We are looking for such a manager as ______

The given answer is he

Why is a subject pronoun used here? Is this because of the presence of "such.....as"?

  • 1
    This is indeed an established usage, (one such as he is) but it sounds very stilted and old-fashioned. It would be more idiomatic to say 'a manager like him'. Jul 28 at 9:52
  • What is the source (I think I can guess, I recognise the tiger by its claw)
    – James K
    Jul 28 at 10:14
  • 1
    The cited text is a dated / poetic construction - which most native Anglophones aren't that familiar with, so many will vacillate between such a man as he and such a man as him (grammarians today will sneer at that second version, but it was far from unknown a couple of centuries ago). My advice to learners here is to leave all that stuff in the past where it belongs. Today, you should just be looking for a manager like him. Jul 28 at 12:07

Because Latin and ellipsis.

The sentence given can be understood as the a conjunction linking to a clause

We are looking for such a manager as he is a manager.

As "he" is the subject of this clause, it can't be "him".

And then the predicate in that subclause is omitted and you are left with

Such a manager as he.

This would be the logic in a carefully cased language like Latin. Note a similar argument can be made for

John is tall, but the tree is taller than he.

Which, indeed, is the form that grammar books based on Latin would insist on.

But English isn't Latin, and in English it would be more normal to say

The tree is taller than him.

We are looking for such a manager as him.

Actually that's not true. In English one wouldn't say anything like that, instead you would say

He is the kind of manager that we're looking for.

In other words, don't use the grammar book, it is probably one of those written in the 1930s for the education of boys in the colonies. English has changed and our understanding of English has changed since then.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .