(a1) John und ich haben uns gestritten.

(a2) Ich und John haben uns gestritten.

(b1) Er und ich haben uns gestritten.

(b2) Ich und er haben uns gestritten.

Which sentences are correct? I would guess that the correct ordering is the same one as in English, which corresponds to (a1) and (b1). But I'm not sure how to search Google to confirm this.

2 Answers 2


Both elements are part of the subject/form the subject. From the viewpoint of grammar, there is no rule which one to put first.

The preferred order is determined by social convention, which expects you to mention yourself after the other person - children are taught the proverb "only the donkey mentions himself first".

The proper search term for Google is "nur der esel nennt sich zuerst" ;-).

  • 1
    Ich kenne es auch als: "der Esel geht voran".
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 7:04

I'd like to add that while all 4 are grammatically correct, the last two would rarely be used. Instead, most people would say wir haben uns gestritten, as by that point it must already be clear who er is, so you can safely replace this by wir.

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