Who Goes First?

Yes, the comic breaks a rule, but you know that rule: “I” is for the subject of a sentence, not “me.” This post is about another rule: Don’t put yourself first! But be sure to read the comment after the comic.


We have no grammatical rule that says not to put yourself first! All it is, is being polite to mention others first. Particularly in scientific writing the author mentions the main researcher, him- or herself, first, and adds associates (mere grad students maybe?) who participated, second.

So if you deserve most of the credit, go ahead and mention yourself first. But use “I,” (or “we”) not “me” (or “us”)!

I ran into a sentence that correctly puts “we” first:

These recent updates, suggesting that climate change and its impacts are emerging faster than scientists previously thought, are consistent with observations that we and other colleagues have made identifying a pattern in assessments of climate research of underestimation of certain key climate indicators, and therefore underestimation of the threat of climate disruption.


This post first appeared on The Writing Rag.