"You may think me and my friends are not good enough"
"You may think my friends and I are not good enough"
How come when the order of "my friends and I" and "me and my friends" changes, the pronoun changes? Either it doesn't and my first example is wrong, or the object pronoun 'me' is just a tricky thing.
The first sentence is grammatically wrong. "Me" cannot be the subject of the verb.
You can test this by either of these tests:
1) ONE TEST: Replace the two words with a "group" pronoun -- in this case "we" or "us" -- to see which case is correct
- "You may think us are not good enough." <-- same case as "me"
- "You may think we are not good enough." <-- same case as "I"
2) ANOTHER TEST: You can also mentally delete the other person. Errors in pronoun case seem to occur only in the "me AND another" phrases. With only the first person pronoun involved, the correct case is usually obvious.
- "You may think me am not good enough."
- "You may think I am not good enough."
It's common to put the word "me" before the other person, especially when the people are the objects of verbs (but not so much when the people are the objects of prepositions), or when the phrase is in isolation
"Me and Julio down by the schoolyard"
~ Paul Simon
> Carlton gave a pair of free tickets to my brother and me.
> He reported me and my brother for something Sara did.
There is no reason for this word order; it is just custom and usage.
This custom accounts for the placement of "me" in the first sentence (even though "me" is incorrect and should not have been used.)
It is also most common to place the word "I" AFTER the other person.
> My brother and I thanked Carton for the ducats.
> My brother and I were finally able to clear our names.
The problem with the first sentence in your example is that the pronouns must be in the nominative. The first sentence is just grammatically wrong -- no matter which position the word "me" falls in. "Me" is the wrong case for the pronoun.
"Me and my brother had a good time at the movie" is sometimes heard in the vernacular -- even among educated speakers who are speaking slangily-- but it is incorrect.
It's the same with some very frequent sentences like:
"you and me need to have a little talk"
(Wouldn't it be more correct to say: "you and I need to have a little talk"?)
It is the ONLY correct way to say this.
- You and me need to have a little talk" is just flat-out wrong.
- The subject of the sentence HAS to be "I"
- If you use "me" as the subject, you are saying "Us need to have a little talk" -or- "Me need to have a little talk."
"she and he need to have a little talk"
(I figured this is correct, because if I can substitute 'they', which is a subject pronoun, for 'she and he' I figured two subject pronouns are okay)
This is grammatical but odd. English speakers would almost always automatically change this to "They" or to "He and she."
When "she" and "he" are specified as the subjects of a sentence (instead of "they"), the custom is to place "he" first:
> He and his dog both love pizza.
> He and she both know how to sky dive.
There's no reason for this word order; it's just custom and usage.
I've tried to use some different personal pronouns, to see if that could make it clearer:
"You may think she and I are not good enough"
(I wouldn't dare to change the 'I' into 'me' here)
You had better not dare! It is not optional. "I" is the subject of the verb, and "me" cannot be used in its place.
"me" is the OBJECTIVE form of the pronoun -- it is the OBJECT of verbs and prepositions, never the subject.
"I" can be the subject only, never the object of a verb or a preposition.
> My mother watched my brother and me cross the street.
("me" is the object of the verb "watched')
TEST: "My mother watched ME cross the street"
-or- "My mother watched I cross the street"
-- ?? which one?
> He told me I had to finish my homework before I could watch TV.
("me" is the object of "told." "I" is the subject of "had to finish")
> My mother watched as my brother and I crossed the street.
("I" is the subject of "crossed")
TEST: "My mother watched as ME crossed the street"
-or- "My mother watched as I crossed the street"
-- ?? which one?
"You may think he and they aren't good enough"
(This one sounds a little weird, but that's probably because I seldom use a combination like that)
Yes, this is a perfect analysis of the sentence.
> Fred and all his sisters were not respected in their town. Their mother said, "You may think he and they aren't good enough."