i.e. Are Mei-Ling and ______ singing together today?

closed as off-topic by RyeɃreḁd, Zairja, user66974, tchrist, Mari-Lou A Jun 19 '14 at 0:16

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In this case, the singers (Mei-Ling and we/us) are the subject of the sentence, and we is the form of the first person plural pronoun you use in the subject. The rule is to choose the one that sounds correct if you drop the other party from the sentence: "Are we singing today?"

If "Are Mei-Ling and we singing today?" sounds awkward to you, you can flip the two parties: "Are we and Mei-Ling singing today?" The convention is to give the name of the other party before the personal pronoun in most cases (i.e., John and I rather than I and John), but that's a matter of etiquette rather than grammatical correctness, and in some scenarios it can be more appropriate to go with whatever sounds less awkward.

  • 1
    Would it not be better to say, Is Mei-Ling singing with us today? – Kami Jun 18 '14 at 16:04
  • 1
    @Kami - That depends on what you're actually asking. If you know that the rest of the group is singing today but don't know whether Mei-Ling will be there, you would ask Is Mei-Ling singing with us today? If you don't know whether any of the group, including Mei-Ling, are singing today, you would ask Are we and Mei-Ling singing today?. – phenry Jun 18 '14 at 16:06
  • It may very well be that, but I also don't know whether 'us' is a subject or predicate nominative. (Better add that to the question.) I do, however, remember a grammar lesson from 5th grade about where to use we and us, as well as I and me. – BWXY619 Jun 18 '14 at 16:07
  • @BWXY619 - In theory, the predicate nominative should always take the subject form of the pronoun, but in practice that leads to stuffy, overly formal sounding constructions like "It is I." I'll just say it's not a rule I'm particularly fastidious about following in my own writing, and leave it at that. – phenry Jun 18 '14 at 16:19
  • So...the pronoun that's more "focused" on the subject of the term is a subject pronoun? I have a somewhat vague idea of nominative pronouns...never learned it before, though. – BWXY619 Jun 18 '14 at 16:22

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