Which one is correct? Me and my family or my family and I
I’ll answer that question in this blog. While some people insist that the only correct way to start a sentence is with a capital letter and end it with a complete stop, others say beginning a sentence with “and” is correct.
Whether you’re addressing an envelope or constructing an email, the rules for using the grammatically correct me and my family or I can seem fuzzy at times. It can help to remember that the issue here isn’t with possessive pronouns but rather with contractions—so let’s put them into context and try to understand where they came from, how they are used today, and how they might be used in the future!
The word me should always come first
My son and I, not I and my son. The word I isn’t a conjunction like and or. It isn’t followed by a noun, which always goes first. You may have learned that you use me when it comes before another pronoun. Still, technically, pronouns don’t even apply here since pronouns are words we use to replace nouns. So there’s no reason for me to come after mine.
If you’re using me as an adjective (to describe something), you’d say My son and I because adjectives follow nouns. However, suppose I am being used as a possessive pronoun (to show ownership). In that case, it always precedes whatever it’s describing: my mother, my bike, etc. Even though there are some exceptions with possessive pronouns (for example, his versus her), there aren’t any exceptions with mine.
Me, My Family and I
The simple answer to which pronoun to use when referring to a group of people can be tricky. There’s no simple rule—and even grammar experts will debate what should be done in certain circumstances.
Knowing your viewing public and writing for clarity are the best ones you can do. It also helps to get feedback on your writing from others, especially people you think might not fully understand what you’re trying to say. If it’s confusing for them, it could easily confuse others who don’t know your language as well as they do. A quick way to determine if you’ve used me correctly is to see if it sounds right with I. Using me correctly will communicate naturally with me.
You can also look at each sentence that uses me and ask yourself if any other pronouns could be used instead. For example, instead of saying that the phone call was critical to me, ask yourself if another word (or words) would make more sense: Is there something besides how I feel about it? Is there something that would make someone want me to take their call?
Only use commas with coordinate conjunction
And, but, or, etc. Generally, use a comma before these conjunctions. The exception to this rule is when listing items in a series that all have commas in them already. For example, Desserts include brownies, ice cream, whipped cream, and sprinkles. No commas are needed since each item already has its independent clause.
Sometimes you can include an additional descriptive word to clarify which noun you’re addressing, e.g., The desserts (brownies, ice cream) are both chocolate-based. If your sentence still doesn’t make sense without a comma (and your meaning isn’t clear), add one anyway—the most important thing is to be grammatically accurate!
I come first in both forms if the sentence structure is inverted
The car belonged to me, or I belonged to that car. I come first when it isn’t: I don’t know what you are talking about. So it depends on how you want to phrase it. If you’re going to sound a bit more formal, go with my family and I. If informal, go with my family and me. Also, consider who your audience is. For example, most businesses will likely choose my family and me over me and my family since it sounds more professional/formal than using me. And remember, in either case, you should use an apostrophe to indicate possession (in other words, make sure your sentence reads like ‘the book of she’ instead of ‘the book of she’s). I hope that helps!
The people you are talking about don’t come after either pronoun
Grammar Girl (and several others) agrees with you, but The Chicago Manual of Style disagrees. Its rule of thumb is that you should put and before both nouns if you’re addressing a group. In other words, it would be grammatically incorrect to say Me and my family are going on vacation. Still, it’s OK to say that my wife and I are on vacation. Think of it as an entry in a phone book: You wouldn’t write down someone’s name with their age following it (Jane Smith, 32) unless you meant for Jane to come to find her birthday party.
Instead, you’d list her name first and then add her age as a separate item (Jane Smith, 32). It’s not wrong to do it either way—it just depends on your goal. If you want people to see your relationship status as part of your overall identity (e.g., I’m married), don’t separate yourself from your partner by putting their name first; instead, put Me at the beginning of your sentence.
What about times when we want our relationships to take center stage? When we introduce ourselves at parties, we often lead with our and partners’ names: Hi! I’m Aliya inzimam.
That’s right. The apostrophe goes before and (and also or) to signify possession. So you would use an apostrophe with these pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs. These are known as possessive pronouns (mine = something that belongs to me; yours = something that belongs to you).
But when you need a possessive pronoun AND conjunction–as in my family and I–you do not add an apostrophe. Instead, add a hyphen: My-family-and-I. Why? It’s easy enough to understand if you look at it from your perspective: Do you ever think of yourself as part of your family? No!