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Which is correct: me and my wife or my wife and me? The sentence in which this is used is

Ms. Smith informed me and my wife that she was afraid of being accosted.

33

According to Grammar Girl, it's "a rule of politeness" to put yourself last in the list:

Ms. Smith informed my wife and me that...

General Writing and Grammar help concurs, but does not offer any additional authorities on the matter.

The Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary offers the same advice: third-person, then second-person, finally first-person pronouns for general usage; mixing up the order is not necessarily rude, but can serve to emphasize the role of the speaker in the action, or as a cue that the speaker is talking informally or is less-educated.

  • This is a great find, upvoting. – RiMMER Nov 15 '11 at 16:22
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    And yet for this sentence, putting "me" second sounds rather awkward... – Izkata Nov 15 '11 at 20:39
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    The combination he informed my husband and me sounds awkward, but he informed me and my husband/wife and me and my girl/boyfriend/best friend flows better. Whereas the "rule" I believe applies to the subject order "My family/children/friends/ husband/boyfriend/best friend and I". – Mari-Lou A Dec 14 '14 at 18:47
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    @Mari-LouA, it may sound awkward to you, but it sounds correct to me. :-) (Two of the given references do explicitly mention examples using the objective case, although one agrees with you that it "sounds awkward" and you would probably be better off using plural pronouns if possible.) – Hellion Dec 14 '14 at 19:59
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    To me (and I assume you also were speaking subjectively), he informed my husband and me sounds far better than he informed me and my husband. With pauses (before and), either way round sounds fine. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '14 at 23:23
4

Both are correct, you can use any of them. They don't even bear any difference. The same would apply to:

I and my wife were informed that ...

versus

My wife and I were informed that ...

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    @BarrieEngland: I don't think I agree with that. You're saying that "Ms. Smith informed I that ..." is correct. And it obviously isn't. – RiMMER Nov 15 '11 at 16:48
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    @RiMMER Ψ: ‘But why should we simply assume that the grammatical rules for case assignment cannot differentiate between a coordinated and a non-coordinated pronoun?’ (Huddleston and Pullum, ‘The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language’. Full text here on page 9: cambridge.org/assets/linguistics/cgel/chap1.pdf – Barrie England Nov 15 '11 at 17:08
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    @DavidSchwartz: but then you'd have no way to write the sentence at all. ("Me are pleased" wouldn't be any better.) The point is that this position in the sentence requires a subject ("I") rather than an object ("me"). – Alex Nov 15 '11 at 17:57
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    "I" is used for a subject; "me" is used for an object. I am not aware of any grammar rule that says that making something plural changes it from a subject to an object or vice versa. "My wife and I am pleased" is incorrect because "my wife and I" is plural and thus calls for a plural verb. The fact that a singular verb does not go with a plural noun does not in any way negate the fact that the subjective case should be used for subjects and the objective case for objects. – Jay Nov 15 '11 at 19:45
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    @Paula Giacinto, feel free to ignore the comments here, and focus only on the actual answers given. :-) – Hellion Nov 15 '11 at 20:32

protected by tchrist Dec 14 '14 at 18:42

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