I couldn't find any gramar rule that says "* and he" is incorrect.

However, I found out that "he and *" is more common/idiomatic.

Are constructions like "his wife and he" or "her friends and she" incorrect/uncommon? Why or why not?

Example sentence: "His wife and he went to Hawaii last week."

1 Answer 1


There's no rule against it. It's much more common to say "he and his wife", "she and her friends", etc. But switching the order is perfectly correct.


In general I'd say to use the more conventional order. But if you have some reason to reverse it -- emphasis, parallel with another sentence, whatever -- it's perfectly fine.

  • 1
    You should know about false positives in Ngrams. It cannot be cited without checking that the instances actually include the phrase unadulterated. For example: … And the miller awoke, and found not his wife ; and he went into the mill2he was unduly pessimistic about his relationship with his wife, and he agrees that this is certainly a pattern for him3the man who worked as foreman in the bicycle factory killed his wife and he is now in the courts4And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister:…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 2, 2020 at 17:37
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA Fair enough. Is it your position that "his wife and he" is wrong? Or just the the ngram is misleading?
    – Jay
    Jul 2, 2020 at 19:37
  • 1
    I would say native speakers never use that order. It's confusing it sounds like a same sex marriage, nothing wrong with that but I had to read the statement twice before I realised the female spouse headed the phrase.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 2, 2020 at 19:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .