+0
What is the correct word order (if there is one) for two object pronouns? For example, is is "He hated her and me" or "He hated me and her"?
1 2 3
Comments  
Hi,

What is the correct word order (if there is one) for two object pronouns? For example, is is "He hated her and me" or "He hated me and her"? I wouldn't really say that grammar requires a particular order. Such matters usually come from politeness. eg For subjects, Mary and I is usually more polite than I and Mary'. But I don't see as much need for that with objects.

Emphasis is a consideration. Generally speaking, the one that comes first will seem to have a bit more emphasis, but even here, things like tone of voice also are important factors.

Best wishes, Clive
CliveHi,

What is the correct word order (if there is one) for two object pronouns? For example, is is "He hated her and me" or "He hated me and her"? I wouldn't really say that grammar requires a particular order. Such matters usually come from politeness. eg For subjects, Mary and I is usually more polite than I and Mary'. But I don't see as much need for that with objects.

Emphasis is a consideration. Generally speaking, the one that comes first will seem to have a bit more emphasis, but even here, things like tone of voice also are important factors.

Best wishes, Clive

Hi Clive

I've read from a book on English usage that if it is about something negative, the speaker should mention himself or herself first. 'I and Peter have committed a crime.'


Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
No disrespect to you personally Yoong Liat, but frankly you can read almost anything in a book. And that's half the problem. Actually almost any time that either grammar or etiquette are discussed (including here), you get people searching desperately to come up with rules that either barely exist, or are actually applied by about 0.00000001% of the native speaking population -and as such are next to worthless. Many people (especially English language reference authors) often seem to feel they have to identify the subtlest nuance and carve it into tablets of stone, to justify themselves, when really all they do is contribute to misleading the reader into heading further and further down the path to learning "textbook English" -a language largely unrelated to that spoken in the Real World(tm).
SaiingNo disrespect to you personally Yoong Liat, but frankly you can read almost anything in a book. And that's half the problem. Actually almost any time that either grammar or etiquette are discussed (including here), you get people searching desperately to come up with rules that either barely exist, or are actually applied by about 0.00000001% of the native speaking population -and as such are next to worthless. Many people (especially English language reference authors) often seem to feel they have to identify the subtlest nuance and carve it into tablets of stone, to justify themselves, when really all they do is contribute to misleading the reader into heading further and further down the path to learning "textbook English" -a language largely unrelated to that spoken in the Real World(tm).
If we analyse what the English authority has stated, it does make sense. If it is something positive or nothing negative is involved, put yourself last. This is because it more polite to do so.

If it is negative, put yourself first in the list of persons mentioned. In this case, something bad has happened, and it would not be prudent to put yourself at the end of the list.

All the books on English usage will say the same things but differ once in a while. And every book will give you additional knowledge, which is not provided by the other books. In this way, your knowledge increases as you read more and more such books. What is written in books on English usage can often be found in the dictionaries as well because nowadays a lot of dictionaries not only provide definitions of the words but also explain how the words should be used.

Even the teachers from the British Council, an authority on English, make use of books on English and they encourage me to refer to such books. So why do you condemn these books? I believe you should read such books before you condemn them.
I am not taking sides here, but as a native speaker, I would never, ever say "I and Peter" (unless I changed my mind about what I wanted to say as I was saying it: "I.... uh, oh, and Peter too, I guess, will be a the party.")

Negative or positive, it will always be "Peter and I."

(As a side note, I agree with Sailing to the extent that there are some people who look for tiny nuances and report them as though they are firm rules. There are about 10 pages of posts on how "he must" "he has to" and "he is required to" differ, for example, and in my personal usage, 98% of the time, they are the same. Likewise, "he may" or "he might" are almost synonymous, but that didn't keep people from talking about it for four or more pages. And likewise, I agree with Yoong Liat that it's worth consulting many sources to increase your knowledge.)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Grammar GeekI am not taking sides here, but as a native speaker, I would never, ever say "I and Peter" (unless I changed my mind about what I wanted to say as I was saying it: "I.... uh, oh, and Peter too, I guess, will be a the party.")

Negative or positive, it will always be "Peter and I."
Very interesting. Never thought of this question.
BTW, there seems to be no politeness extended to "they" by "we"Emotion: smile

"They and we" and "we and they"
are equally seen at The New York Times:
http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=%22we+and+they%22&srchst=nyt
http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=%22they+and+we%22+&srchst=nyt
"They and we" (as well as "We and they") sound VERY strange. If they are we are both doing this thing (as a compound subject), wouldn't we just say "We all" or "We both"?

If you want to emphasize that "they" are different from "us," then I'd use each pronouns with its own verb. "The fact that we were going to be there at the same time that they were going to be there was not a factor because the resort was so large." I can't imagine saying "We and they will go on vacation at the same time." I'd say "We're both going at the same time."

Can you give a couple examples of complete sentences in which they are the compound subject? (I'm familiar with the usage of "There's no "we and they" in this - we're all in it together" but that's not a subject, obviously.)
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more