How to Answer the Phone: Choosing Between “This is She” and “This is Her”


Have you ever received a phone call and found yourself unsure of how to respond when asked for your identity? It’s a common situation that many of us have faced. The question at hand is whether to say, “This is she” or “This is her.” While it may seem like a trivial matter, using the correct phrase can leave a lasting impression. In this article, we will explore the grammatical rules behind these phrases and provide you with a clear understanding of which one to choose. So, the next time you answer the phone, you can do so confidently and professionally.

Understanding the Grammar

To understand the correct usage of “This is she” or “This is her,” we need to delve into the grammatical structure of the phrases. Let’s break it down step by step.

The Subject and Verb

In the sentence “This is she/her,” “This” is the subject, and “is” is the verb. However, it’s important to note that “is” is not just any verb; it is functioning as a linking verb. Linking verbs connect the subject of a sentence to an equivalent word in the sentence, a word of the same grammatical unit.

Nominative Pronoun vs. Objective Pronoun

Now comes the crucial decision of choosing between “she” and “her.” “She” is a nominative pronoun, which means it is used as a subject, while “her” is an objective pronoun, used as an object. To determine which pronoun to use, we need to consider the function it serves in the sentence.

Subject-Linking Verb-Subject

Since “is” is a linking verb, it connects two subjects. In this case, “this” is the subject, and we need another subject to follow the linking verb. Therefore, the correct choice is “she.” Using “her” would make the sentence grammatically incorrect.

An Alternative Perspective

To further solidify our understanding, let’s look at an alternative way of expressing the same idea. Instead of saying, “This is she,” we can rephrase it as “I am Rachel.” Here, “I” replaces “this,” and “Rachel” replaces the nominative pronoun “she.” By making this substitution, we can see that “she” is the correct choice in the original sentence structure.

Tricks to Remember

To help you remember which pronoun to choose, here are a few simple tricks:

  1. Linking Verb: Remember that “is” is acting as a linking verb in the sentence.
  2. No Objects: Linking verbs do not take objects, so “her” cannot be the correct choice.
  3. Subject vs. Object: “She” is a subject pronoun, while “her” is an object pronoun. Since we need another subject, we choose “she.”

Examples in Conversation

Now that we’ve covered the grammatical rules and the reasoning behind them, let’s look at some examples of how to use “This is she” and “This is her” in actual conversations.

  1. May I please speak to Rachel?
    • Correct response: This is she.
    • Incorrect response: This is her.
  2. May I speak to Mike?
    • Correct response: This is he.
    • Incorrect response: This is him.
  3. Oh, so you are the one who keeps calling?
    • Correct response: That is I.
    • Incorrect response: That is me.

By using the correct phrase in these situations, you can demonstrate your command of grammar and present yourself professionally.


Answering the phone may seem like a small detail, but it can leave a lasting impression on the person calling. By understanding the grammatical rules behind “This is she” and “This is her,” you can confidently choose the correct phrase and convey professionalism. Remember, “This is she” is the appropriate response, as it follows the subject-linking verb-subject structure. So the next time the phone rings, you can answer with confidence and clarity.

Additional Resources

For further clarification on grammar rules and usage, you can refer to the following resources:

Now that you have a firm grasp of how to answer the phone correctly, you can navigate phone conversations with ease and professionalism. Remember, the little details can make a big difference in how you are perceived. So, the next time someone asks for you on the phone, confidently respond, “This is she,” and leave a positive impression.

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