I know that when you include someone, you say their name first. For example:

John and I went to the beach.

How do you order the names when there are more than one additional people? For example:

John, Sarah, Kevin and I went to the beach.

Does it matter?

  • "more than one additional person". What is it more than? "One additional person". – itsbruce Nov 21 '14 at 12:38

You are free to choose any order you like, so long as 'and I' comes last.

  • What is wrong/impolite about "I went to the beach with John"? Is it that it isn't in the form of a list? – George White Jan 14 at 1:02
  • @GeorgeWhite "I went to the beach with John." is a perfectly okay phrasing, but that fact is irrelevant to this question; it is implied that we want to preserve the sentence structure whilst rearranging the list, so putting "John" at the end of the sentence goes beyond the scope of the question. When connersz (the person who asked the question) states "I know that when you include someone, you say their name first.", they are observing that it would not be correct to say "I and John went to the beach"; that is to say, pronouns always go at the end of unbroken lists. – Noah Jan 14 at 1:25

It is mostly recommended for any positive thing the third person must be placed at the beginning followed by the second and the first person and for any negative thing first person must be placed at the beginning followed by the third and the second person.Example:

You, he and I have won the match.

I, you and he have lost the match.

Though this is not a hard and fast rule of grammar, but it is recommended this way for a tone of politeness. For any neutral sentence, we must place the first person at last.

  • 1
    If it is mostly recommended, could you cite a reference to one or more of those recommendations? – itsbruce Nov 21 '14 at 13:00
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    That is just a short thread on a web forum. I did not vote you down, by the way, but I don't think your answer is a good one without some proof. I have never heard this recommended anywhere. If I am wrong, there should be some respectable, more authoritative sources. – itsbruce Nov 21 '14 at 13:39
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    I don't think the advice about "I first when negative" is valid. The second example sentence is simply not idiomatic English. – Jonathan Leffler Nov 21 '14 at 14:16
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    If "we lost the match" isn't suitable, then "you, he and I lost the match" is normal. In other words, I don't think the positive/negative distinction is valid in English. At least, not in English English as I was taught it half a century ago. – Jonathan Leffler Nov 21 '14 at 14:34
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    (1) Your examples don’t match your rule.  You say always put third person before second person, but both of your examples show second person (“you”) before third person (“he”).  (2) I was taught to put second person before third person.  If you really mean what you say (put third person before second person), you should try to provide a reference that supports that. (3) I agree with Jonathan Leffler: idiomatically, “I” and “me” (and “we” and “us”) should always be last. – Scott Mar 13 '18 at 18:39

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