# Should I write “X and I”, “X and me”, “I and X”, or “me and X” in a conjoined object?

A question was asked in one of my friend's interview. The question was to determine the right form from the below sentences.

Q. Correct form of English:

1. Samuel was with Susan and I
2. Samuel was with Susan and me
3. Samuel was with I and Susan
4. Samuel was with me and Susan
5. None of these

Now I vaguely remember a rule of thumb from my school days. That is "2-3-1" i.e. where all the persons are acting in a sentence, second person comes first, then third person and it is followed by first person.

So according to this theory, `1` seems to be correct to me. Is this theory correct?

• So,would you say 'Samuel was with I' ? I think not. It should be 'Samuel was with Susan and me'. – Graham Stevenson Oct 11 at 6:55

Your theory is correct. But that leaves us with 1) and 2).

Between I and me, we can decide like this: I corresponds to we and me corresponds to us. 'He was with us' and not 'He was with we.' So, 2) is the correct option.

• +1, That being said, "me and Susan" is probably the more common form in actual usage. – DCShannon Apr 5 '16 at 16:49

A helpful trick for determining whether to use I or me in a multi-person scenario is to take the other people out of the sentence. If you still have a valid sentence at that point, then you have the correct pronoun.

For example, with the sentence Samuel was with Susan and I, you take out Susan, leaving you with the sentence Samuel was with I. Hopefully you can tell immediately that this is incorrect, and therefore the initial sentence is also incorrect. If you replace I with me, the sentence then appears correct. Now you can add Susan back in, and you still have a correct sentence: Samuel was with Susan and me.

As for whether you or Susan should be mentioned first, as answered on ELU, it is a "rule of politeness" to put yourself last. (But the rule of thumb that I have is 3-2-1, not 2-3-1.)

In "Samuel was with Susan and I." Susan and I is the object of the verb. As such, standard English requires you to use me.