8
  1. I am joined by two special guests today.

  2. I am joined with two special guests today.

I often hear the first one on TV and it makes sense. But, today I have seen the second one "joined with" being used by a native British speaker. So, it sounded different to me and I got confused.

So, I wonder which one is correct?

4
  • I have taken thee liberty of reversing the order of your two example sentences to match the meaning of your question. This edit may not show up for a few minutes. Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 21:04
  • 1
    Also I think an active form Guest X is joining/joins me today is much more common. Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 22:06
  • Although this doesn’t appear to be common usage in Britain either, preposition usage often varies from dialect to dialect. Often, more than one usage is correct in the same dialect.
    – Davislor
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 5:42
  • Either they weren't a native speaker or they were making a joke. Hard to know without context. Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 15:46

2 Answers 2

28

If you are joined with two other people, you are physically fixed together like conjoined triplets, or maybe stuck using glue. The 'native British speaker' may have been using English carelessly.

10
  • Well done Michael Harvey. It was exactly like you said. There were 3 of them. They were filming a youtube video and they were sitting physically fixed fogether to fit into the camera.
    – Yunus
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 4:03
  • 6
    @yunus sitting close to each other is not enough. To be "joined with," you have some sort of attachment, like being glued together. You would generally only see that use in a few places: machinery, physical systems, and marriage spring to mind.
    – fectin
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 5:44
  • 6
    So it sounds like they weren't using English carelessly, they were making a visual joke based on the distinction between "joined by" and "joined with". Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 8:47
  • @yunus - if somebody expressed curiosity or surprise that I and a relative, friend or spouse were not together absolutely all the time, or that I did not have a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of their doings, I might say "We're not joined at the hip". Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 15:06
  • @yunus If you share the video with us, we can better judge if the native British speaker is joking or making a mistake.
    – minseong
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 18:52
5

The copula followed by a past participle often constitutes the passive voice, especially when followed by "by". Here, "I am joined by two special guests today" is a passive voice version of "Two special guests join me". The "by" is introducing a noun phrase that is performing the action. "I" is grammatically the subject, but is the recipient of the action. If we replace "by" with "with", then "two special guests" is no longer the performer of the action, but rather is the indirect object; the sentence is a passive voice version of "[Unspecified actor] joins me with two special guests", which makes it sound like "I" and "two special guests" are both the recipient of the action.

It is, however, understandable that in spoken speech, someone would use "with". They may have been thinking of something along the lines of "I am with two guests" and combined it with "I am joined" incorrectly.

2
  • Acccumulation, that is also right. This sentence is from a youtube video, in which one youtuber invited 2 other youtubers. He is grateful that they joined him. So he sees himself and the other two (guests) as equal characters of the video: I think he said "joined with" to simply mean "I" and the "two special guests", which is exactly what you described.
    – Yunus
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 6:06
  • 1
    "I have two guests, today." seems to me a way to avoid all this trouble. Or even, "Two guests join me today."
    – Wastrel
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 15:52

You must log in to answer this question.

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