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# No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

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No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 19 Dec 2018, 23:24
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No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

A. him could have told them that the thief was I

B. he could have told them that the thief was I

C. he could have told them that the thief was me

D. him could have told them that the thief was me

E. he could have told them the thief was me

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Originally posted by summer101 on 27 Mar 2013, 07:09.
Last edited by Bunuel on 19 Dec 2018, 23:24, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2016, 17:16
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No one but him could have told them that the thief was I.

The first pronoun --- he or him?:
‘No one’ is joined with ‘him’ by a ‘but’, a coordinating conjunction. ‘But’ is supposed to join equal things. ‘No one’ is a subject pronoun and hence, we need a subject pronoun again. ‘Him’ is an object pronoun, unsuitable for the context, hence, no one but he is the correct version.

Second pronoun: I or me?: That introduces a subordinate clause and its subject is the thief.

Exchange the subject ‘thief’ with ‘me’ and ‘I’ individually. The two sentences are 1. That ‘me’ was the thief and 2. ‘I’ was the thief. One can see that me was the thief does not fit in. I was the thief is better. So the thief was I is the correct expression.

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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2014, 22:53
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This is something I found scavenging the forum:

Rules of subjective/objective pronoun:
1. If the pronoun is the subject of a sentence/clause, used the subjective form; if its the object, used the objective form.
2. A pronoun that immediately follows a derivate of "to be", such as is, are, was and were, should always be subjective.
3. If a pronoun is the object of a verb or a preposition, then the pronoun needs to be in objective form.
4. Special cases -
If a pronoun immediately follows "but", "except" it should always be objective.

So going by the rules:

Q. No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

A. him could have told them that the thief was I
B. he could have told them that the thief was I
C. he could have told them that the thief was me
D. him could have told them that the thief was me
E. he could have told them the thief was me

I think 'HIM' (Objective form) is necessary as it follows a preposition
& 'I' (Subjective form) is necessary after was.

So it should be A- No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

Test of interchangeability fails here ( As Daagh said)..

I cleared the exam but he failed
I cleared the exam but him failed

According to 4 rule the second option is the correct one
I doubt the validity of these rules.Can any expert validate this question (Souce: Barrons) & the rules.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2013, 07:40
1
after 10 sec i clicked on C and was shocked to see the answer A . my take will still be C .A is outright wrong !!
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2013, 08:16
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Sorry! No to OA. No one but him is wrong. We need a subject case - he- there and not an object case - him-. i.e., no one but ‘he’. But second example, whether me or I, is tricky. For this we need to run the interchangeability test and see if the choices make sense.

No one (but him} could have told them that the thief was I
Him (but no one) could have told them that the thief was I
You can see the absurdity of the second sentence. He cannot be a subject.

But in the second case, You may freely interchange the thief for I
You can say the thief was I or I was the thief. So it is ok to keep it as such.
So which will be the choice that upholds both stances? May be B I suppose
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2013, 09:35
IMO, A is wrong one.
For I and Me, i would go for ME, so C should be the right one.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2013, 11:38
No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

I chose answer C and shocked that OA is A,I am wondering weather A is the answer ..please explain
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I consider option A first and found these things wrong
him could have told them -----> who is the subject and who is the object ( ?) ,.

I was confused between B and C
the same point :- should I go with B or C;
then I thought who was the thief ; active voice :- I was that ,passive voice that was me, so thief was me ,never heard it was I ...
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Please correct me if I am wrong
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2014, 14:52
daagh wrote:
Sorry! No to OA. No one but him is wrong. We need a subject case - he- there and not an object case - him-. i.e., no one but ‘he’. But second example, whether me or I, is tricky. For this we need to run the interchangeability test and see if the choices make sense.

No one (but him} could have told them that the thief was I
Him (but no one) could have told them that the thief was I
You can see the absurdity of the second sentence. He cannot be a subject.

But in the second case, You may freely interchange the thief for I
You can say the thief was I or I was the thief. So it is ok to keep it as such.
So which will be the choice that upholds both stances? May be B I suppose

Daagh what's up with this one bud? I too thought the answer was B
Thanks!
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2014, 04:04
Barrons = Gmat as Michael Jordan = Football NFL

Do not waste your time with these sources. Pick up a Aristotle SC guide and move on
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2014, 05:22
Even I picked B.
I have also Barrons 2009 edition but never turned a single page of that book.
I think now I should skim through it at least once.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2014, 10:39
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summer101 wrote:
Q. No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

A. him could have told them that the thief was I
B. he could have told them that the thief was I
C. he could have told them that the thief was me
D. him could have told them that the thief was me
E. he could have told them the thief was me

NOTE: EXCEPT, BUT, BETWEEN AND ANY PREPOSITION IS ALWAYS FOLLOWED BY OBJECT PRONOUN........HIM, THEM, ME, ETC
EXAMPLE--- except me, but me, between him and me, over me...............etc

HERE-------

No one but him could have told them that the thief was I
HENCE "HIM" CORRECT....no one BUT him........correct

also....the second part.......SINCE " I WAS THE THIEF"........hence " the thief was i " is correct.....

CORRECT ANS = "A".......

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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2014, 10:46
semwal wrote:
summer101 wrote:
Q. No one but him could have told them that the thief was I

A. him could have told them that the thief was I
B. he could have told them that the thief was I
C. he could have told them that the thief was me
D. him could have told them that the thief was me
E. he could have told them the thief was me

NOTE: EXCEPT, BUT, BETWEEN AND ANY PREPOSITION IS ALWAYS FOLLOWED BY OBJECT PRONOUN........HIM, THEM, ME, ETC
EXAMPLE--- except me, but me, between him and me, over me...............etc

HERE-------

No one but him could have told them that the thief was I
HENCE "HIM" CORRECT....no one BUT him........correct

also....the second part.......SINCE " I WAS THE THIEF"........hence " the thief was i " is correct.....

CORRECT ANS = "A".......

Hi Semwal,

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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2014, 11:33
http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/ ... sition.htm
https://www.boundless.com/writing/style ... oun-cases/
I found some relevant information on above links.

Subject Pronoun:------------------ Object Pronoun
I -------------------------------------- me
we ------------------------------------ us
you ----------------------------------- you
he, she, it --------------------------- him, her, it
they ---------------------------------- them
who ---------------------------------- whom
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2014, 00:10
Just went through all the links...A is the answer if we go by the rules..But it contradicts the very logical interchangeability rule as pointed out by daagh..

@ Piyush K..Did you find any contradictions in the rules I found in the forum(Listed in the thread earlier)..coz I have not gone into the details of the links you posted..
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2014, 12:54
JusTLucK04 wrote:
Just went through all the links...A is the answer if we go by the rules..But it contradicts the very logical interchangeability rule as pointed out by daagh..

@ Piyush K..Did you find any contradictions in the rules I found in the forum(Listed in the thread earlier)..coz I have not gone into the details of the links you posted..

Rules you presented are in line to the explanation given in above links.
I think some expert should help further to differentiate between logical interchangeability and rules.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2014, 21:58
HIM cannot be because it should be subject so HE is splitting, eliminate A,D. ME cannot be in the end because again it should be subject, so I is another splitting. The only choice is B
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2014, 01:18
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/sc- ... t5294.html
here is another explanation in favor of C.

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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2014, 08:04
I chose E. For those that chose option C, why did you discount E? Why is that required?
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2015, 09:01
One more reason, why I am unable to gulp this topic is that GMAC wouldn’t like to embroil in a controversy of using ‘but’ as a preposition rather than as a conjunction. Remember the unceremonious way in which GMAC dumped the use of ‘that and which’? It has made it clear it wouldn’t base any question solely on the use of these relative pronouns.

The crux of the question is whether we can use an object pronoun such as him or her to act as a subject? Look at this example
No one but him could have known it. Let's now try these words as individual subjects
No one could have known it
Him could have known it

Does the second sentence have the correct meaning or structure?
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I  [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2015, 02:10

If we totally neglect the option "A" then Discussion remains with B & C.

I think use of "I" is correct because "I" & "The thief" can take the position of each other without changing the meaning.
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Re: No one but him could have told them that the thief was I   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2015, 02:10

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