English grammar can be at its worst when certain key words are left out. We are accustomed to questions and answers such as “Did you go to the store?” and “I did,” because did substitutes for the repetition of went to the store. But what does one do with “I am better than she”? She what? Shouldn’t it be her?
- He is a stronger man than I.
- Your cousin Brandon is more famous than we.
- Are these people better than they?
Brandon is more famous than we what? Brandon is more famous than us. If we treat than as a preposition (such as above or over), then me is the obvious answer. He is stronger than me. If we treat than as a conjunction (such as and or if), then I works best. She writes better than I (do). Note that if you use I, he, she, or other subject pronouns, the rest of the sentence will always be implied.
Ask yourself what is implied by the missing words: Is it the verb? If “She writes more letters to Mom than I,” we assume that she writes more letters to Mom than I do. However, if “She writes more letters to Mom than me,” we know that she writes more to Mom than she writes to me, even without to me in the sentence.