“This Is She” Or “This Is Her”? Here’s How to Answer The Phone

Marcus Froland

Picture this: the phone rings, and you pick it up. It’s your friend asking for you. Now, how do you respond? Do you say “This is she” or “This is her”? English can be tricky, with its rules that sometimes don’t seem to make sense. And when it comes to speaking on the phone, we all want to sound like we know what we’re doing.

In today’s world, making a good impression over the phone is just as important as in person. The words we choose can say a lot about us. So, picking the right pronoun isn’t just about grammar; it’s about presenting yourself confidently. But don’t worry if you’re not sure which phrase to use—you’re not alone. Many people stumble over this very question. And by the end of this article, you’ll have your answer.

When answering the phone and referring to yourself, the correct way to say it is “This is she”. This might sound a bit formal or old-fashioned to some. However, grammatically speaking, “she” is the subject pronoun that matches the implied subject of the sentence (in this case, “this” refers to “I”). So, when someone asks for you on the phone and you respond with “This is she”, you’re correctly identifying yourself. On the other hand, “This is her” uses an object pronoun “her”, which doesn’t fit this context because you are talking about yourself as the subject. To keep it simple, use “This is she” when you want to be grammatically correct in formal situations.

Understanding Pronouns Over the Phone: The Basics

Pronoun usage in phone conversations is a key aspect of English grammar. The basic rule denotes “she” as a nominative pronoun that should follow the linking verb “is” in the context of a phone conversation when confirming one’s identity. Conversely, “her” represents an objective pronoun usually not used in this structure. As language evolves, both “this is she” and “this is her” are heard in conversations; however, “this is she” aligns with traditional grammar rules and is considered to be the grammatically correct phrase to signify one’s presence over the phone.

To better understand how pronouns over the phone should be used, it is important to become familiar with nominative and objective pronouns. Here is a brief breakdown of their differences:

Nominative Pronouns Objective Pronouns
I, we, she, he, they me, us, her, him, them

Nominative pronouns are generally used as the subjects of verbs, while objective pronouns function as the objects of verbs, as well as those of prepositions. When it comes to phone conversation grammar, understanding the correct pronoun use is essential.

“Is this Jennifer?”
“This is she.”

In the example above, the person answering the phone uses the nominative pronoun “she” after the linking verb “is” to correctly identify themselves.

Consider the importance of these rules when participating in phone conversations. By understanding the proper use of pronouns, you can ensure clear, effective communication and minimize confusion. As language continues to evolve, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest grammar trends and practices to maintain accurate, engaging dialogue over the phone.

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Adapting to Language Evolution

While “this is she” remains the grammatically correct way to respond during a phone conversation, it is not uncommon to hear “this is her” used informally. Language evolves over time, and this adaptation may eventually become more accepted. For now, however, it is important to adhere to traditional grammar rules in professional and formal settings to demonstrate your command of the language and to ensure effective communication.

  1. Be aware of the difference between nominative and objective pronouns.
  2. Use nominative pronouns after linking verbs in phone conversations.
  3. Stay informed about language evolution and changes in grammar rules.

By understanding pronouns over the phone and the basics of phone conversation grammar, you can maintain clear, professional, and effective communication in various situations.

Breaking Down the Grammar: Linking Verbs and Pronoun Cases

In order to answer the phone correctly, understanding the roles of linking verbs, specifically is, and the grammatical cases of pronouns is essential. The choice between “This is she” and “This is her” owes much to the function of “is” as a linking verb, along with the proper selection of nominative or objective pronouns.

The Role of ‘Is’ as a Linking Verb

Linking verbs connect a subject and a subject complement, which often denotes a predicate nominative. Essentially, the predicate nominative mirrors the subject by being a nominative case itself, making them grammatically equivalent. “Is” acts as a key linking verb, linking this to additional information, like a pronoun. Unlike action verbs, linking verbs such as “is” and “are” do not express actions; rather, they simply provide descriptive or informative links between components of a sentence.

Nominative vs. Objective Pronouns after Linking Verbs

Following a linking verb, a nominative pronoun is necessary. Examples of nominative pronouns include “she,” “he,” and “I,” all of which function as either subjects or subject complements.

Nominative pronouns: I, you, he, she, it, we, they

Objective pronouns like “her,” “him,” and “me” serve as objects of verbs or prepositions.

Objective pronouns: me, you, him, her, it, us, them

In the context of answering the phone, when someone asks to speak with you, the verb “is” requires the nominative pronoun “she” after it. The use of “her” in “This is her” is considered grammatically incorrect, as an objective pronoun is inappropriate in this situation. In the interest of adhering to proper grammar, the correct response should be “This is she.”

Understanding how linking verbs and pronoun cases work together is crucial in determining the appropriate response and maintaining proper phone etiquette. Recognizing the role of “is” and selecting the right pronoun ensures a grammatically correct and professional response in phone conversations.

Formal vs. Informal Scenarios: When to Use Which

Context plays a critical role in determining whether to use formal language or engage in an informal conversation. Particularly in telephone conversations, understanding the communication context can help you choose the correct response that either adheres to proper telephone language etiquette or showcases flexibility in casual settings.

When you’re in a business or academic setting, opting for proper grammar demonstrates professionalism and knowledge of appropriate linguistic form. In these contexts, responding with “This is she” is more suitable:

Recruiter: “May I please speak to Maria Johnson?”
Maria: “This is she.”

In contrast, when you engage in informal conversations with friends, family, or acquaintances, the use of “This is her” is generally accepted as it highlights the flexibility of language in casual scenarios:

Friend: “Hey, is this Maria?”
Maria: “This is her.”

It’s essential to understand the context of the conversation, as it helps you make an informed decision about the appropriate form to use. The table below summarizes different communication contexts and the recommended response:

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Communication Context Recommended Response
Formal Business Phone Call “This is she”
Academic Setting “This is she”
Informal Conversation with Friends or Family “This is her”
Less Formal Phone Conversation “This is her”

As you navigate various communication contexts, always remember to pay attention to the setting and participants involved. Doing so will enable you to maintain proper telephone language etiquette and adapt your responses accordingly, whether they demand formal language or allow for informal conversation.

Common Misconceptions and How to Avoid Them

Common misconceptions in language often stem from conventional speech patterns, everyday grammar, and circulation of English language myths. One such myth is the phrasing “This is her,” which, although widely used, does not adhere to traditional grammatical rules.

The Influence of Conventional Speech Patterns

Conventional speech significantly influences the choice of pronouns, potentially leading to the informal usage of objective pronouns like “her” in sentences that grammatically require nominative pronouns, such as “she.” To avoid these common grammar mistakes, consider the following strategies:

  1. Review grammar rules: Refreshing your understanding of grammar rules can help clarify misconceptions and improve your language usage.
  2. Stick to formal language in formal contexts: Using the correct form, “This is she,” in formal settings ensures professionalism and adherence to traditional linguistic norms.
  3. Be mindful of language evolution: Acknowledging language change can help you adapt your communication to different contexts while still maintaining a strong foundation in standard English grammar.

Language is an ever-evolving tool and understanding that change will help you balance standard rules with everyday usage in various contexts.

To further illustrate the influence of conventional speech patterns on common misconceptions, take a look at the table below:

Incorrect Usage Correct Usage Explanation
This is her This is she “She” is the nominative pronoun, which is required after a linking verb.
Between you and I Between you and me “Me” is the objective pronoun, which is needed in this prepositional phrase.
Who do you think you’re talking to? Whom do you think you’re talking to? “Whom” is the objective pronoun, which is needed as the object of a preposition.

Raising awareness of conventional speech patterns and their influence on common misconceptions can help avoid grammar mistakes and enhance your English language proficiency. By understanding and applying the appropriate grammatical rules in different contexts, you will not only improve your language use but also exhibit competence and professionalism when it matters most.

Perfecting Your Phone Etiquette: Advanced Tips and Tricks

Developing advanced phone etiquette requires awareness of both form and context. In formal settings, adhering to “This is she” showcases proficiency in standard language use. On the other hand, informal conversations allow for more flexibility. Establishing effective communication skills dependent on the situation helps improve overall phone etiquette. To master these phone conversation techniques, consider the following strategies:

  1. Analyze the context: Assess whether the call is professional or casual. In formal scenarios, opt for “This is she” to maintain professionalism. Allow for more relaxed language in informal exchanges.
  2. Alternative responses: In some cases, using “speaking” as a shorthand response could suffice, such as, “Jessica speaking.”
  3. Avoid extreme informality: Even in casual conversations, keep the dialogue respectful and considerate, striking a balance between ease and decorum.
  4. Reflect on first impressions: Contemplate the lasting impact your words leave on the listener. Always aim to create a positive, professional impression through impeccable phone manners.
  5. Practice makes perfect: Use practical examples and role-playing exercises to build and refine your phone etiquette skills.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Beyond perfecting pronunciation and grammar, it’s essential to employ advanced communication tips to establish a positive rapport with callers. The following techniques further refine communication skills over the phone:

  1. Active listening: Demonstrate genuine interest in the caller’s words by attentively listening and engaging in the conversation.
  2. Clarification: If any part of the conversation is unclear, politely seek clarification to avoid misunderstandings and build trust with the caller.
  3. Pacing: Speak at a comfortable pace that allows the caller to digest and understand the information being shared.
  4. Politeness: Always be courteous, respectful, and maintain an appropriate tone in all conversations.
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Achieving excellence in phone etiquette proves invaluable in personal and professional settings. Adhering to standard language norms, evaluating the context, and utilizing advanced communication techniques can significantly improve phone etiquette and elevate overall communication effectiveness. Practice, adapt, and embrace these strategies to make lasting, positive impressions in every phone conversation.

Conclusion: Embracing Correct Usage in Everyday Communication

Language is continually evolving, and the debate between “This is she” and “This is her” highlights the tension between following linguistic evolution and adhering to standard English. Language usage in everyday communication can be shaped by several factors, including context and personal preferences. However, understanding the correct grammar rules can empower you to communicate more effectively in various scenarios.

In professional or formal contexts, using traditional grammar by responding with “This is she” demonstrates your proficiency in standard English. On the other hand, adopting a more flexible and colloquial approach in informal settings can foster smoother interactions with friends, family, and acquaintances. Ultimately, by being aware of the appropriate language usage based on the context, you can substantially improve your everyday communication skills.

Linguistic evolution is an inevitable aspect of language, but adhering to grammar standards remains vital for clear and concise communication. By embracing correct usage while remaining adaptable in various situations, you can strike the perfect balance between linguistic development and upholding conventions. This approach will ultimately enrich your communication skills, enabling you to efficiently navigate both formal and informal exchanges in the future.

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