Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21
  1. #11
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,063
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    The Cambridge Grammar of English

    Another kind of illegitimate argument is based on an analogy between one area of grammar and another. Consider yet another construction where there is variation between nominative and accusative forms of pronouns:

    [3] a. They invited me to lunch. b. %They invited my partner and I to lunch.

    The % symbol is again used to mark the [b] example as typically used by some speakers of Standard English but not others, though this time it is not a matter of regional variation. ... What is different is that examples like [b] are regularly used by a significant proprortion of speakers of Standard English, and not generally thought by ordinary speakers to be non-standard; they pass unnoticed in broadcast speech all the time.

    Prescriptivists, however, condemn the use illustrated by [3b] [and say it] is ungrammatical by implicit anlaogy, ... as the example seen in [a]. What is different in [b] is that the direct object of the verb has the form of a coordination, not a single pronoun. Prescriptivists commonly take it for granted that this difference is irrelevant to case assignment.

    But why should we assume that the rules for case assignment cannot differentiate between a coodinated and a non-coordinated pronoun? ... The argument from analogy is illegitimate.

    Construction [23i] with 'I' as final coordinate is, however, so common in speech and used by so broad a range of speakers that it has to be recognized as a variety of Standard English, ...

    ===================

    The constructions described in the final paragraph are precisely the one described by English Arguer.

    "Brandon just wrote to Rachael and I."

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,553
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Well, I hesitate to take issue with the Cambridge Grammar of English, but in my experience it is simply untrue that "ordinary speakers" consider this to be standard English. Some do, but by no means a large enough proportion to make such usage "standard". It is a common error, but the implication that most people use "I" as a final coordinate while a few die-hard prescriptivists call foul simply doesn't square with my experience. It is certainly not a feature of formal English (although it is a feature of people attempting to emulate formal English, which is a different thing).

    True, there is no reason that the rules of "case assignment" (insofar as English can be said to have cases in any meaningful sense of the term) cannot differentiate between a coordinated and a non-coordinated pronoun, but neither is there any reason why they should.

    Another point is that English Arguer's friend insists that "Rachael and me" is always wrong, wherever it comes in the sentence. Cambridge certainly isn't saying that -- it's merely talking about possible varieties of standard English.

    There is, I think, a fine line between describing the way language is actually used, and propogating badly-taught or badly-remembered grammar rules. In my experience (and that of everyone else who has posted to this thread), this falls quite clearly in the latter category.

  3. #13
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Hello EA

    Other tests are reversing the pronouns and using other persons, e.g.

    1. ??Brandon just wrote to I and Rachael.
    2. ??Brandon just wrote to Rachael and he.
    3. ??Brandon just wrote to they and we.

    Your friend would presumably never say any of those. This may demonstrate to her that the word choice she prefers is based on a notion of propriety, rather than grammar.

    ____

    There also seem to be some lapses of logic in the argument used by the CGEL; I've posted a comment about those elsewhere, as they're not strictly relevant to this thread.

    MrP

    PS: Interestingly, even the grammar check in Microsoft Word suggests a correction for "Brandon just wrote to Rachael and I". Rather sternly, it advises that the "form of the pronoun needs to reflect its function in your sentence".

    (Unfortunately, if your friend is British, she will simply say that Americans don't know anything about grammar. And if she's American, she'll say that programmers don't know anything about grammar. )

  4. #14
    Morpheus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    90
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    I have a question to native speakers. How is English grammar taught in British and American schools? When do children start learning it, how exactly do they learn it?

    In Russian schools we beging studying grammar very early: we learn certain rules (and there are hundreds of them) and do a lot of exercises. Is this the way it is done in your schools?

  5. #15
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    16,060
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    Well, I hesitate to take issue with the Cambridge Grammar of English, but in my experience it is simply untrue that "ordinary speakers" consider this to be standard English. Some do, but by no means a large enough proportion to make such usage "standard". It is a common error, but the implication that most people use "I" as a final coordinate while a few die-hard prescriptivists call foul simply doesn't square with my experience. It is certainly not a feature of formal English (although it is a feature of people attempting to emulate formal English, which is a different thing).

    True, there is no reason that the rules of "case assignment" (insofar as English can be said to have cases in any meaningful sense of the term) cannot differentiate between a coordinated and a non-coordinated pronoun, but neither is there any reason why they should.

    Another point is that English Arguer's friend insists that "Rachael and me" is always wrong, wherever it comes in the sentence. Cambridge certainly isn't saying that -- it's merely talking about possible varieties of standard English.

    There is, I think, a fine line between describing the way language is actually used, and propogating badly-taught or badly-remembered grammar rules. In my experience (and that of everyone else who has posted to this thread), this falls quite clearly in the latter category.
    I agree with you completely. It is interesting that the very people who often opine that using "whom" correctly sounds pretentious don't seem to feel the same way about "between you and I". That sounds pretentious and wrong to me.

    This poster's friend is a perfect example of someone who learns half a rule. I am certain that this person heard many times not to use "Rachel and me" as the subject of a sentence. He/she just didn't listen to the second part of the rule.

  6. #16
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    16,060
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    I have a question to native speakers. How is English grammar taught in British and American schools? When do children start learning it, how exactly do they learn it?

    In Russian schools we beging studying grammar very early: we learn certain rules (and there are hundreds of them) and do a lot of exercises. Is this the way it is done in your schools?
    I can't tell you how it is taught today, but in the past the teaching was very similar to what you describe. One of the basics of grammar education involved diagramming sentences. IMO, this was the very best method of teaching students how words interrelate in sentences. This method has all but disappeared in public schools in the USA, mostly because the students didn't like it. Teachers just gave up. IMO, students are not fond of multiplication tables either, but they have not been abandoned. They are just too important.

  7. #17
    Morpheus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    90
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    IOne of the basics of grammar education involved diagramming sentences.
    What is that? Analyzing the structure of a sentence? What about punctuation? Did you have to learn a lot of rules concerning it? What is the most difficult part of grammar for school-children and grown-ups?

    And do kids in your country study English grammar until they leave school?

  8. #18
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Back when I was in school, shortly after the Earth's crust had cooled, we had to diagram sentences. This involved actually drawing a pattern of lines to map out the parts of speech in a sentence. For example, you'd draw a straight line, and write your subject and main verb on it, and adverbs and adjectives would be written on diagonal lines jutting downwards from the main line. It's hard to describe, but it did help us to learn our parts of speech back in the day. When I was in school, they started teaching us grammar, parts of speech and sentence construction in the third grade (about age seven) and it continued until we graduated from high school.

  9. #19
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    16,060
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheus View Post
    What is that? Analyzing the structure of a sentence? What about punctuation? Did you have to learn a lot of rules concerning it? What is the most difficult part of grammar for school-children and grown-ups?

    And do kids in your country study English grammar until they leave school?
    Ouisch described it very well, but I'll post some links about it at the end.

    When I went to school, grammar, spelling, reading, writing, and mathematics were the major focuses in elementary school. That, of course, included punctuation. In high school, the class was divided up into 10 sections of 40 students each. The top two sections were "honors", the next two were "academic", the next four were "general" and the last two were "remedial". There was far less grammar instruction in the top sections than in the bottom ones. In honors, we went directly into literature. That said, when the teacher found common recurrent errors in our essays, he would teach a lesson on that. I remember one such class vividly. It was about run-on sentences created by connecting sentences with a comma and a conjunctive adverb. I don't think I'll ever forget that type of error. Even when I went to the University, two semesters of freshman rhetoric were required of all students. Again, this was mostly remedial grammar and writing. Happily, I placed out of those by taking a test. My early grammar training saved me a lot of time and effort in the following years.

    Basics of Reed-Kellogg diagrams

    Diagramming Sentences

    Diagrams From Reed & Kellogg

  10. #20
    Morpheus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    90
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when to use I versus me

    Ouisch and Mike, thank you very much for the explanation. I was really shocked to see such difficult diagrams, no wonder they are not so popular with the students :). I wonder if diagramming is used in Britain as well.

    One more question. All over the world English is taught in accordance with grammar reference books written by Michael Swan, Thomson&Martinet. Did these authors write for foreign students of English only or did they also write books for native speakers?

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Traditional versus Functional Grammar
    By yas61 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2009, 11:24
  2. Hatred Versus Hate
    By Jesule in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Jun-2006, 05:31
  3. using in versus on
    By lusero in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2005, 12:55
  4. nominative versus objective prounouns
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Jul-2004, 20:42

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •