Should we say 'Tony and I' or 'me and Tony'?

(Last Updated: 25 March 2022)

A four-panel comic strip showing an abductee correcting his kidnappers' use of personal pronouns. One of the kidnappers asked, 'How about me and Tony go throw you in the river?', when he should have asked, 'How about Tony and I go throw you in the river?'.
Image by Daniel Scully via The Mealstorm

Which of the following questions do you think is grammatically correct?

How about Tony and I go throw you in the river?
How about me and Tony go throw you in the river?

An easy way to check whether you should use I or me is to take the other subject (i.e. Tony) out of the sentence and see how it sounds with both pronouns:

How about I go throw you in the river?
How about me go throw you in the river?

Hence,

How about Tony and I go throw you in the river?
How about me and Tony go throw you in the river?

Now let's try a different pair of sentences:

The ringleader told me and Tony to throw you into the river.
The ringleader told Tony and I to throw you into the river.

This time, should we say me and Tony or Tony and I? We can perform the same test to arrive at the right pronoun to use:

The ringleader told me to throw you into the river.
The ringleader told I to throw you into the river.

Hence,

The ringleader told me and Tony to throw you into the river.
The ringleader told Tony and I to throw you into the river.

As you can see from the examples above, when you are writing a sentence and have to choose between the subject (e.g. I, we, they, and he) and object (e.g. me, us, them, and him) forms of a pronoun, the sentence contains all the words you need to help you make your decision.

Note: Go do something is a colloquial expression used in American English. British English speakers would usually say go and do something instead:

We have to go pick up our kids. (American English)
We have to go and pick up our kids. (British English)

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