Here's the full sentence:

Sarah was upset that someone other than they two knew where the treasure was.

I don't even know how to phrase this question, but the phrase in italic sounds wrong and I don't know what it is that is wrong. I've tried to enter this phrase into Google and noting pops up to kind of direct my research. Is this correct, and if it isn't, what's the best way to rewrite this sentence?

  • 3
    “Those two” would be good.
    – Xanne
    May 19, 2021 at 19:18
  • 2
    @Xanne The intention is to create a reflexive; Sarah was upset that she and the other person were not the only ones with the said information.
    – user191110
    May 19, 2021 at 19:30
  • It's a bit old fashioned, that's all, and maybe a bit literary, but no harm in that. "“If they two are in heaven?” Quick was the little Maid's reply,. “O Master! we are seven.” “But they are dead; those two are dead! Their spirits are in heaven!” - We are Seven (poem, 1798) by William Wordsworth May 19, 2021 at 20:33
  • We too are one was considered a viable punning album title in the 1980s by the Eurythmics. May 19, 2021 at 20:36
  • 2
    Sarah was upset that someone else knew where the treasure was. May 19, 2021 at 21:03

4 Answers 4


It is not grammatically wrong, but it is rather awkward. I think most native speakers would say something like

Sarah was upset that someone other than the two of them knew where the treasure was

  • You've just duplicated what the other answer has already suggested, except with less explanation.
    – ColleenV
    May 27, 2021 at 19:37
  • Thank you, @ColleenV, that is very helpful. May 27, 2021 at 20:10
  • Well I thought it was more helpful than downvoting without comment. What is the point of repeating exactly what someone else has already answered?
    – ColleenV
    May 27, 2021 at 20:27
  • Also "other than them two" when spoken would definitely sound correct to a native speaker, which is the ultimate test of grammatical correctness. "They two" in the original sounds wrong and would indicate to me a non-native speaker (written or spoken) even if it may be correct according to grammatical rules. Sep 7, 2023 at 0:15

"Other than they two" seems to be idiomatic enough. (examples)

However, the suggestion that has been made in the comments (those two) does not appear to have the quality of being the perfectly neutral wording that appears to be needed. I'd suggest something else: "other than the two of them".

  • Sarah was upset that someone other than the two of them knew where the treasure was.

(ref.) Deborah Cooke — 'Were there any Pyr in DC other than the two of them? No! It couldn't be! Raffery spun again, but Thorolf was keeping a wary distance.

  • "not found in the books"? I easily found dozens of written instances. Sep 6, 2023 at 10:28
  • @FumbleFingers Not quite two dozens (19 instances), but that is quite enough; moreover there are the cases of the variant "other than us two" which confirm the general form. I see my error now: my research was restrictive beyond what common sense asked for; "someone" should not have been included; that is why I had no results.
    – LPH
    Sep 6, 2023 at 12:43
  • Strictly speaking, other than us two is the "informal, colloquial" version of other than we two, so it's no surprise Google Books reports more matches for the "correct" form in published written contexts. Myself, I wouldn't hesitate to say Other than them two... in informal spoken contexts, but Other than they two... definitely doesn't occur that often, even though it's syntactically unexceptional. Sep 6, 2023 at 19:31
  • @FumbleFingers I suppose that you consider "us" informal in the context of subject case, as in the OP's sentence. As I see this point of grammar, if the pronoun is the complement of a preposition (with) or an object, "us" would be the proper form. That is, as applied to the first two cases of the page you mention ("About how difficult it's going to be to have any sort of permanent relationship with people other than us three.”, "No words have been said here that anyone, other than us three, can understand."), "us" is only colloquial in the second one, where the subject case points to "we".
    – LPH
    Sep 6, 2023 at 20:21
  • I didn't think of it at the time, but yes - you're quite right about the different subject/object contexts. Sep 7, 2023 at 10:16

Another idiomatic version would be someone other than them although in many prescriptive grammars that would be flagged as incorrect and it would be asserted that a subject-case (nominative) is required.


I would recommend the demonstrative pronoun those or these:

someone other than those two

These are closer than those, physically or in your mind. “These two” implies that they are the same people you were thinking about immediately before you said that, or that they are right there.

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