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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Question Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Hello,

    I've noticed that in certain contexts in English, the tendency is to leave the "I" to the end.

    Say, when someone speaks he/she would say:

    My dad and I
    went to the zoo.

    Is this is done because it is impolite to put one self before others? Or is that because of grammatical reasons?

    Can't we say:
    I and dad?
    Me and dad?



    And why some people say:
    Dad and myself went to the zoo?

    Does this imply that says "dad and I" is wrong in the first place?

    Thanks.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Quote Originally Posted by Iliaa View Post
    Is this is done because it is impolite to put one self before others?
    Yes.
    Can't we say:
    I and dad?
    Me and dad?
    The first is unnatural. The second is common in speech, but is generally considered substandard.
    And why do some people say:
    Dad and myself went to the zoo?
    Some people mistakenly believe this is correct.

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    #3

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Putting "I" last is convention; it has nothing to do with grammar. I'm not sure why, but I would venture that it probably has more to do with euphony than with politeness. "My wife and I" has a better-sounding rhythm than "I and my wife".

    As for the choice of "I" or "me", that depends whether it's the subject or object. "They sent the package to my wife and I" is wrong.
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    For the benefit of any learners who haven't yet been given this neat trick for deciding between "I" and "me", here it is:

    Remove the other person from the equation and see if what is left is still grammatical.

    My father and I went to the cinema.
    My father and I went to the cinema.
    I went to the cinema.

    My father and me went to the cinema.
    My father and me went to the cinema.
    Me went to the cinema.

    He sent it to my sister and me.
    He sent it to my sister and me.
    He sent it to me.

    He sent it to my sister and I.
    He sent it to my sister and I.
    He sent it to I.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    I agree with ems's analysis.

    However, while learners, particularly those preparing for tests and examinations, should always use the correct forms, they should be aware that quite a few native speakers of British English say such things as Me and Paul went ..., Paul and me went ..., Paul and myself went ..., Mary came with Paul and I, Mary came with Paul and myself. So, you may hear it. It's still not acceptable in the standard language.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Jun-2016 at 10:59. Reason: Fixed typo

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    #6

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I agree with ems's analysis.

    However, while learners, particularly those preparing for tests and examinations, should always use the correct forms, they should be aware that quite a few native speakers of British English say such things as Me and Paul went ..., Paul and me went ..., Paul and myself went ..., Mary came with Paul and I, Mary came with Paul and myself. So, you may hear it. It's still not acceptable in the standard language.
    This is very important for learners to know. You'll find that huge numbers of Anglophones get this "wrong" far more often than they get it "right". I put right and wrong in quotes because it's hard to defend calling forms used by apparently large majorities of English speakers incorrect, even if they're illogical. Be that as it may, ESL learners should try to get the subject and object pronouns right even when native Anglophones don't.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    it's hard to defend calling forms used by apparently large majorities of English speakers incorrect, even if they're illogical.
    I agree.

    However, as you and I have both said, it's important for learners to get this right. Teachers and examiners can be hard on this/

    Actually, most learners are quite happy with this - once it's pointed out, they see the logic. It's just confusing when they hear so many native speakers produce 'wrong' versions.
    Last edited by Piscean; 13-Jun-2016 at 21:47. Reason: Punctuation slip corrected

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbha View Post
    Putting "I" last is convention; it has nothing to do with grammar. I'm not sure why, but I would venture that it probably has more to do with euphony than with politeness. "My wife and I" has a better-sounding rhythm than "I and my wife". . . .
    That might just because you're used to hearing it that way, so hearing "I" first rings wrong.

    I was taught that it's a matter of manners.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Why is "I" last with "and" as in "My Dad and I"

    Quote Originally Posted by Iliaa View Post
    . . . And why do some people say:
    "Dad and myself went to the zoo"? Because they have bad grammar.

    Does this imply that saying "Dad and I" is wrong in the first place? No. "Dad and I went to the zoo" is correct.

    Thanks.
    My friend John clutters his talk with big words, but he doesn't always know whether to use "I" or "me."

    So to be safe, he uses myself instead. He doesn't realize that if he always said I or me, he'd only be wrong half the time. But by using myself in their places, he's always wrong!

    Many English speakers do it. It's better to simply learn when to use which: I, me, or myself.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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