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Double Personal Pronouns

I or Me?

Bachelor talking to date
 

Double Personal Subject Pronouns —  I or Me?

FORMAL

In formal and informal speech, use I in the subject position and mention oneself last. Subject personal pronouns: I, you, she, him, they, we.  

SUBJECT PRONOUN IN SUBJECT POSITION

Diana and I got along well.

Crystal, Jen and I went on a group date.

My family and I like her a lot.

SINGLE PRONOUN CHECK

Diana and I got along well.  (OK)

Crystal, Jen, and I went on a group date.  (OK) 

My family and I like her a lot. (OK) 

INFORMAL

In informal speech (mostly American English), you may hear object pronouns in the subject position. This is informal usage.

OBJECT PRONOUN IN SUBJECT POSITION

*Me and Diana got along well.

*Me, Crystal and Jen  went on a group date.  

*Me and my family  liked her a lot.

SINGLE PRONOUN CHECK

*Me and Diana got along well. (sounds bad)   

*Crystal, Jen, and me went on a group date. (bad)

Me and my family like her a lot. (sounds bad) 

 

A single pronoun check allows someone to hear an error because the error tends to occur when double pronouns are used.
*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

Double Personal Pronouns

Object

 

 

 

Object Pronouns — Me, Him, Her, Them

DOUBLE OBJECT PRONOUN

Use me in the object position. Mention me last (as a courtesy to others mentioned.) Object personal pronouns: me, you, her, him, them, us.  

DOUBLE PRONOUN

I had a good feeling about Diana and me.

I could see her fitting in with my son and me.

Something good is happening between him and me.

SINGLE PRONOUN CHECK

I had a good feeling about her(OK)

I had a good feeling about me(OK)

I could see her fitting in with me. (OK)

Something good is happening with him . (OK)

Something good is happening with me. (OK)
 

ERROR - SUBJECT PRONOUN IN OBJECT POSITION

In informal speech, you may also hear subject pronouns in the object position, especially after prepositions: for, about, between, with. For most speakers, this is ungrammatical.

DOUBLE PRONOUN

*I had a good feeling about she and I.  

*I could see her fitting in with my son and I.

*Something good is happening between he and I.      

SINGLE PRONOUN CHECK

* I had a good feeling about she.

*I had a good feeling about I. (bad)  

* I could see her fitting in with I. (bad) 

* Something good is happening with he . (bad) 

* Something good is happening with I. (bad)
 

 

*Incorrect usage and it sounds bad.
between – relates two items ; use with instead.
Solution - lightbulb Pop-Q "Bachelor"  and "Ali and I's"

 

"In my experience, people treat "I " like the formal pronoun and 'me' as the casual one. You should use your best pronoun if you are appearing on TV.   ;-) "
– Amy, Dallas, TX. explaining why participants on "The Bachelor" TV show tend to switch subject and object pronouns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

ERROR SOLUTION

*This is a great experience for people like her and I.

*This is a great experience for young people, such as she and I, who want to find a mate.

   

This is a great experience for people like her and me. 
Use the object (accusative) pronoun after
like.

*This is a great experience for young people, such as her and me, who want to find a mate.

*This is a great experience for young people, for example her and me, who want to find a mate.

*People, such as she and I, have not found a mate.

These are awkward sounding. Rephrase with like.)

*This is a great experience for young people, like her and me, who want to find a mate.

*This is a great experience for young people, like her and me, who want to find a mate.

*People, such as she and I, have not found a mate. awkward

If you must use a supplementary comment with an example—for example, for instance, such as, namely, etc— use the object (accusative) pronoun after it.

 

We normally use the accusative pronoun after like and such as. Also see For example.   (Huddleston 1156)

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Between you and I

 

 

 

Comments on the Subject of "You and I"

Between you and me. 1. The nation is divided in its use of between you and me and between you and I.  Let me begin by declaring that the only admissible construction of the two in standard use in the 20C. is between you and me.  (Burchfield 106)

 

Between you and I. "What is this between you and I… and where did it come from?" — Simon 1980.
Everybody knows between you and I is wrong, but it occurred in the past and it occurs now, apparently mostly in speech.  Examples, in print, expecially recent ones, are hard to find. There seems to be a need for someone to study binary units like you and I, he and I, he and Brian to see if they behave differently from single units…
Conclusion: you are probably safe in retaining between you and I in your casual speech…but you had better avoid it in essays and other words of a discursive nature. If you use it, someone is sure to notice and disparage your character, background , or eucation. (Merriam-Webster 181-3)

C. Between you and me; *between you and I.
Because the pronouns following between are objects of the preposition, the correct phrase is between you and me. Yet the phrasing *between you and I is appallingly common — "a grammatical error of unsurpassable grossness," as one commentator puts it.  Interestingly, this grammatical error is committed almost exclusively  by educated speakers trying a little to hard to sound refined but stumbling badly. It's almost surely an in grained instance of hypercorrection based on childhood admonitions not to use you and me ( or similar compounds) as the subject of the sentence — and, far more confusing to most people, as a predicate mominative in sentnces such as It is I.  — (Garner 102)

Language Change Index 2: widely shunned (The form spreads to a significant fraction of the language community but remains unacceptable in standard English.)

The technical term for avoiding one grammar trap only to fall into another is hypercorrection… mentioned as a cause or reinforcement of between you and I… (Merriam-Webster 181)

 

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Old Friends

Old friends
 

 

Complete the sentence with the pronoun (formal use).

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

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8.

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Practice 2

A Design Idea

foam tubes
foam tubes
 

 

Read for Errors

My classmate, Andy, and I had to do a project for our design class. So we decided to come up with a solution to the problem of having our doors dented while our car is parked in a parking lot.  We thought about the problem and designed a light-weight plastic air tube to surround the car. Me and Andy took the tube to a crowded parking lot and asked people if they would use our invention. One guy told Andy and I that the tube would fall off too easily. So me and Andy changed the design to cover just the mid-part of the sides of the car. Another woman told us that it was a good idea, but that it was too easy to steal. Andy and I made some changes.

He and I put some magnetic strips inside foam tubes and attached them to the doors. It worked very well. Additionally, me and him figured out a way to put a security cable through the foam tubes and attach it to the door handle. Then, me and Andy went back to the crowded parking lot with our newest design and asked people what they thought. Immediately, everyone who saw Andy and I's door protection system asked us how much it cost and if they could buy one. At that moment, we knew our design was a winner. For Andy and I who are just high school students, this was exciting. We took our project to class and received an excellent grade.

come up with (v.) – invent, create, think of

foam (n.) – a soft sponge-like material

magnetic strips (n.) – long piece of material with the + and - attraction of a magnet

security cable (n.) – rope-like metal tie

solution (n.) – a way to fix or correct a problem

 

 

 

Edit for errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

16.
My classmate, Andy, and I had to do a project for our design class.  So we decided to come up with a solution to the problem of having our doors dented while our car is parked in a parking lot.


17.
We thought about the problem and designed a light-weight plastic air tube to surround the car.  Me and Andy took the tube to a crowded parking lot and asked people if they would use our invention.


18.
One guy told Andy and I that the tube would fall off too easily. So me and Andy changed the design to cover just the mid-part of the sides of the car.


19.
Another woman told us that it was a good idea, but that it was too easy to steal.  Andy and I made some changes.


20.
Him and I put some magnetic strips inside foam tubes and attached them to the doors.  It worked very well.


21.
Additionally, me and him figured out a way to put a security cable through the foam tubes and attach it to the door handle.


22.
Then, me and Andy went back to the crowded parking lot with our newest design and asked people what they thought. 


23.
Immediately, everyone who saw Andy and I's door protection system asked us how much it cost and if they could buy one. 


24.
For Andy and I who are just high school students, this was exciting.  We took our project to class and received an excellent grade.