Is it "They are friends of my son and I" or is it "They are friends of my son and me" or is it this which I think correct "They are friends of mine and my son"?

marked as duplicate by Sven Yargs, choster, Chenmunka, FumbleFingers, Misti Aug 3 '15 at 16:31

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  • The first is definitely wrong - you wouldn't say They are friends of I, would you. The second is slightly better, but I much prefer your third alternative. That is the one I think I would use. – WS2 Aug 1 '15 at 22:30
  • @WS2 Conversely, I find the third to be the least natural and most jarring one. The first is obviously wrong in traditional, prescriptive grammar (and it’s still ungrammatical and jarring to me, though many are now arguing that it may not necessarily be so in general); the second one is natural, well-balanced, and logical; and the third is an absolute monstrosity to me. It’s equivalent to saying, “They are friends of Karen’s and Peter”, which is utterly bizarre in my head. “They are friends of my son and mine” is marginally better, but still very odd. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 1 '15 at 23:04
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I agree that it is not perfect. That is why I said I think I would use. In practice I believe I would rephrase it to something like My son and I count them as friends - although it isn't saying quite the same thing. – WS2 Aug 1 '15 at 23:10
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    Duplicate of "_______ and me" versus "__________ and I", which is itself a duplicate of multiple earlier questions, as well as perhaps of "my," "of me," "of mine": when to use these possessive constructions. – Sven Yargs Aug 1 '15 at 23:32
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    You're pushing the language somewhere she doesn't want to go. I'd sidestep it and say "They're friends of ours, me and my son". – StoneyB Aug 2 '15 at 0:21

Saying "they are friends of mine" often implies a meaning similar to the usage of me and mine. That is to say, "they" are friends of you and your family.

Saying "They are friends of my son and I" is incorrect; removing "my son" you would be left with "They are friends of I" which is incorrect.

Saying "They are friends of my son and me" is awkwardly phrased; removing "my son" you would be left with "They are friends of me" which is quite poorly phrased.

Saying "They are friends of mine and my son" is valid.

Saying "They are my son's and my friends" seems ideal without additional context, and staying true to the form of the original sentence.

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    I don’t recall ever hearing (or at least understanding) any implication that “friends of mine” means “friends of me and my family”. I also don’t buy the argument that you dismiss “friends of my son and I” because of a lack of morphological parallelism between the noun phrases, but then call “friends of mine and my son” valid, despite an equal lack of parallelism there. You wouldn’t accept “They are friends of Karen’s and Peter” as valid, would you? And while “They are friends of me” is not very idiomatic, I wouldn’t call is ungrammatical either—and “friends of my son and me” certainly not. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 1 '15 at 23:10
  • Why not avoid all this clumsiness and just say "they are my friends"? – Joost Kiefte Aug 1 '15 at 23:31

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