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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?

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    You are right. Modern English will accommodate the second version with "them", while I personally would never use it.
    – doc
    Jul 10, 2014 at 20:18

3 Answers 3

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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!

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  • fabulous comment in bold there! Jun 19, 2016 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.

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  • Can you please tell me the rules where to add dependent clause with pronouns and where we can't? Thanks a lot. Jul 17, 2014 at 4:08
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Correct for plural: I pity those who lost their money in gambling.

Correct for singular: I pity them who lost their money on gambling.

"Them" here is replacing "he/her" within an inclusive usage of the language. It is not only correct, but also the way language is evolving (and you want to speak present English ;)

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