Harry Potter fans might answer this clearly as all characters in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series say ‘It is I’ – something my linguistic mind always stumbles over for a brief second when reading it. A student in one of my classes also recently asked about this.
Modern English does not have a case system, like e.g. German. The functions of subject and object in a sentence are determined by word order. Thus in the sentence – The cat is chasing the dog – who chases who(m) is clearly determined by the position of the two noun phrases ‘the cat’ and ‘the dog’. If I change the position of the noun phrases and say – The dog is chasing the cat – the situation changes dramatically from the perspective of the cat.
In German, e.g., which has a case system, we could have something like Den Hund jagte die Katze. The subject would be the cat even though Continue reading