Note that while in subject-verb agreement some usage manuals say that the final element of an or-coordination should determine the form of the verb, such a rule could not apply with pronoun agreement:

[44] i # Kim or I may have my application knocked back.
      ii Kim or I will have to move my car.

The antecedent for my has to be I, not Kim or I. example [i] is therefore anomalous, and in [ii] there is only one car involved, mine. (CGEL,p.497)

It seems that example [i] needs to be ‘Kim or I may have our applications knocked back.’ From the first line - some usage manuals - do they have to choose was in ‘Kim or I was/were rejected from them’?

  • 1
    I am having trouble understanding what you question is. I read two, use of I with my and usage of we/were. As it is, I think the action on my is taken by either Kim or I, but not both. The verb does not change.
    – user3169
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 6:34
  • 1
    – user230
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure I follow your question. You didn't choose a verb that needs to change forms for the first and third person ("I was, Kim was").

If the question is about which possessive pronoun to use...

Let's use names whose actual gender associations are clear, Mary and Bob.

Bob is speaking:

Mary or I will have ______________ requisition approved, but not both of us, as there is only one vehicle available in the car pool.

Which possessive pronoun to use?

How do we handle this situation in English?

I would either rephrase the sentence to avoid it, or use "our".

Either Mary will have her requisition approved, or I mine, but not both of us, as there is only one vehicle available in the car pool.


It would be "Kim or I was rejected" "Kim and I were rejected"

You are correct in "Kim and I may have our applications sent back"

You must log in to answer this question.

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