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I pity those who lost their money in gambling.

I pity them who lost their money on gambling.

I know the first one is correct, but I think there is nothing wrong grammatically with the second sentence. Am I wrong somewhere?

  • 1
    You are right. Modern English will accommodate the second version with "them", while I personally would never use it. – doc Jul 10 '14 at 20:18
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"I pity those who lost their money in gambling."

This is correct.

"I know the first one is correct, but I think there is nothing wrong grammatically with the second sentence."

I'm assuming you are a learner of English. You'll not have heard the second sentence used, so a general rule is: Don't use it. Even saying it once is slightly contaminating your understanding with an error you will have to practice to unlearn.


Aside: If as a learner you see the entire English language left to learn as a pile of coal in front of you which you have to shift, it's enormous - and there's in all of us a temptation to find a certain number of general rules so as to reduce this down to a smaller number. I say, resist this urge: not only ie English firstly too irregular for regular rules to help much; but secondly you'll learn the expressions along the way as you practice - and thirdly, Looking for rules is wasting valuable time when you could be speaking reams of English!

  • fabulous comment in bold there! – Alan Carmack Jun 19 '16 at 15:10
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"Them," combined with the "who," has to be used with a preposition like "to," "from," or "with."

"I pity them," by itself, is a grammatically correct sentence, but when you connect the dependent clause with "who," it is no longer correct.

  • Can you please tell me the rules where to add dependent clause with pronouns and where we can't? Thanks a lot. – Man_From_India Jul 17 '14 at 4:08

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