Saturday, November 18, 2006

He and him.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Have you ever wondered whats the difference between the words ‘him’ and ‘he’?

They both have the same meaning right?

He and him are both pronouns that are used when referring to a male person in the third person.

So when do we use he and when do we use him?


Ali is a 13-year old student. He likes mathematics. His mathematics teacher thinks very highly of him. But his friends, being the malays that they are, are uneasy about this and they systematically bully Ali every day after school. They kick him. They punch him. They even spit on him. Oh Ali, how sad of you to be bullied everyday.

He likes mathematics.

Why is he used here and not him?

They kick him.

Why is him used here and not he?

IF you observed the sentences above, you will realise that in the first case, he is used because we are describing Ali in a so called nominative case, meaning Ali is not the object of a verb,

In the second case, him is used because Ali is the object of the verb kick. Therefore we use the word him instead of he.

So when describing a male in 3rd person without him being the subject to any verb, we use he and whenever that person is on the receiving end of a verb, we use him instead.

Now that we know the difference of he and him, we should also know the difference between who and whom where in this case, whom is used when the person is on the receiving end of a verb.

Allah knows best.

Disclaimer: I am neither an English native speaker nor a qualified English teacher.