“It is him”. Right or wrong?

Wrong. I imagine that you may have heard this sentence many times from native English speakers. The correct version is “it is he”.

“He” is a subject pronoun so it is correct here since it is the subject of ‘is’. “Him” is an object pronoun. Personal pronouns (I, you, we, they, he, and she) take the nominative (nominativo) form as they are the subject of the sentence. So it is in Spanish too.

In the same way “it is her” is wrong and “it is she” is correct.

In Spanish you would say “es él”. Would you say “es le”? No, definitely not. Even to my student Spanish ears, “es le” sounds horrible. “Him”, “them”, “us” and “her”, for example, are object pronouns.

  • I gave the Rolex to him
  • Mr. Rajoy bought them champagne.

So why do many English speakers make this basic mistake? Here are three reasons: careless and unthinking minds (mentes irreflexivos), lack of sufficient emphasis on grammar in British schools, bad habits that go uncorrected (sin corregir).