In this question, in one of the comment threads the following was stated

Tom is taller than me" or "Tom is taller than I am" — both are correct. "Tom is taller than I" is WRONG` (link)

Which I'd agree with. This comment is disputed with

That is very arguable. More used? Definitely. Wrong? Not if you consider "than" as being a conjunction, in which case the last part of the phrase "Tom is taller than I [am tall]" is elided.

So is it really grammatically acceptable to use the following?

Tom is taller than I


3 Answers 3


If I is some physical unit, variable, or measure, it might - or might not - be correct. Grammatically, you have to use an object pronoun. me, you, him, etc. This is quite standard, me thinks.

But have a look at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/than-i-versus-than-me

  • Do you mean I as meaning iodine, for instance? Grammatically, any common or proper noun can be the object; it only matters for pronouns.
    – jimsug
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 18:20
  • I enjoyed the linked article particularly and I fall definitely into the Conjunctionist group.. the semantic distinction between "Aardvark likes Squiggly more than I/me" is useful and intuitive I find.. Nice to now be able to make a grammatical argument for it.
    – Voo
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 21:39
  • Excellent source, but from that article I would conclude that both "Tom is taller than me" and "Tom is taller than I" are correct, with the latter being slightly preferable. Commented May 18, 2014 at 0:36
  • @Voo From a logical point of view, it makes perfect sense, to use the same pronoun, whether the whole sentence is spoken or whether 'am (tall)' is only muttered, swallowed or whatever. But Grammar has a lot to to with how a language is generally used.
    – NoEscape
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 6:56
  • Even 'Me thinks' might become correct again someday...
    – NoEscape
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 7:01

If than is a conjunction, use than I. If it's a preposition, use than me. The less formal, but common one is than me, and the more formal is than I which means than I am tall.


"Tom is taller than I" is traditionally considered correct according to prescriptive grammar. Because of this, I don't think it would generally be considered wrong by educated individuals, although you're free to have the opinion that it's wrong. It's certainly not what comes naturally to most English speakers (possibly not what comes naturally to any of them), and it tends to sound pretentious/stuffy.

There's a good summary at the following ELU question: I can run faster than _____. (1) him (2) he?

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