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Which is the correct form?

Tommy and she went to the store. OR She and Tommy went to the store.

I hear the second example much more frequently in conversation, but I believe the first one is actually grammatically correct.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Hellion, tchrist, Drew, Chenmunka Mar 17 '15 at 21:44

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  • I believe it to be correct but as you rightly perceive it is not idiomatic in current English. – WS2 Mar 16 '15 at 19:43
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    Conjoined NP order, even of pronouns, is not a matter of grammar; either order works. Use whichever sounds right to you. – John Lawler Mar 16 '15 at 20:09
  • Hey, between two consenting adults whatever pronoun they want to use is fine! – Hot Licks Mar 16 '15 at 21:05
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Grammatically, they are utterly equivalent, however, I have noticed that the pronoun is usually used first except in first person nominative.

So:

  • "Mom called me and Tommy."
  • "She and Tommy had lunch."
  • but "Tommy and I had lunch."

These are strictly conventions, not grammatical issues at all.

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Both are correct. It is purely a matter of preference and which makes more sense in the context of the sentence.

On a related note, when referring to one's self, order does matter (not grammatically, but stylistically,) and one should always use 'I' or 'me' as the last in the list as a nod to politeness. Something about always putting others before yourself.

Example:

John and I went to the store.
It took some convincing for Bob to give the details to Ted, Margaret and me.

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    The order doesn't matter with I either, except inasmuch as prescriptive grammarians a couple of centuries ago decided it is ‘rude’ not to put others before yourself. It has never had any basis in grammar, and me and X is still much more common in colloquial speech than X and me/I. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 16 '15 at 21:31
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - You are correct! Thanks, I've updated my answer to be more complete. By the way, I would certainly notice (and cringe inside slightly) were someone to say "Ted gave his tickets to me & Bob." It is not common usage in my experience and (as a native speaker in the US) I would suggest avoiding it. Instead, I recommend preferring the form provided in the answer. – MrWonderful Mar 16 '15 at 21:50
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Because 'she' is unnamed it suggests that she was mentioned just before this sentence and therefore 'She and Tommy went to the store' is better. This is because at the beginning of the sentence, she is given more importance and this position continues to give her more focus than Tommy.

Because 'She and Tommy' are the subject of the sentence you can use the plural form of the 3rd person 'they' (note: not 'them' and hence not Tommy and her') In the first sentence following, Tommy and his female companion are the object - hence 'them' and 'him'.

Alice's mother dropped them off in the parking lot and drove away. She and Tommy went to the store.

Tommy's mother dropped him and his girlfriend off in the parking lot and drove away. Tommy and she went to the store.

  • It does, but it could have just as easily been 'Tommy and she' whom were mentioned in the prior, imaginary sentence... – MrWonderful Mar 16 '15 at 21:51

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