Lots of us use “me and my” when telling stories to our friends and family, but is it grammatically correct to say “me and my” in English?
It is not grammatically correct to use “me and my” as a subject or and object. The correct way to say “me and my” as a subject is “my ___ and I,” like “my friends and I went to the movies.” The proper way to use the clause as an object is “my ___ and me.”
This article will discuss properly using compound subject and object pronouns in the first person. We will also discuss using these structures in conversational and formal English.
What Does “Me and My” Mean?
“Me and my” is an informal way to express a spoken compound first-person subject or object. “Me and my” stands in for “My ___ and I” in many circumstances when speaking informal English, even if “me and my” is grammatically incorrect when we use it as a subject (source).
Many forget that we form compound first-person subjects by placing the first-person pronoun after the other part of the subject — e.g., “my friends and I.” This primarily results from endless media using the incorrect format “me and my.”
After all, plenty of popular songs and movies regularly use “me and my” in their names and titles. Thus, it’s easy to see why people readily accept the “me and my” format even if it is not grammatically correct.
It’s somewhat like a native English speaker complimenting a native French speaker on how well they speak English. People may say “You speak English good” because people say it so commonly, but just because it is common does not make it grammatically correct. They speak well, not good.
Similarly, you will encounter individuals who more often say “me and my” as opposed to “my and I” or “my and me.”
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Me and My?”
The correct way to form first-person compound subjects and objects is to list the first-person pronoun after the other subjects and objects. A good rule of thumb is to remove the other content besides the pronoun and see if the sentence still makes sense.
This may sound counterintuitive to you since it’s probable almost everyone you know uses “me and my” instead of “my and I” or “my and me.” However, the truth is that native English speakers use improper phrasing a lot, and not just with “me and my.”
An effective check you can perform to ensure you are using the correct version of the first person is to remove the other nouns in the sentence. For example, if you have “Me and my family went to a water park,” you take away “my family.”
That leaves you with “me went to the water park” and reveals that you are using the incorrect form of the first person. Now it is easy to see that you should use the subject form — “I went to the water park.”
Objective and Possessive Pronoun Case
Keep in mind that “me” is a first-person object pronoun, so use it when referring to the direct or indirect object of an action. “My” is a first-person possessive adjective, so use “my” when demonstrating that something belongs to the first person.
Incorrect: My guys and me haven’t seen any of that make or model vehicle come in for several years.
Incorrect: Me and my guys haven’t seen any of that make or model vehicle come in for several years.
Correct: My guys and I haven’t seen any of that make or model vehicle come in for several years.
Let’s review a few short examples using the objective case pronoun “me.”
- Something about the court case did not sit right with me.
- Do you think that Brandon likes me?
- Those are my shoes. They probably will not fit your feet.
Be careful when using transitive verbs — namely, “to be” — in English. When using transitive verbs, use the subject pronoun in the second half of the sentence.
Many people say, “That wasn’t me!” which is also incorrect. Instead, the correct way to say that sentence is “That wasn’t I!” no matter how bizarre that may seem.
How Do You Use “Me and My?”
“Me and my” is one of those phrases you can use in conversations to sound like English is your first language. People use it frequently as an informal way to say “My ___ and I.” They use it as an object as well to stand in for “my ___ and me” (source).
For example, you can use “me and my” when framing a story or an experience by describing who was present with you, and you don’t need to limit the phrase “me and my” to people or living things.
For example, “Me and my son went to the grocery store” is a common way to use “me and my.” There are numerous ways in which people creatively use this phrase.
For example, in Emperor’s New Groove (2000), Kuzco exclaims, “Look at me and my bad self!” after narrowly avoiding falling off a cliff.
This is an example of how to use “me and my” as an object. The phrase “me and my bad self” is certainly not grammatically correct, but it is creative and spunky. If it was unclear to viewers in the previous scenes, this sort of colloquial phrasing only exists outside formal writing.
If Kuzco had tried to make this sentence grammatically correct, it would have taken away from the puissance of the phrase. He would have had to say something like “Look at my bad self and me!” or “Look at me and my skills!” These phrases obviously do not carry the same punch.
Using “Me and My” in a Full Sentence
Again, “me and my” is informal, but many use it as a compound subject or compound object. Be sure to note when you are dealing with subjects or objects.
Subject: Me and my coworkers had a hard day on the job. I think that everyone is getting into the habit of working in the office again.
Object: The strangest thing happened to me and my buddies. We saw an alligator chase a heron into a pond as we drove by. We live in Michigan.
Subject: I heard that you hurt Sally’s feelings. Me and my friends don’t take kindly to men who treat women like that.
When Can You Use “Me and My”?
We like to use “me and my” when recounting a personal story or describing events that happened to the various specific forms of “us.” For example, we might say, “Me and my friends.”
“Me and my” is an informal choice of phrasing compared to the grammatically correct “My ___ and I.” You can use “me and my” with close friends and relatives, and you can use it in many other situations like between peers and around informal social acquaintances.
Since “me and my” is an informal choice of phrasing, you can use it to seem warm and welcoming. It can make your audience feel like you are comfortable around them and that they can likewise feel comfortable with you.
In What Context Can You Use “Me and My”?
It is appropriate to use “me and my” between peers, but it can depend on the origins and values of the people you converse with. In casual and informal conversations, you can also use the phrase as a compound subject.
The use of “me and my” can be stylistic in these contexts. The typical person finds speaking rigidly correct English tiresome to maintain all the time. Thus, using phrases like “me and my” can indicate to your audience that you feel at ease in their company.
However, if you prefer to give the impression you are keeping your distance, use the formal subjects and objects. If not, “me and my” can be a great alternative to indicate that you feel comfortable.
When Not to Use “Me and My”?
Avoid using “me and my” in formal gatherings or when meeting someone for the first time. It obviously depends largely on the setting, but most people appreciate the respect and distance that formal English conveys when first being introduced to someone.
Here is a chart describing what is grammatically correct, but we can replace all of these options with “me and my” in informal English.
|My friends and I||My friends and me||My friends and myself|
Also, keep in mind that during occasions with formal decorum, like galas or business networking events, it helps to lead with grammatically correct English so that the people you interact with know that you are sharp and educated.
Build a correct understanding of English grammar, then decide your style and personal voice.
What Can You Use Instead of “Me and My”?
As we have covered earlier, you can certainly use “me and my” in various circumstances, but if you want some alternatives, you can reference the short list below.
- Our group
- We (after first specifying who else is in your party)
- All of us
- The gang/lot/group of us
However, you must be intentional with how you use these expressions. Much like anything in English, most people use certain expressions in a narrow set of situations. For instance, you probably would not use “the gang of us” in a formal setting.
You will also encounter people who overuse the reflexive form “myself.” For instance, you might hear sentences like “Janice saw myself and my acquaintances,” which is grammatically incorrect. Still, this does not impede people from using “myself” as a non-reflexive subject and object.
There are additional instances where you can use structures like “me, myself, and I” to emphasize that you will do something by yourself, but you would not use “me, myself, and I” or similar structures very often.
Also, avoid using “myself and my” as a compound subject, especially when first learning English (source).
Alternatives to “Me and My”
The alternatives you would use to this phrase would be very context-specific, but we’ve highlighted a few examples for you.
The other parents and I would like to hold a fundraiser for laptop waivers. That way, if any family finds it difficult to cover the cost of their child’s school laptop, they can get help. We just have to petition the school board.
We were not expecting too much in return, but after starting the tutorial channel, the company sent my colleagues and me substantial monthly paychecks.
My friends and I went to the post office to renew our passports.
Subjective vs. Objective Pronoun Case
Subjective case pronouns indicate who or what a sentence is about, while objective case pronouns should tell use who or what receives the action from the subject (source). Pronouns can also be in the possessive case, such as “my.”
Pronouns can also indicate gender and point of view, such as the first-, second-, and third-person.
In the first-person, there are three forms of “me,” and these are “me,” “myself,” and “I.” Use “I” as a subject, “me” as an object, and “myself” as a reflexive pronoun (source).
Meanwhile, the second person focuses on “you,” and the third person focuses on third parties like “he,” “she,” and “it” (source). This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Check out our related article, “You and I or You and Me: Understanding the Correct Use of these Pronouns,” for more about these pronouns.
Remember that your word usage and choices should largely depend on the circumstances in which you find yourself. For example, everyday English is good to know, but it is better to know how to say things correctly and colloquially.
In your journey of learning English, be sure to build a base of grammatically correct English, then explore regionalisms. That way, you will know how to adapt your behavior, diction, and syntax to various circumstances.