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Is it proper grammar to write:

Please join my wife and I for coffee...

Or is it

me and my wife

Or

my wife and me

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    "I" pronoun first person singular is always capitalized in English. There are two different issues in your question, both have been answered before here. Both questions have been asked several times here. See answers to When do I use “I” instead of “me?”, and “Me and my wife” or “my wife and me”
    – None
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 8:30
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    It depends on context. What is proper in an informal context is not always proper in a formal context. However, "I and my wife" is basically never used. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 11:00
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    How is such a simple question not a duplicate 3 years after this site was launched? Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 11:36
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    @Peter - Maybe because the answer is so readily found with a bit of research. The O.P. might want to check out English Language Learners, though.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 11:51
  • @Peter to echo J.R. It likely has been asked and closed due to Off-Topic: Gen Ref.
    – David M
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 13:17

4 Answers 4

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The rule is that you use 'I' if it forms part of the subject of the verb, but 'me' if it's the object or predicate.

Thus it should be 'Please join my wife and me'.

But it is correct to say:

'My wife and I are going to the theatre tonight'.

Using 'I' when it is the object in this way, such as 'He told my wife and I that he was an expert', is a VERY FREQUENT ERROR.

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  • Is "I and my wife" also correct?
    – user541686
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 10:32
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    As the subject of the sentence, yes. But as Barrie England notes above, it is seldom found because it is considered courteous to put the first person pronoun last, after any reference to anyone else.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 11:25
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It is not proper to say or write "Please join my wife and I". You should use me, and it doesn't matter which order. The simple rule of thumb for deciding whether to use me or I is to take the other person out of the sentence. You wouldn't say "Please join I", so don't say "Please join my wife and I".

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Objections to this use of I in object position when coordinated with a noun or another pronoun are always based on the idea that it’s me when it’s uncoordinated, so it must also be me when it’s coordinated. But, as the authors of ‘The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language' write:

. . . why should we simply assume that the grammatical rules for case assignment cannot differentiate between a coordinated and a non-coordinated pronoun?

Their conclusion is that constructions such as the one in your example are:

. . . used by many highly educated people with social prestige in the community; it should therefore be regarded as a variant Standard English form.

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    +1. I was wondering if anybody here would actually provide some decent info. . . . :)
    – F.E.
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 8:49
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    G. Pullum is an ass. While he may not be downright wrong here, he frequently is. In this case, he seems to ignore that this variant only exists when I is non-initial in the coordination. “Please have dinner with I and my wife” us virtually nonexistent. The conditioning factor here is not coordination, but initialness and distance between the pronoun and its governing element. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 9:46
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    He was not the sole author of CGEL. It is a variant nonetheless, however you care to explain it. The reason ‘Please have dinner with I and my wife’ is not found (if that is the case), I suggest, is that in a context such as a dinner invitation it would be normal, because courteous, for the speaker to place the first person pronoun, in whatever form, after any reference to anyone else. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 9:55
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    What the Cambridge Grammar therefore seems to confirm, is that 'social prestige in the community' overrides everything including the rules of grammar.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 11:19
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    Where do you think the rules of grammar come from? Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:25
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Of the three options you presented, "my wife and me" is correct.

I might use "my wife and myself" instead, though. I am unaware of a rule especially mandating or forbidding this option though. The "y" in "myself" could fill any sense of need for an i-sound.

In either case, you need the first-person singular object pronoun: "me;" or, again; "myself."

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