What's new

Either Tom or I/me will go there

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Dear native English speakers,

Would both be used with the same meaning?
(a) Either Tom or I will go there.
(b) Either Tom or me will go there.

I guess (b) would be grammatically wrong.

Hirashin
 

nahadef

Doing it for himself
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
778
Dear native English speakers,

Would both be used with the same meaning?
(a) Either Tom or I will go there.
(b) Either Tom or me will go there.

I guess (b) would be grammatically wrong.

Hirashin
Strangely enough, both are correct. Incredibly uptight English teachers will tell you B is incorrect, but it an active part of daily English, and does not sound grating at all, especially compared to the misuse of prepositions or articles and the like. Japanese English tests will probably say A is correct, but they are also terrible. It can actually be argued that A is wrong, grammatically.
John McWhorter on the made-up rules of pronouns.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
707
Reaction score
108
You will hear (b) in everyday speech but it is grammatically incorrect. The super simple way my teachers taught me to tell the difference is to remove the other party from the sentence. Which leaves you with "I will go there" and "Me will go there" at which point any native speaker can tell you that the second on is not grammatically correct.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Thanks for your help, nahadef and OoTmaster.

Do most people say (b) rather than (a) these days?
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
707
Reaction score
108
I would say that both (a) and (b) are both used about the same amount.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Thanks for the useful information, OoTmaster.
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
240
The "leave out the other party" method is a good way of determining the correct word to use:
(John and) I visited a maid cafe yesterday.
Jane made sushi for (Frank and) me.

Another example of this is in comparisons: should it be "My girlfriend is taller than me" or "taller than I"? You'll hear even native speakers use the former, but strictly speaking only the latter is correct. The reason for this is that we're dealing with an ellipsis: the sentence is actually a cut off version of "My girlfriend is taller than I am", where "me am" would obviously be wrong.

As said though, even if you do use "me", people will only point out this mistake if you're writing a book. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there were natives telling you it should be "me" instead of "I" because that's what they'd use themselves.
 
Last edited:

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Thanks, Lanthas. Did you learn English grammar in your school days?
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
240
Not to this level, no. I'm educating myself because I'm currently part of a fan translation group for a Japanese game - a role which requires both good Japanese and good English skills.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Lanthas, I'm not sure where you are originally from. Are you from Britain? I hear that in the U.S. young pople haven't learned English grammar at school.
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
240
I've always lived in Belgium, so I'm by no means a native English speaker. In fact, if you go by the order in which I've learned my languages, English is only my fourth.

High school is so long ago that I don't even remember how much grammar we were taught for any of those languages, but I can say that most of what I know of English today comes from websites and games. Belgium is a tiny country, so you're very quickly forced to turn to international media to find something that interests you.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Lanthas, you speak four languages? Wow! Is your first language Dutch? I guess you speak French and German. Am I right? Do you have someone to talk to in each language?
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
240
I just got lucky, really. I was born half Belgian/half German, meaning I got both Dutch and German as my native languages. And I grew up in Belgium, a country in which half of the populace speaks French, so I got mandatory high school lessons in that. English lessons came after that.

I never used French again after high school though, so for that language I've regressed to the level of "reading, provided I have a dictionary". In a real life conversation I'd be so helpless that you might as well say I don't know it.

In daily life I have conversations in Dutch, German and English. For Japanese, I read and listen to online material in my spare time. In the past three weeks I was on a vacation in Japan and got my first ever Japanese novel there :). No conversation partner here though.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
37
Oh, you were on vacation in Japan. That's great. Have you tried your Japanese?
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
240
Yes, of course - it would have been a shame not to :). And I have to say that it went better than expected considering I'd never spoken it before. I was also happily surprised to find that people did not, in fact, tell me "日本語が上手ですね" whenever I said ありがとう. What's more, some of them didn't even seem surprised when I started corresponding with them in actual sentences.

When it came to restaurants and the like, I was regularly met with relief that there's someone who speaks Japanese in the group of foreigners. That being said though, on one occasion I did somehow manage to order one and the same single dish for four people instead of the same dish for each of us. :D
 

EnglishTutor

Registered
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Hi
I agree. The easiest way to check is by leaving off the first part. 'I will go there' (or more usual 'I'll go there'). The second option starting with 'me' doesn't work / sounds wrong to a native / experienced English speaker.

If I can be of help let me know please
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top