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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #1

    I and my family

    Hi all. I am an English teacher and have been teaching since 2004. I have always taught my students that 'I' should come after other nouns/pronouns;
    eg: My family and I enjoyed the dinner yesterday.

    My problem lies henceforth;
    I was reading an eulogy written by a respected individual for his mother. I have the utmost respect for the individual and know that he is highly educated in one of the best Universities in the world. In one of the lines that he had written, he used 'I' before 'my family';
    Eg: I and my family ...

    Is he correct? And if he is, then I am at a lost. Can someone help me with this , please?

    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: I and my family

    This is not a matter of grammatical 'correctness', but of social courtesy.

    True, traditionally it is recommended to place others before oneself in such compounds, but to fail to do so does not in any way invalidate the sentence as a linguistic item.

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    #3

    Re: I and my family

    Maybe the person does it here because he is speaking on their behalf, which is a bit different from Jane and I went to the shops.


    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    #4

    Re: I and my family

    Quote Originally Posted by farhanishak View Post
    Hi all. I am an English teacher and have been teaching since 2004. I have always taught my students that 'I' should come after other nouns/pronouns;
    eg: My family and I enjoyed the dinner yesterday.

    My problem lies henceforth;
    I was reading an eulogy written by a respected individual for his mother. I have the utmost respect for the individual and know that he is highly educated in one of the best Universities in the world. In one of the lines that he had written, he used 'I' before 'my family';
    Eg: I and my family ...

    Is he correct? And if he is, then I am at a lost. Can someone help me with this , please?

    Thanks in advance.
    Could you qoute the whole sentence here?
    There are certain cases in which the first person precedes the second and third persons.
    When there is something negative. "I" precedes 'he' and 'you' e.g.
    "I and he told a lie"

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    #5

    Re: I and my family

    Quote Originally Posted by farhanishak View Post
    Hi all. I am an English teacher and have been teaching since 2004. I have always taught my students that 'I' should come after other nouns/pronouns;
    eg: My family and I enjoyed the dinner yesterday.

    My problem lies henceforth;
    I was reading an eulogy written by a respected individual for his mother. I have the utmost respect for the individual and know that he is highly educated in one of the best Universities in the world. In one of the lines that he had written, he used 'I' before 'my family';
    Eg: I and my family ...

    Is he correct? And if he is, then I am at a lost. Can someone help me with this , please?

    Thanks in advance.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) I have read that English is one of the few languages to require

    that "I" be capitalized.

    (2) Thus, maybe out of a sense of humility, English speakers seem to

    be more comfortable mentioning oneself last.

    (3) For example, "I and my friend went to a movie" does sound

    a bit jarring.

    (4) Of course, it is "perfect" compared with what many young

    (and not-so-young) people say nowadays:

    Me and my friend went to a movie.


    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #6

    Re: I and my family

    Quote Originally Posted by shoaib 1 View Post
    Could you qoute the whole sentence here?
    There are certain cases in which the first person precedes the second and third persons.
    When there is something negative. "I" precedes 'he' and 'you' e.g.
    "I and he told a lie"
    Here is the sentence:

    Over these last few days, I and my family have been deeply touched by the outpouring of condolences and fond recollections from people of all walks of life.

    Thanks for helping me out with this. :)

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    #7

    Re: I and my family

    I have never before heard someone suggest that when it's negative, you put "I" first. It sounds awkward any time you put "I" first. I and he told a lie sounds utterly non-native to me.


    In your funeral example, I would have said "my family and I."

    As the others have said, it's convention, not grammar, that makes this sound right or makes it sound odd.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


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    #8

    Re: I and my family

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have never before heard someone suggest that when it's negative, you put "I" first. It sounds awkward any time you put "I" first. I and he told a lie sounds utterly non-native to me.


    In your funeral example, I would have said "my family and I."

    As the others have said, it's convention, not grammar, that makes this sound right or makes it sound odd.
    I do agree with you that convention should take precedence. That is why I am perplexed. I had just completed reading another eulogy to the same deceased and again, 'I and my family' was used. Both of them were educated in Cambridge and I could not reason out why both have made the same mistakes, if it were a mistake to begin with.

    Is there any special convention to use when one writes an eulogy?

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    #9

    Re: I and my family

    Quote Originally Posted by shoaib 1 View Post
    Could you qoute the whole sentence here?
    There are certain cases in which the first person precedes the second and third persons.
    When there is something negative. "I" precedes 'he' and 'you' e.g.
    "I and he told a lie"
    I'm not sure where you get this idea from, since it is neither a rule of grammar nor even an established mode of speech/courtesy. 'He and I..' or 'Both he and I...' would still be the natural order here.

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