Is there a word or phrase to express the idea of a group of people and the speaker, collectively, where the group of people is explicitly not the people who are being spoken to?

For example, consider the hypothetical situation where I am a representative of a country and I wish to talk about my country by saying we, us, and our. Also consider that I am talking to group of other country representatives (the U.N. would be a good example) and that I need to go back and forth from addressing the group to addressing my country as a group. In this scenario, I wish to use non-ambiguous pronouns for my country.

Is there a word or phrase that can help express this idea?

  • 1
    English does not make the distinction. Native speakers are unaware there are two possible meanings, and figure out who's involved from context. Or else they don't. Jun 1, 2014 at 22:30
  • @John: maybe I hang around relatively smart people, but I think most English speakers are aware of the ambiguity at some level; they'll sometimes say "we—you and me— ..." or "we—the audience— ..." in cases of possible ambiguity. (Although more often they leave it ambiguous.) Jun 1, 2014 at 23:05
  • And most often we just figure it out; we're usually quite good on figuring out whether we're included in what the speaker is saying. Jun 2, 2014 at 0:10
  • There is a line in a Judy Bloom novel along the lines of "We're going to the game." "We are?" "No, not we, *us*— Alex and I."
    – choster
    Jun 2, 2014 at 3:07
  • Related.
    – tchrist
    Nov 27, 2022 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


To remove any uncertainty, you could say, "My countrymen and I," instead of we.


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