Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Which is correct, "you and I combined" or "you and me combined"? as in:

Bob and I combined had 91 points

The "combined" confuses me.

share|improve this question
1  
Does the "combined" confuse you because of the compound subject "Bob and I"? –  KitFox Aug 1 '11 at 0:30
    
@Kit: Partially, but it's more because the "combined" doesn't have an object... is it even a verb? –  minitech Aug 1 '11 at 0:41
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

In the original sentence, "Bob and I combined had 91 points", combined isn't the main verb. You could rewrite the sentence and still maintain its meaning by saying:

Together, Bob and I had 91 points.

The combined is serving more as a qualifier of the subject "Bob and I" rather than as a verb. It could be described as a participle, which shares characteristics of both verbs and adjectives.

So in this case, "Bob and I combined" is correct.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Very nice explanation! –  Thursagen Aug 1 '11 at 0:38
add comment

Try thinking of it in this way:

When Bob and I were combined, we had 91 points.

I hope that makes it clearer. To answer your question, "you and I combined" is correct.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I would have said, "Bob and I had 91 points, combined." Combined is used to distinguish 91 total points from "Bob and I have 91 points each." (A comment about the compound subject: Informally, people might say, Bob and me or even Me and Bob in that sentence. You and I is correct as a subject, you and me is correct as an object.)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Its simple, would you say?

Me had 91 points.

or

I had 91 points.

The use of combined is irrelavent. In this case me is wrong, I is right.

You may insert any length of description between I and had and as long as you add no other verb than have, I will always be right. No description of unity, togetherness or combination can change that.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.