me and my family

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nurdug51, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. nurdug51 Senior Member

    I have often heard sentences like:
    Me and my family went on holiday in France.

    Why don't you say I and my family?
    is the subject of the sentence.
    Or could you say this as well.

    And what about: My family and me ......
    my family and I ....... ???

    Are they possible?

  2. languageGuy Senior Member

    Kansas City, MO
    USA and English
    The only 'correct' form is: My family and I went of vacation.

    You will hear all the others in conversation.
  3. sharpy Senior Member


    'My family and I' is the grammatically correct one, but I think people are actually more likely to use the incorrect, 'me and my family'. Not sure why, but it's very commonplace.
  4. femmefee

    femmefee Senior Member

    You are talking about WHO you went out with, so your family automatically becomes the subject, therefore you will start with My family and I. Hope this helps! :)
  5. mplsray Senior Member

    Me and my family went on holiday in France is a nonstandard version of My family and I went on holiday in France. Putting I after my family is not a matter of grammar, but of politeness, and even then sometimes the pronoun I may come first and still be recognized as polite, as in I and my whole family went on holiday in France.

    A person who would say Me and my family went on holiday would never say :cross: Me went on holiday, so what we're dealing with is another set of grammar rules in which a sentence with a pronoun plus a predicate has the pronoun in the subjective case, while a sentence with a subject phrase containing the pronoun in coordination with other subjects uses the objective form of the pronoun:

    He's going to town.
    Nonstandard: Me and him are going to town.
    Standard: He and I are going to town.

    John's leaving now.
    Nonstandard: Me and John are leaving now.
    Standard: John and I are leaving now

    There are more complications involving pronoun case which I will not go into here, such as who/whom, between you and I, and It's me, all of which involve different rules than the dialect rules I pointed out above.

    I put a cross before the one sentence above which was ungrammatical in all dialects, but the nonstandard versions are of course to be avoided by those wishing to speak a standard dialect of English.
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    I suppose because spoken English has come under the pernicious influence of French, in which 'ma famille et moi' (literally, my family and me) is the acceptable form, and 'ma famille et je' (literally, my family and I) is not considered grammatical.
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Because my mummy said always to put other people first. William and I ran away. William's mum and my mum searched for us.
  8. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    This form is 'dated' in MHO. My husband and I is used now only by the Queen, who is 30 years behind the rest of us. Or so some say...
  9. Laurent Ledoux New Member

    The reason is simple: respect. The writer of the message should always come last.
  10. Aidanriley

    Aidanriley Senior Member

    SD, California
    My family and I is the grammatically correct one, but I disagree that it has anything to do with respect. Sounds like a very old guideline that doesn't have much standing anymore.

    The dog hates me and my friend.
    The dog hates my friend and me.

    Either of those would work, and I'd say the first one.
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    When this pattern was taught, a long time ago, it was taught as a matter of respect, of simple courtesy, not of grammar.
  12. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    I agree with what mplsray wrote. "Me and my family" is simply non-standard English when used as the subject. "Me went to France" is not English.
    On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with "He went with me and my family to France".

    Here are two other versions of the sentence, which in my view are common and standard English:

    I went to France on holiday with my family.
    I went with my family on holiday to France.
  13. Laurent Ledoux New Member

    You're right: it must be a very old guideline that doesn't have much standing anymore. It is sad because the idea behind this guideline was beautiful, at least in my eyes. At least, in French, this guideline still holds. I don't hereby mean that French-speaking citizens are more respectful in general than English-speaking ones ;-)
    Still, do you have a better explanation for the origin of the rule ?
  14. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    I think whether people follow the traditional rule varies from person to person, and it also depends in part on context. However, even though the convention that references to the speaker come last is not as strictly taught these days, it is still strong in our culture.

    In Latin the convention was the opposite. Latin often doesn't require a pronoun, but when it does, the convention is to start with the speaker and move away: I, you, he. When students write Latin, they generally follow the English traditional pattern until someone explains to them that the Latin convention is different.
  15. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I blame Rosemary Clooney, the singer of the 1950 children's favourite "Me and my teddy bear".
    Me and my teddy bear
    have no worries, have no cares
    me and my teddy bear
    just play and play all day
    The rot started there :)
  16. s.kumar New Member

    India -Hindi & English
    a similar entry :
    me with family wishes you very happy birthday....
    here is it correct to say" me with my family"...?
  17. No, this is not correct. You wouldn't say "me wish you ...," so you shouldn't say "me and my family wish you ..." The most common way to express the sentiment would be:

    My family and I wish you ...

    In casual speech, many people might say "me and my family wish you ...," but it is indeed nonstandard, and in writing and careful speech, "my family and I" is the right format.

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