this is." Just that. It sounds awful, now that I think about it. Wonder where I learned it?
     
  16. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    "This is she"....

    unless i am doing the Greta Garbo thingy ("I vant to be aLONE!"). Then it's "sorry she's not in right now...can i take a message?"
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sometimes I get to say "That person does not exist" when people assume that my wife and I have the same last name.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Like most other posters here, I was trained to respond on the phone with "This is she." But the speaker of English who reliably answers the phone with "This is she" (or "This is he") is at least as likely, if caught even slightly off guard on someone else's account, to exclaim "It's her!" rather than "It's she!" Moreover, having a character in a joke or play say "It is I" rather than "It's me" has been a reliable way to get a laugh at the character's expense for most of a century, judging from my grandmother's reminiscences to that effect dating back to no later than the 1920s.

    "This is she" and "It is she" are not quite identical in structure, to be sure, but they are fairly close, and the issues involved are largely the same: grammatically, the subject of the sentence is the demonstrative this or the "dummy" it, but what the sentence is really about (that is, its logical subject) is clearly whatever follows the copula.

    I think it goes too far, though, to claim that the pronoun in the predicate is really the grammatical subject of the sentence, at least in modern English: the grammatical subject controls verb agreement, but I don't know anyone who would say "This are us" or "It am I". Things seem to have been different in Old English and Middle English, however. One sees ic hit eom 'I it am = it is I' in some Old English translations of the Bible and in some homilies, and Chaucer uses it am I throughout the Canterbury Tales: in the Knight's Tale we find "Forsooth, it am not I."

    "It is me" has been attested in English since the 16th century, according to the article "'It's me' vs. 'It is I'" at http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxitsmev.html.

    The fact that "It is I" is widely perceived to be a grammatical affectation underlines another important point: that what is correct can depend on circumstances. "This is she" is correct for answering the phone - but not past the point at which one gets one's clock cleaned, and it certainly isn't the proper way to speak on the playground.
     
  19. blindteacher

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    :toofunny: This is priceless!
     
  20. blindteacher

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    Just an interesting note: Spanish uses the construction "It am I" -- Soy yo.

    I agree that saying "It is she" is splitting hairs and in everyday speech it's more practical and perfectly acceptable to say "It is her" just like we say "It's me."
     
  21. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Iteach782, sorry we were having "some" fun in responding to your thread.

    The fact is I rarely answer the phone. It depends mostly on what Caller ID tells me. If I do pick up the phone, and someone asks for me, I definitely say "this is he." A lot of our calls simply roll over to voice mail........:):):)
     
  22. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    I'm confused....

    What if we were looking at a picture of a girl I was talking about. Wouldn't I say, "this is her" rather than "this is she", or even, "that's her" rather than "that's she"?
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, it's supposed to be, "This is she or he."
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Precisely my point, Iteach782. Even those who will reliably say "This is she" when answering the phone could almost certainly be depended upon, when picking a male suspect out of a police lineup (or the incredibly edible Johnny Depp out of a crowd), to exclaim, "That's him!"
     
  25. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    Thanks TeacherGroupie, I went back and read your previous post. I suppose I'm the only one who answers the phone saying, "This is her". I don't know if I'm ready to break this habit.
     
  26. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    I sometimes also answer this is her! Sometimes I just say "yep"! :) Just trying to keep the telemarketers on their toes! :)
     
  27. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    I say "this is her" too.
     
  28. MissWull

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    I would say "This is she" or "Speaking".

    When my husband and I first starting dating I would call his house asking for him (he has 2 brothers, they all sound VERY similar) and he would always say "this is" and I never knew what he was saying...I think it just sounds too run together. Unless you speak it very clearly with a nice pause in between, but who wants to do that! :)
     
  29. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I answer in one of 2 ways:

    "She's busy right now, may I take a message?"

    OR

    "Speaking"

    by the way, does the question mark go inside the parenthesis or outside? :whistle:
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you're referring to your own post, TeacherSandra, those aren't parentheses: they're quotation marks. If the question mark is part of what's said, it goes inside the punctuation: your first answer is more or less correct (except that you've got a comma splice). If the question mark doesn't belong to what's said, it goes outside the quotation marks:

    Can you believe that she doesn't say "This is she"??
     

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