The Printable KISS Workbooks The KISS Workbooks Anthology
(Code and Color Key)

Pronouns as Predicate Nouns
Adapted from The New College Grammar
by Mason Long. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1935
Analysis Key

1. It is we (PN). |

2. Wasn't it they (PN)? |

3. {Between you and me}, this plan will not work. |

4. Is it I (PN) [ [#1]  that you addressed], or he (PN)? |

5. It must be you (PN) or they (PN) [ [#1] that I saw]. |

6. They took us to be them [#2] . |

7. Was it we (PN) [ [#1] you desired to see [#3] ], or she (PN)? |

8. They may not permit you and  us to vote [#4]. |

9. Are you as old (PA) as (he or him) [#5] ? |

10. She likes this story (DO) as well as ( I or me) [#6]. |

11. She likes the flower (DO) better than (I or me) [#6]. |

12. Would you not like to be she [#7] ? |

1. This clause can be described as an adjective to "it" or as a delayed subject (to "it"). See KISS Level 5.6 - Delayed Subjects and Sentences. It may be interesting to note that many grammarians would argue that "that" should, in formal grammar, be "whom" here because it refers to a person, not a thing. I have left it as I found it. In casual, idiomatic English, of course, we usually use "that."
2. "Us" is the subject of, and "them" is a predicate noun after the verbal (infinitive) "to be." Because the subject of the infinitive is in the objective case, so is the predicate noun. The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "took."
3. The verbal (infinitive) "to see" functions as the direct object of "desired." Note that if a subordinating conjunction were used within this clause, it would be in the objective case because it would be the direct object of "to see" -- "Was it we *whom* you desired to see, or she?"
4. "You" and "us" are subjects of the infinitive "to vote," and subjects of infinitives are in objective case -- "We asked him to go with us." The infinitive phrase is the direct object of "may permit."
5. Prescriptive grammarians claim that this should be "as he," because they see it as an ellipsed subordinate clause -- "as he *is old*." Common usage, however, often treats this as a prepositional phrase -- "as him." In either case, the "as" construction modifies the first "as." (See also Note 6.)
6. In this sentence, the choice of "I" or "me" affects meaning: "She likes the story as well as I *like the story*" or "She likes the story as well as *she likes* me." The latter would be somewhat strange. A better example is one for which I have been criticized, but one which came from a student -- "No one can train a horse better than (I or me)." In this case, the "me," which is what the student wrote, makes sense, but was probably not what the student meant. Hence our need to teach this distinction. Note how in sentence # 7, both options make sense, but they have very different meanings.
7.  "She" is a predicate noun after the infinitive "to be." But unlike sentence # 6, in this case the antecedent of "she" is the subject ("you") of the finite verb. Thus this predicate noun is in the nominative case.