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I have traditionally learned that a first-person pronoun should always come last in a list, e.g.

Bob and I found this to be interesting.

However, it sounds awkward to me when this rule is used with 'others':

A couple others and I found this to be interesting.

I would be more inclined to go with:

I and a couple others found this to be interesting.

Which sentence is (more) grammatically correct?

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If I used either of these forms I think I'd tend to use punctuation to separate the clauses e.g., I, and a couple others, found this to be interesting –  Kyudos Jan 14 '13 at 20:26

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

They are all grammatical. Whether or not you put yourself first is a matter of etiquette.

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"A couple of others" logically should follow "I", or the question 'other than who?' arises. Kyudos's comment gives a way of avoiding a clumsy-sounding (and hence clumsy-looking?) construction. I assume that a couple is a quantifier in the US; it's a couple of in the UK. These things seem idiosyncratic - a dozen, but a score / gross of. –  Edwin Ashworth Jan 14 '13 at 20:54

As long as you use the subject pronoun "I," and not the object pronoun "me," it's grammatical. You can put the first person pronoun either at the beginning of the sentence or after others, such as "others and I…." I and a couple of others here (ha ha) agree with putting "I" before the others. I disagree with the poster who said it's a matter of etiquette; I just think it's a matter of style and euphony. Truth be told, I like saying, "I and [so-and-so]" because it's perfectly grammatical though many people think it's not, and I like to show people it is.

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In British English, I would say me and a couple of others, since others is plural and implies a longer list. I was taught that rule only applies when talking about two individuals. So, rigourously, it would be Bob and I, but that me, John and Peter is a valid as John, Peter and I.

However, like the split infinitive, I think this is one of those non-rules of grammar. Almost everyone, in the general course of things, would accept and understand me and Bob or Bob and me.

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I don't think that case agreement has been abandoned in the UK to the extent that you claim. 'Me, John and Peter' sounds ungrammatical when used as a subject, though it probably is used fairly commonly colloquially. –  Edwin Ashworth Jan 14 '13 at 20:49
    
But when does colloquialism change to common (and thus de facto correct) usage? If you asked, for example "Who was there?" I think rather more people in the UK would say "me, John and Peter" than "John, Peter and I". –  Kyudos Jan 14 '13 at 20:58
    
De facto usage is already considered "correct" by descriptivist ideologues: "If enough native speakers say it, it must be right" is their motto. Prescriptivist ideologues, OTOH, insist on having their private rules followed before they allow the phrase "That's correct" to pass between their lips. Several centuries ago, when most folks thought the world was flat & that ships sailing to the edge would fall off, it really was round, and when most folks thought that sun orbited the Earth, the Earth really did orbit the sun. –  user21497 Jan 15 '13 at 0:10
    
How silly to assume that the power of numbers should be so decisive, even with stuff as plastic & extrudable as language. Allowing the poorly educated & other rabble to define what is good & right & proper is just another way of maintaining the ancient status quo of might makes right the only standard. Well, it is, of course, no matter how one slices up the world. Me & me mates we all thinks that. –  user21497 Jan 15 '13 at 0:16
    
@Kyudos: 2099, innit. –  Edwin Ashworth Jan 15 '13 at 0:47

When we talk about second person it is always good to include others before yourself. Ex you and me, others and I.

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Welcome to ELU. The question specifically asked about grammaticality, which your answer doesn't address. Also, when you make broad generalizations like "it is always good to...", it helps to include your source for the statement: where did you learn it, and does it apply to all contexts or just to some specific areas? –  Marthaª Jan 14 '13 at 22:13

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