Is the following use of "we" in an informal conversation incorrect or ambiguous:

Mary: How did your day go at work?

John: It was good. I had a meeting early in the morning and we had lunch with Jack to discuss the project...

Mary: Who's we?

John: Me and Jack.

The alternative would be for John to say: "I had a meeting in the morning and I had lunch with Jack to discuss the project".


1 Answer 1


A native speaker would not say 'we had lunch with Jack' if the only people having lunch were the speaker and Jack. The word 'we' means that there was at least one more person having lunch.

  • 2
    Yes, to me it sounds as though a) Jack wasn't in the meeting but that everyone who was, including John, had lunch with Jack. b) Jack is not in John's team but the whole team had lunch with Jack c) John is (or is under the delusion that he is) a monarch.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 19, 2020 at 22:18

Your Answer

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

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