(Me and your dad) were staying in this bungalow

Daffodil100

Senior Member
Chinese
I heard the following sentence in an American film titled Trucker.

Me and your dad were staying in this bungalow we rented in Hollywood. ( A mom told her kid.)

I wonder why she, a native speaker, didn't say "Your father and I..." I also heard another similar expression in the film.

Thank you!
 
  • Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    This is not an uncommon error among those who did not go to school or did not pay attention to their English teachers when they did.

    Probably the script writer knew that the pronoun should be in the nominative or subjective case ("I"), but used the accusative or objective case to indicate that the speaker is not well educated or sophisticated, or just to be consistent with other speech patterns of such a character. "I and your dad . . ." would, in fact, sound a little odd. "Your father and I . . ." is more formal or educated.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Native speakers often use non-standard grammar in their speech. Standard English tells us that "he and I" is correct. However, many people say "him and me" or "me and him" or some other version.

    I advise you not to copy these odd variations. Use standard English.
     

    Daffodil100

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you both for your replies.

    I had thought native speakers even the uneducated spoke English grammatically correct naturally, because it seems to me it is to Chinese.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Thank you both for your replies.

    I had thought native speakers even the uneducated spoke English grammatically correct naturally, because it seems to me it is to Chinese.
    It is worth pointing out that for a person who says "Me and your dad were staying in this bungalow," the grammar of that sentence is grammatically correct, since it strictly follows the rules of the grammar of the variety of English with which the person was raised.

    Standard grammar is just one subset of English grammar. (It's even more complicated than that: "He's in hospital" is grammatical in both standard and nonstandard dialects of British English but ungrammatical in both standard and nonstandard dialects of American English.)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Me and your dad' is probably the most common way of saying this right across the English-speaking world. It's a little unfair that it's still widely considered non-standard.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Thank you both for your replies.

    I had thought native speakers even the uneducated spoke English grammatically correct naturally, because it seems to me it is to Chinese.
    Like vocabulary, some grammar is learned by listening to other speakers, but some is only learned by study; those who don't study, don't learn it. Children learning a language by listening generalize rules from particular examples. They can make mistakes in these generalizations, and they can't learn what they don't hear.

    Children rarely to never make mistakes with the articles that cause so much trouble for adult English learners whose native languages don't have articles. However, children who have heard a few strong verbs of the i-a-u declension (I sing, I sang, I have sung) may conclude that "bring" is another such verb, and decline it bring-brang-brung; they have to be taught, by teachers if not by other adults, that the correct declension is bring-brought-brought. Ditto with "think" (think-thought-thought, not think-thank-thunk).

    In the case of "him and me," English generally uses the same form for a substantive whether it is a subject, a direct object, or an indirect object. In this case, English differs from earlier Indo-European languages, and some modern ones, which attach different suffixes to a noun or pronoun depending on which of these functions it performs. Only in the case of the first and third person pronouns does English use different forms for the subject vs. either of the objects (I vs. me; we vs. us; he/she/it vs. him/her/it; they vs. them). Because of the rarity of this distinction, some children fail to learn it. That is especially the case if they learn their English by listening to adults who also failed to learn the pronoun patterns that are described in textbooks and are actually used by many educated speakers, who use them either because the adults they heard used them, or because they learned them in school (usually, both).

    Like "He brang a toy to school," "Me and your dad were staying ..." indicates that a person learned English among other users of this pattern and did not learn the textbook pattern in school. Users of the textbook pattern will draw conclusions about users of "brang" or "Me and your dad ..." Those conclusions might be limited to the environment in which the users of the non-textbook patterns grew up, or might extend to assessments of the character and intelligence of those users.

    Regardless of the validity of "Me and your father were ..." among its own users, speakers of English who wish to be regarded as educated or sophisticated by, say, university graduates or business executives, should say "Your father and I were ..."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    ... and did not learn the textbook pattern in school...
    Or.. They did learn the pattern in school but consider it to be a different register from the ingrained patterns from their childhood. They switch into the "correct" register in situations where it is proper - school and work, and switch back to their "natural" register around friends and family.
     
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