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The next events passed in the darkness behind her eyelids. Eri letting go of the barrier and leaning forward. Her/She being shoved violently backward. Her/She tumbling down, ending face up on the floor.

Is she or her the correct word? Why?

  • @P.E.Dant Wow, this is a surprise. I really thought one of the options was ungrammatical. – alex Jun 23 '17 at 18:14
  • @P.E.Dant I agree. I just thought there was a big difference between her and she. Even in creative writing. Maybe I'm wrong? – alex Jun 23 '17 at 18:23
  • @P.E.Dant Hmm, just because something is fiction doesn't mean all rules of grammar go out the window and any random string of words is acceptable. Fiction should be coherent just like non-fiction. – Jay Jun 23 '17 at 18:23
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    Fluent speakers say "her" and not "she". I'm writing this as a comment and not an answer because I can't think of an explanation why. :-) – Jay Jun 23 '17 at 18:24
  • @P.E.Dant Sentence fragments can be coherent, even though they are not grammatically correct. But this has nothing to do with it being fiction. A technical manual might include sentence fragments too. I wouldn't be surprised to read, "Check that all connections are secure. Especially the main power connection. And the safety switch." – Jay Jun 23 '17 at 18:33
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I would suggest the following revision. Note: I'm making some assumptions that might be incorrect based on context. It sounds like someone shoved her over a railing of some sort?

The next events passed into the darkness behind her eyelids. Eri let go of the barrier, leaned forward and was shoved violently backward. She tumbled down, ending face up on the floor.

or

The next events passed into the darkness behind her eyelids. Eri let go of the barrier and leaned forward. She was then shoved violently backward. She tumbled down, ending face up on the floor.

She is used when it's the subject of a sentence. Her is when it's the object of a sentence, or possessive.

Subject: She did something.

Object: Something was done to her.

Possessive: Her dog is small.

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