Some people say it is outright wrong to use "I and my friend" or "I and my X". Their reasoning is it should be "My friend and I love the sun" is right because when separated "My friend loves the sun" and "I love the sun" both makes sense. But if I use "I and my friend" love the sun, they get split as "I love the sun" and "My friend love the sun". The latter is wrong. Others say the sentence is right grammatically but not polite to use "I" before. So who is right?

  • 2
    I think it is a matter of respect. Saying "I and my friend" puts you first and the friend second. Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


The only reason why "I and my friend" is discouraged is because it's considered discourteous to put yourself first.

When you say "My friend and I love the sun" the subject is plural, and then the plural form of "love" is required. When you say "My friend loves the sun" you must use the 3rd person singular form of the verb -- "loves".

  • 1
    I know that this is commonly accepted as the reason, but If this were true, wouldn't we expect "my friend and me" to be much more common than "me and my friend"? Surely, the rules of courtesy don't necessarily make sense, but it seems a little hard to believe that people think it's impolite to put yourself first as a subject, but it's OK to be the first object. I suspect that something else is involved.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 15:51
  • @Juhasz That seems likely. Politeness is never the only reason for language features. In this case I would suspect that the strangeness of leaving I out there at the beginning, stressed and uncontracted, an entire NP constituent by itself and part of a conjoined noun phrase, is what makes it feel weird. I is normally contracted and rarely stressed. Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 16:21
  • @Juhasz "Me and my friend" is most often used incorrectly when the phrase is the subject of the verb. For example "Me and my friend went to the shops". In that case the correct form would be "My friend and I went to the shops". The prevalence of the "Me and my friend" form has, unfortunately, led to the opposite error becoming enormously common. A very large number of very expensively educated people say things like "My father threw a party for my sister and I". It's easy to find the correct form of the first person pronoun, just use it on its own without the other person involved.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 20:08
  • @BoldBen - So you're telling me that "Me and my shadow, strolling down the avenue" is wrong???
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 20:12
  • @BoldBen, you may be right that "me and my friend" is used more often as a subject, but how does that explain the "impolite" order? Is the thought that as long as you're making one mistake you might as well make two? Anyway, I share your frustration about that hypercorrection. I hear things like "Send that email to John and I" every day.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 20:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.