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Grammar Check

Which of the following is correct?

Perhaps the agenda could be shared with Jane and me.

Perhaps the agenda could be shared with me and Jane.

Can anyone remember the rule? It's escaping me at the moment. I want to put "me" at the end, because I just thought that's what we always do, but maybe "me" is an exception to the rule... I can't remember. The second one sounds better.




( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
It's supposed to be, "Jane and I". If I remember, you're not supposed to do "me and Jane/Jane and me" at all.
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
I would disagree. Take out the 'and Jane' and it should still read properly. You would never say "Perhaps the agenda could be shared with I", you would say "Perhaps the agenda could be shared with me". Therefore either "me and Jane" or "Jane and me" is the correct form, but I don't know which (as I said in my other comment).

This is the only way i can ever remember which to use.
Apr. 14th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
I know you wouldn't say that. But maybe it's not so much grammar so much as being polite. I was always instructed to put yourself at the end as opposed to beginning with yourself.
Apr. 14th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I seem to think "Perhaps the agenda could be shared with Jane and me" is the correct form.
Apr. 14th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Egbert is correct in his response comment. If you take out the subject that isn't "YOU", does it sound correct.

I is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it refers to the person performing the action of a verb.

I want to go.
This is the one I like.
You and I need to get ready.
Tom and I are going to the movies.

Me is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to which a preposition refers.

David told me to leave.
He gave me ten dollars.
Between you and me, this is a bad idea.
She needs to talk to Joe or me.

This confusion usually occurs when you have I/me connected to another pronoun or name with "and" or "or." I believe that the confusion begins when someone says something like "John and me are ready" and that is corrected to "John and I are ready." The speaker then thinks, "Oh, the word 'and' means that I should always use I." This is not the case. "And" has nothing to do with it; the reason you say "John and I" in that sentence is that "John and I" are the subject. If they were the object, you'd use me: "He told John and me to get ready."

If you are not good with grammar concepts like subject and objects, there is still a very easy way to decide whether to use I or me: try out the sentence with just I or me (or if you need a plural, we or us - "we" is equivalent to "I" and "us" is equivalent to "me."):

He told Tom and (I or me?) to get ready.
He told I to get ready? NO
He told me to get ready? YES
Therefore, He told Tom and me to get ready.

If John and (I or me?) get married, we'll have two kids.
If me get married? NO
If I get married? YES
Therefore, If John and I get married, we'll have two kids.

Just between you and (I or me?), this is a bad idea.
Because "between" needs to be followed by a plural, we'll use "we" and "us" to figure this out.
Just between we? NO
Just between us? YES
Just between you and me, this is a bad idea.

And whatever you do, please don't use a subject pronoun and object pronoun together.

He and I - correct: "He and I are going to town."
Him and me - correct: "She told him and me the truth."
Him and I - WRONG
He and me - WRONG

Finally, you should always be last in a list.
Jane, John and I are went shopping. Yes.
Me, Jane and John are shopping. No.
If you put yourself first, you have to use me, and using me means that:
ME are shopping. = No.
Apr. 14th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
I was going to respond, but you've done it more thoroughly than I was intending to do. So I'll simply add my "IAWTC". :)
Apr. 15th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Apr. 15th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you for breaking it down for me :)
Apr. 15th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Sah-weet - I was correct all around! Thanks for the clear and thorough explanation. The whole He/Him has always given me issue.
Apr. 15th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Apr. 15th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
That seems to be the consensus - self last.
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Just reading it, I would think the former is technically correct, even though most people use the latter. But I'm no expert, so don't listen to me.
Apr. 15th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
That appears to be the consensus :)
Apr. 14th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
The first is correct.
Apr. 15th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
Technically, both are correct (as far as the syntax goes).

Socially and as taught the first is preferred, particularly in writing, as it puts the other person first. This will 'go over' the best.

Commonly in the past 10-20 years the second one is more common in speech, so it winds up getting more common in writing.
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I have to disagree with you. They aren't both "technically" correct. Email and cellular texting has changed the way younger generations write things, but it doesn't actually make it correct. I have a close friend who is an English teacher for 12th Grade. She talks constantly about how very little children know of the proper use of English anymore.

She, as do I, blame it on the acceptance of incorrect spoken language. People seem to feel that since it "still makes sense" it's okay to overlook the incorrect usage. I often get into conflict for being a "text nazi", because I will point out things like: "Your my best friend!" being incorrect. I find it amazing how many people use your in place of you're. Our in place of are. And a hundred other common mistakes that are accepted.

Sadly, English is the only language that suffers from this. If you try it in French, Japanese or Spanish (and most others) the words no longer make sense, so you HAVE to put them in correctly.

Educators are at a crossroads now. They can let it go and hope that their students learn over time the correct way, or they can fail them. I talked to my old college professor and he said that he has had barely 10% of his journalism students pass in the last two years because the college board made him crack down on "accepting the improper usage of written language".

I read in the New York Times that upper educated careers, like lawyers, are getting small and smaller classes. It's because these students struggle with language. Would you want your lawyer going into court and getting your case thrown out because the legal documents were written incorrectly?

As he told me, "Just because everyone says it that way, doesn't mean it is correct." And we need to quit accepting it. If it continues this way, we could see anyone under 20 will communicate using only a series of grunts and moans.
Apr. 20th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Sorry I missed this reply until now. I'm also sorry that I may have not been clear enough in expressing myself.

For most of your points, I'll agree with what you're saying from a prescriptive viewpoint: matters of spelling and usage are indeed important. This was behind my second point.

For my first point of what is or could be "technically correct", it was from a linguist's descriptive viewpoint. As I meant it here, "technically correct" was to include both "structures that are commonly used" and "structures that are not non-sensical" as "technically correct" or valid in the language's syntax. In this view both "with Jane and me" and "with me and Jane" are both "technically correct".

The differences between the two viewpoints aren't small or simple. One is about how a language functions and how people use it, the other is about social norms and propriety. To complicate things we have a variety of rules (e.g. from various dialects and linguistic registers) about when certain structures -- or even word choice and meanings -- are appropriate / sensible. This can cause either of the two given phrases to be 'more correct'.

Even further, we also have a variety of formalized writing styles, say from the MLA, or the AP, or Legal English, that will prescribe a variety of different, conflicting, structures about what is "correct". (I'm willing to bet a duck that the MLA and the AP will agree about these phrases, but I suspect both would be "incorrect" in Legal English, except as used in a quotation.)

Ultimately, the real ideas I want to convey are that there is no one "correct way" in English and both of these can be "correct" linguistically depending upon the intended usage, and that one of them will generally be perceived as "correct" by more people, particularly when we aren't given a context in which to evaluate it.

Apr. 21st, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
I've never considered that both could be correct. Interesting!
Apr. 21st, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, Language is an odd beast. Everyone's very familiar with at least one language and most have been educated about at least one formal system but that doesn't always translate into having a technical knowledge of how it actually works: we don't normally think about it, we just use it. (In a way, it's kinda like cars 'cause we don't know and don't really care how they work we just need them to do their job.)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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