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So, I made a mistake of using the following structure on the Internet:

"Some people seem to enjoy it. Others are me and [other person's name]".

Now, the sentence is already a bit on the dark side of grammar, but I got promptly called out that it should be "[other person's name] and I". I'm not sure about it, though - from my point of view, "others" serves as the subject here, and "me and [other person's name]" is an object.

Am I wrong? Why?

  • Is X someone's name? – CowperKettle Feb 6 '15 at 5:51
  • @CopperKettle Yes. Thought that would be obvious from the context, but I'll edit the question. – Maciej Stachowski Feb 6 '15 at 6:00
  • putting this as comment : (a point) I have read a rule that says that you should use the personal pronouns as 2-3-1 in a sentence, i.e., 2nd person then 3rd person then 1st person. This should be followed for both subjects and objects. e.g., You, he and I will go together. – v kumar Feb 6 '15 at 6:07
  • I don't think that's a rule exactly, just common practice. For example, "Please send a free sample to me and my sister Mary" isn't wrong, it just maybe isn't the best way to phrase it. – stangdon Feb 6 '15 at 17:23
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    @MaciejStachowski: I think part of the confusion around the second sentence is that "Others are" sounds very strange, because the first sentence is a "do" sentence, not an "are" sentence. "Some people seem to enjoy it" but others don't. – stangdon Feb 6 '15 at 17:27
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I have zero problem with the use of idiomatic English outside of formal essays, as you'll discover if you read the rest of this answer.

But first I gotta ask: Who or what do you mean by "Others"? Is Others part of some people, an example of some people, additional people outside of some people, or a contrast to some people (Others don't seem to enjoy it)?

I'm asking this, because the use of Others are Y and Z (whatever we put for Y and for Z) is the bigger obstacle to idiomatic English here.

Maybe that is part of what is on the dark side of grammar, so I'll let you think about that. Meanwhile, in answer to your question:

Only a diehard prescriptivist would insist that "Others are X and I" is always the only way to express this thought.

When Grammar Nazis start bugging you about idiomatic English, point them to Shakespeare, who wrote:

O, woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

(Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1)

These are the same type of people who write petitions to get the store Toys 'R' Us (sorry, no backwards R on my phone) to change its name to Toys 'R' We.

In other words, it is perfectly idiomatic English to use me and X on the 'predicate side' of the verb.

It's not as forgiving to use Me and X on the nominative side, as in Me and X are going fishing, but people say it every day.

We also say such things as

It’s us versus them.

Is it just me, or is it hot in here?

It’s her and only her.

Woe is me!

Note that if we use another verb, such as include, then

Others include X and me.

is unquestionably correct.

So, unless you are writing a formal essay or speech, you are free to use idiomatic English and use:

Me and X on the 'predicate side' of the verb.

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    "Who or what do you mean by 'Others'?" -- people not included in the first part, obviously :) So, I guess in your terms it would be "additional people outside of 'some people'". – Maciej Stachowski Feb 6 '15 at 22:19
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It's common for kids to say "X and me" when they should say "X and I". They get corrected on this all through school.

As a result, they end up thinking "X and me" is always wrong, and "X and I" is always right. But this is not true!

There are cases where "X and I" is incorrect and "X and me" is correct.

How do I know when to use "X and me" vs. "X and I"?

Take "X and..." out.

If "me" is correct in a sentence, then "X and me" is correct as well.

If "I" is correct in a sentence, then "X and I" is also correct.

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