I'd like to know what pronouns I can use inside the construction "both ... and ..." when it's used as a subject.
For this purpose, I have the following example:

the textbook "the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language", page 1494, example 39i:
(1) Both the local authority and myself have gone to the minister.
my variants:
(2) Both the local authority and me have gone to the minister. — Is it correct?
(3) Both the local authority and I have gone to the minister. — I know it's correct

So, is (2) correct?
Is there any difference between (1), (2) and (3)?

Does something change in reversing the order?

my variants:
(4) Both myself and the local authority have gone to the minister. — Is it correct?
(5) Both me and the local authority have gone to the minister. — Is it correct?
(6) Both I and the local authority have gone to the minister. — I know it's correct

So, are (4) and (5) correct?
Is there any difference between (4), (5) and (6)?

The textbook says (1) is correct:
override coordination

  • 1
    Technically speaking, your odd-numbered examples are incorrect (because you can't say Me has gone to him). But lots of people ignore that in relaxed conversational contexts. We normally use the reflexive pronoun (myself) in these contexts (primarily for emphasis), but there's nothing wrong with plain I. Jan 3 at 4:07
  • @FumbleFingers Did I understand you correctly?: i) Both sentences with "me" (#2 and #5) are incorrect but natural in informal speech. ii) If we replace "both the local authority and myself" with "both myself and the local authority" here, the sentence remains correct.
    – Loviii
    Jan 3 at 4:17
  • 2
    "... and me" is colloquial, and absolutely grammatical in informal contexts ("Mary and me are going for a swim") so it's odd to see it used in a context that seems formal ("local authority"). Teachers have been trying to browbeat native speakers about it for a couple of centuries.
    – TimR
    Jan 3 at 11:03
  • 1
    [tip: "Is this" or "Is that" correct is more idiomatic sounding than "is it" correct] You cite the pages of CGEL, but what does it say about those utterances?
    – Lambie
    Jan 3 at 16:29
  • 1
    @Lovii: **You and me" or "her and me", "me and her", etc, in subject role (meaning "the two of us") will be heard in situations where the speaker's idiolect doesn't include a more formal mode of expression, and where a more adept speaker with informal and formal modes in their idiolect engages in "code-switching". And "we will" would be contracted: "Atfer you and me finish eating, we'll go back to my place and watch a movie. How's that sound?"
    – TimR
    Jan 5 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


The general rule is to use the same pronoun you would use if it were alone rather than part of a list.

So in the subject position, you use "Mary and I have gone", since you would say "I have gone". In the object position you say "He paid me and Mary" since you would say "He paid me".

Also, in the subject position it's more idiomatic to put "I" at the end of the list. So "Mary, John and I have gone" sounds better than "I, Mary and John have gone". In the object position, the order is more flexible.

That said, it has become common to use "me" in subject lists in informal contexts. I personally feel that it makes the speaker sound uneducated or infantile (like Cookie Monster saying "me like cookies"), but it has become prevalent enough that it may be a language change in progress.

  • 1
    Hear, hear. @TimR may say that it's 'absolutely grammatical in informal contexts', but it makes me wince (and I'm not a teacher!). Jan 3 at 16:08
  • 1
    Neither am I, I'm just old. But I'm not a prescriptivist about language -- if it's prevalent and clearly understood, it's part of the language, no matter how some of us react to it. Every language change was initially a mistake.
    – Barmar
    Jan 3 at 16:55
  • 1
    On the other hand, enough people were improperly browbeaten about using "I" so that they would default to "He paid Mary and I."
    – Teepeemm
    Jan 4 at 18:55
  • Yes, people don't learn the rule properly and they generalize incorrectly.
    – Barmar
    Jan 4 at 20:31
  • @KateBunting But I bet you don't say "It is I". Or do you?
    – TimR
    Jan 6 at 17:39

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