Possible Duplicate:
“My friends and I” vs. “My friends and me” vs. “Me and my friends”
Is naming the first person last proper grammar or just proper manners?
“Julio and I” vs “I and Julio”

Today I made a post on Facebook in which I copied a conversation from somewhere else. To preface my post, I wrote:

A conversation between me and John:

There were a number of comments on my use of pronouns, but the one I am most interested in was on the word order. One commentator said that the personal pronoun must always come last. I admit that I was raised to always use the personal pronoun last and simply did not type what I felt was correct, but I honestly don't know whether what I was raised with was correct. So,

Should you always place the personal pronoun last in a list? If so, why?

  • 1
    If you want to sound really sophisticated, bear in mind in the Queen's English it's always "My husband and I". And so far as I know she's the only living person who's publicly acknowledged as owning her own language, so we ought to take that into account (since she lets countless millions of us use her language for free! :) Jan 5, 2013 at 2:46
  • 1
    There is nothing grammatically wrong with any order. This is not so much a question of sentence structure as of etiquette.
    – MetaEd
    Jan 5, 2013 at 6:20
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers: But we're dealing with me here, not I; I think that's significant. I sounds decidedly out of place when it's put first, and that doesn't seem to be the case with me. For example, I wouldn't say, "I and Ed agree on this point," but I wouldn't have such a problem with, "Some of us agree, like me and Ed."
    – J.R.
    Jan 5, 2013 at 10:17
  • I believe you and your doppelgänger both mean first-person personal pronouns only, not all possible personal pronouns. Notice how I placed the personal pronoun you before your double with no breach of courtesy.
    – tchrist
    Nov 4, 2016 at 1:40

2 Answers 2


Yes, convention is to use the personal pronoun last, listing all others before yourself.

The background to this, apparently, is simple politeness, but it certainly makes sense for it to be either first or last place - having it in the middle would be weird, for example:

A conversation between, John, me and Jane

  • If that's really "convention," it sure seems to be broken a lot.
    – J.R.
    Jan 5, 2013 at 2:22
  • What @J.R. said. I don't doubt lots of people will have been told this obscure point of etiquette, and some obviously remember and abide by it. You're supposed to be self-effacing and introduce yourself last, so this is a natural corollary. But such people are hopelessly outnumbered by those who neither know nor care. You might think someone's "well-bred" if they consistently observe the rule, but you can't just assume anyone who doesn't must be an uneducated pleb. Jan 5, 2013 at 2:39
  • 3
    Surely, in the sentence "John and I are the ones responsible for losing the Acme Corporation account," politeness requires that "I" should be put first. Jan 5, 2013 at 2:47
  • And, indeed, in the event of three participants, a conversation would be held "among" them rather than "between" them. ;) Jan 5, 2013 at 3:25
  • @PeterShor: I think there may be a difference between when we're dealing with the subject of a sentence (as in your example) and when there's an object (such as in the O.P.'s clause) – perhaps this is due to differences between I and me? "I and John are responsible for losing the account" sounds much more awkward to my ears than "The stakeholders met with me and John."
    – J.R.
    Jan 5, 2013 at 10:11

Though current common usage of style may favor the latter, "...between me and John," and "...between John and me," are grammatically equivalent.

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