He is taller than I. VS He is taller than me.

When I was young and studying English at school, my teacher told me that
‘‘He is taller than I.’’ was correct and ‘‘He is taller than me’’. was incorrect.

Cuz it means, He is tall and I am tall, so when comparing two and if he is the one
who is taller than you, the sentence should be the first one.
(He is taller than I (am tall)).

But nowadays, I see and hear the second one rather than the first one.

Can anybody explain about these two?

Do you native speakers use both of them?

If both are correct (usable), what are the differences?

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, Waffle:

I am a very old man (76 years old). So the only correct answer for me is “You are taller than I” or “You are taller than I am.”

BUT the answer to your question is Y - E - S!

In fact, I have NO doubt that MOST Americans now say “You are taller than me.”

The explanation is that many English speakers now feel that “than” is sometimes a preposition.


  1. On tests, make your teacher happy by saying “than I (am).”

  2. If you are going to the university, I think that it would a good idea to use “than I (am).” It will show that you know the “rules.”

  3. But when you speak in everyday life, you might think about using “than me.”

a. Many people actually think that “than me” is “correct” English and that “than I” is “bad” English! (I am not joking.)


P.S. If you are a male, there might be another good reason to say
“than me.” If you said “than I,” some (many?) young males might think that you are “strange.” In other words, tough (masculine) dudes do not say “than I.”

As James said, ‘He is taller than me’ is definitely correct and ‘He is taller than I’ sounds and looks rather outdated. By the way, what is ‘cuz’ – do you mean to say ‘because’?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Moving an airplane[YSaerTTEW443543]

Thanks for your quick reply, James.

Your reply is exactly what I wanted to know.

The usage of language may change as the time passes by and
I think that we have to recognize and get used to it.

But I needed to know the correct one.
Cuz it made me confused.

Yes, Waffle, you are correct: Language does change, and we have to change along with it.

But since I’m an old man, I refuse to accept some changes.

For example, I absolutely refuse to say: Everyone should bring THEIR book. (Ugh!)

But I NO LONGER say “Everyone should bring HIS book.” (I do not have the courage to upset the ladies.) So I force myself to say “Everyone should bring his or her book.”

By the way, did you read the P.S. that I added LATER to my first post? If you are a dude, it might be important information for you.


Oh…don’t you use ‘‘cuz’’ as an abbrevation of ‘‘because’’ or are you joking??

Also, Torsten, if you give a test regarding this, will the correct answer be ‘‘than I’’ or ‘‘than me’’?
in a grammatical point.

But anyway, I try to use ‘‘than me’’ rather than ‘‘than I’’ in my daily life.
Because I do not want to be left behind the time.

Sorry, but I am on board the “their” train. I know it doesn’t make much sense grammatically, but it is so much easier than saying “his or her”. Remember, something like this happened once before when the plural “you” replaced the singular “thee” and “thou”, or do you still use those too? :wink: - just kidding!

Of course, now we have to use work-arounds like “y’all” or “you guys”, so maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

I think saying ‘their’ instead of ‘his’ or ‘her’ is pretty much the standard nowadays.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: People gathered[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi again, James.

I am not a dude but thanks for an interesting information.
Knowing extra information besides an original question is always welcome.

And, I didn’t konw the expression ‘‘Everyone should bring their book.’’ until you mention here.
(I tend to say ‘‘Everyone should bring his or her book.’’ too.)

Also, I know that some people refused to use some new usage.
(I do not think that it’s just because you are old but because of other reasons as well:
For instance, the usage does not sound elegant or appropriate, etc.)

Hi James,

You keep going on about being an ‘old man’ but I am older than you. I am quite happy to say:You are younger than me and also that everyone should say what they like and make their own choice! The his/her contortions are an abomination, I believe.


Though using ‘‘his or her’’ myself, I always wondered that how come people use this expression.
Kind of relief to find a shorter expression.
(But guess it takes a while to get used to this: it may automatically come out from my mouth, I think.

For me, “everyone should bring their book” is noticeably worse than “everyone should say what they like” because of the problem with “their book”.

I find nothing wrong with ‘everyone should bring their book’ because the meaning is clear.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Fixing a car[YSaerTTEW443543]

Please take a look at my view at:
english-test.net/forum/sutra … tml#536105

Hi, Anglophile.

Your post somehow reminds me of our language-kanji, hiragana and katakana:
''When they were first developed, hiragana were not accepted by everyone.
The educated or elites preferred to use only the kanji system. ‘’
(quoted from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiragana#History)
In every language, the change of usage(meaning) of the( word, idiom or )expressions seems to go through a road like this, I guess.

I apologize, Waffle.

(I have heard that some young Americans also use the word “dude” to refer to females, too. Not sure, though.)


Hello, Luschen:

Would that I could!

And is there any chance of returning to -th, as in:

“He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city.”

(So much more beautiful than “ruleS” or “takeS”!)


P.S. I remember reading some expert’s opinion that English is a masculine language. So I guess that the “s” ending is more macho than “th.”

Hi James,

Next you’ll be saying: He/she that …his/her …

Thank you, Alan, for giving me the courage to do just that.

From now one, I am opting for “Everyone should bring HIS book.”

(Of course, since I am retired, I can afford to be “courageous.”

If I were still working, my boss would warn me not to offend other

employees by using that pronoun in the year of 2013.)


P.S. I agree with many of the other posters that “their” is becoming standard. (“His or her” is too long and downright silly. It seems too obvious an attempt to show equality.)

From that very informative exchange, I gained that English could be as much about opinion as it is about grammar.
To James’ “He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city” I would add, “Cometh the hour…”

"Offence is so easily given. And where the ‘minority’ issue is involved, the rules seem to shift about: most of the time a person who is female/black/disabled/gay wants this not to be their defining characteristic; you are supposed to be blind to it. But then, on other occasions, you are supposed to observe special sensitivity, or show special respect.”
–Doesn’t that remind you what we’re locking horns on…dudes?