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Would the phrase 'With me being one of them' be grammatically correct? Sounds a bit odd in my head and I triple-checked mentally but couldn't tell if it was correct or not.

'With I being one of them' doesn't sound correct either. Has to be 'me' or 'I'. Those two are the only first person pronouns... if I recall correctly.

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Grammatically correct or not, it's going to be clumsy. I'd rephrase completely to something like: "I was one of five who..." or "I accompanied four people..." or "Five of us ..." –  Jerry Coffin Mar 3 '11 at 17:47

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You have several options. I am repeating some of the other answers because it seems practical to have them all together: I hope my plagiarism will be forgiven!

1) Five people went to the party last night, with me being one of them.

This is common and accepted, though not by all purists: it does look a bit informal to me (mostly owing to "with"), which might be fine in the context of a party. "Being" would be a participle; the construction would be called "fused participle", or "accusative with participle" in classicist terms.

2) Five people went to the party last night, with my being one of them.

This is how "me" would traditionally be expressed; but "with" still looks informal, which contrasts weirdly with traditional "my". "Being" would be a gerund here.

3) Five people went to the party last night, I being one of them.

This would be the classical absolute construction. It is impeccably correct, but it sounds rather stiff, especially in this context. "Being" would be a participle.

4) Five people went to the party last night, with myself being one of them.

I know this construction exists, but using "myself" this way might result in some criticism. This would certainly not be my choice.

5) Five people went to the party last night, and I was one of them.

This looks much cleaner. Why use complex constructions in this context if you don't need to? The version with "...; I was one of them" looks OK as well.

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The last one is the best. Thanks for compiling all the together. Much readable, and the quotation formatting you used was especially helpful. :) –  JFW Mar 4 '11 at 15:43

I and me are indeed the only first person singular pronouns. Since it is not the subject, me is the correct choice in this instance.

The phrase, while not technially incorrect grammatically, does seem rather awkward when it is not used colloquially. This:

Five people went to the party last night, with me being one of them.

would generally be rephrased.

Five people went to the party last night; I was one of them.

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"Me being one of them" is an inversion of the normal subject/object order in order to emphasize the object, me. Since me is still the object, the objective case is still called for.

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Objective case with the copula? –  Edwin Ashworth yesterday

I think "me" would be far more usual here than "I". In general, "I" is only used as the subject of a finite verb (so not gerunds and infinitives), so for example even without a preposition people would tend to say:

Him being older than the rest helped us a lot.

If you don't like this phrasing, then you could always paraphrase "with the fact that I am one of them", "the fact that he was older than the rest".

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Arnold Zwicky writing on the Language Log in a post called "Here Comes the Accusative" discusses the use of accusative pronouns ('I' is nominative and 'me' is accusative):

...the basic rule for nominative/accusative choice in English is: nominative for subjects of finite clauses, accusative otherwise.

According to this rule, the clause 'With me being one of them' is correct, even without the preposition, since 'being' is not a finite verb.

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"With me being one of them" is, at minimum, accepted usage, but if it bothers you, you have another option you haven't mentioned: "With myself being one of them".

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@Peter: Says who? I think it is true that "myself" quite often gets used specifically to avoid the difficult question of whether to use "I" or "me"; but that doesn't mean that it's necessarily wrong. It was good enough for Shakespeare, for example: "That myself should be the root and father / Of many kings" (Macbeth III.1) –  Colin Fine Mar 3 '11 at 16:46
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Just goes to show that Shakespeare was more interested in meter than grammar. Please let's not encourage abuse the reflexive pronoun. (It's like saying "I know the answer is either 1 or 2, but I can't figure out which is right, so I'll say 37 instead.") –  Hellion Mar 3 '11 at 16:53
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@Peter: That Wikipedia page is tagged as "Needs additional references" and "May be original research" - and indeed that section is entirely unreferenced. It is the unsupported opinion of one (or more) Wikipedia editors. –  Colin Fine Mar 3 '11 at 17:47
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@Hellion: I agree that it is often used for that reason. That doesn't make it wrong. –  Colin Fine Mar 3 '11 at 17:48
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We're not going to agree on this. I absolutely accept that generations of pundits and pedants have asserted that such usage is "wrong", but I don't accept their validity. But I will take issue with Hellion's "if the sentence is confusing but analysis shows... ": in the vast majority of cases there is nothing confusing about the sentence, and it would be equally clear whether it contained "I", "me" or "myself". And the "analysis" required is actually not available to people who have never studied a foreign language that uses grammatical case (see Emonds' paper at fine.me.uk/Emonds) –  Colin Fine Mar 4 '11 at 11:30

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