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Sentence:

"She is richer than I."

Task:

"Change sentence into negative without change of sense of the sentence

My attempt:

  1. "She is not poorer than I."

  2. "I am not richer than her."

My query:

Which of my attempts is grammatically correct and why? Is there another sentence also which satisfies the requirements as an answer? Please explain.

Thank you.

  • Did you make this sentence up? (I would word these sentences as "...than me", not "...than I"). – J.R. Feb 8 '14 at 13:19
  • @J.R. Even I would word this sentence "than me". However, my teacher gave this sentence from a book (no idea which book). But I would welcome your thoughts. – Gaurang Tandon Feb 8 '14 at 13:57
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    Strict rules encourage the use of "I" and "she" in these situations. "I am not richer than she (is)". "She is not poorer than I (am)". Both of your sentences seem fine, but only in the context of a grammar exercise, since a positive verb structure is generally preferred. – JMB Feb 8 '14 at 14:44
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    "Strict rules" require no such thing. Don't confuse hyper-formality with correctness. – snailcar Feb 8 '14 at 16:56
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    You can avoid both the hyper-formal and the (some would say too) colloquial simply by tacking a verb onto the end: He is no richer than I am. She runs much faster than he does. They are no closer to finishing than we are. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 29 '15 at 19:05
1

Your two sentences cover the two cases of using negation to say the same thing.

In colloquial American English, you will encounter "She is not poorer than me" or "I am not richer than her." You will also encounter the more grammatically correct "She is not poorer than I" or "I am not richer than she." In these cases, speakers will often also add the correct form of the verb "to be" to the end of the sentence, since English speakers have become uncomfortable with pronouns at the end of a sentence, so "She is not poorer than I am" or "I am not richer than she is."

I bring up the issue of pronoun discomfort because American English speakers now overcorrect usage of "I" vs. "me" in many situations. In positions where "me" should be used, e.g., as the object of a preposition, English speakers will use "I" instead as an attempt to sound grammatically correct. This has become so pervasive that one can assume it will eventually "become" grammatical. See the Wikipedia article on hypercorrection for more details.

You will not be misunderstood if you use either pronoun variant in these example sentences.

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