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When using ourselves and another person as the subject of a sentence, we use their name first (like "John and I"); but when the same two people become the object of a sentence, which order should the two people appear in? (I recognize that the object pronoun should be me and not I, but I want to know whether me should appear before the other person's name or after it.)

Which one is correct?

Sean eats pizza with me and John.

Sean eats pizza with John and me.

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    I don't think this is a grammar issue; it's an etiquette issue. Usually, you want to put your name last. However, in sentences like "the blame lies with me and John", you might want to consider putting your name first. May 4, 2015 at 16:58
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    @Peter is absolutely correct. Which person of two conjoined people is mentioned first is a political problem and no part of grammar. However, many native speakers have been taught in their childhood that putting first person first (which is the natural impulse) is somehow impolite, and since all native speakers are taught in school that grammar has to do with correct behavior, politeness gets mixed up with prescription, leading to things like to Bill and I (since they are also taught not to say Bill and me went to the store at the same time, I must be more correct and polite). May 4, 2015 at 17:04
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    It is formally correct to say 'with John and me' or 'with me and John', but the first one is the preferred style in print or in school (as Peter and John said). 'with me and John' sounds informal because of this style choice. Also 'with John and I' is formally incorrect (prepositions in English take the accusative case), but there is a tendency nowadays for people to say it because, by association, 'me' sounds too informal. Newspaper editors and teachers should correct it, but you'll find that even educated people are starting to say 'between you and I'.
    – Mitch
    May 4, 2015 at 17:44
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    There are two errors in common use which confuse this issue, neither of which is demonstrated in the question. The lower class error is the use of the objective pronoun as a subject (me and my sister went shopping) and the middle and upper class error is the opposite (father built a tree house for my sister and I). I, personally, find them both annoying but I find the upper class one more so than the lower class one, I think because it arose from pretention originally. The problem is that I've even heard British royals using it on television so I suppose there's no hope of getting rid of it!
    – BoldBen
    Oct 13, 2017 at 1:10
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    I’m voting to close this question because I believe that on balance it belongs on Interpersonal Skills. Aug 19, 2021 at 14:15

7 Answers 7

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When writing formal emails to clients, and I am asking them to contact us if they have any issues, I use either "me or John" OR "John or me".

How I personally differentiate between the two is by putting the preferred contact's name first. If I'd prefer the client to contact John, I would put his name first. As both are grammatically correct (per the above responses) I have no preference other than that!

As for "John AND me"... I would probably write it this way just for the formal looking nature of it (damn you "John and I"!) - but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it either way.

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As Peter Shor and John Lawler have mentioned in the comments, grammatically either order is correct. However, English-speaking children are taught to put the pronoun referring to themselves last (the reason given being that it is more polite to put others before yourself), so I would agree with skaaptjop that "__ and me" is the safest way of saying this (this of course only applies to the object position; for the subject "__ and I" would be used instead).

Despite this rule of etiquette, it's not surprising to hear people using phrases like "me and you" or "me and my friend".

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  • I feel I’m being rude but since this seems like a question that will come up time and time again (plus the other answers are a bit shoddy) might it be worth making this into a canonical answer and fleshing it out a bit? May 23, 2018 at 21:01
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I remember being taught in grade school (in the 70's) that "me and ________" was the correct form for the object of a sentence, but I have seen both used since. Also, it was grade school so maybe they said both ways were acceptable and I have forgotten in the interim.

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Unusually enough it would seem, I was actually taught that when using 'I', I comes second, but when using 'me', me comes first, so it would be 'Bill and I' for the subject of the sentence or 'me and Bill' for the object of the sentence. I don't recall ever being taught that it was more polite to place yourself last in the listing.

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    That’s because they don’t teach you semantics in schools. Only language or linguistics courses. Which is what this placing yourself last is, a semantic/pragmatic use - not a grammatical rule by any means. I can’t help but wonder are you Turkish, your name is Eren?
    – Jay
    Apr 20, 2020 at 4:18
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I was also taught from grade school through college that "I" always comes second, but "me" always comes first. In a nutshell "XXXXXXX and me" is never correct. I majored in English and have worked as a salaried writer for almost 30 years, and I can't believe how many resources there are online espousing use of "and me." (Have I discovered "Fake Grammar"?)

If you think about what any "me and" statement is communicating, it makes sense to state "me" first. For example:

"I hope you'll join me and the leadership team at our annual meeting."

Stating "me" first makes the statement sound sincere. You'd never say, "I hope you'll join the team in going to that thing I won't be going to." Why would you hope someone would do something with someone else that you're not involved in? You wouldn't, so saying you would have some hope about it is insincere. You're only going to hope someone attends something that you will also be attending, ostensibly because you hope to see that person at the event. The other people being there are beside the point. You can only express your own "hope," which is that "you'll join me."

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In other languages, at least 6 that I know of, it's not only formal, but educated and "natural" to put "me" after XXXX. Most people wouldn't even consider the idea of saying something like "me and my team achieved..."

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Can't go wrong with '___ and me'.

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    Do you want to substantiate this claim?
    – Dan Bron
    May 4, 2015 at 20:23
  • Yip. 'me and ___' is generally on the cusp of being informal no matter how you say it. The other way round is generally more formal and applicable in almost any context.
    – skaaptjop
    May 5, 2015 at 8:03

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