Last week, we examined in detail the application of the principle of Proximity Concord to determine the correct verbs in sentences which have two items of different numbers or persons as the subject.
We said when one of the two items is singular and the other is plural, it is the item closer to the verb that determines whether the verb should be singular or plural.
Either Kofi or his friends have something to hide.
Either the friends or Kofi has something to hide.
When two pronouns of different persons are involved, it is the pronoun closer to the verb that determines whether the verb should be singular or plural.
Either he or I am to blame.
Either she or you have the keys.
Note that in the discussions that have gone on so far, we have dealt with the situation where we have to choose between two items or persons: either THIS or THAT.
In situations where the two items or persons are joined by the conjunction and, we must see the two as plural and select a plural verb to agree with them.
Kofi and his friends have something to hide.
Both he and I are to blame.
Only she and you have the keys.
Remember that since there is a correct order in which the different pronouns are arranged — 3rd person, 2nd person and 1st person — you CANNOT have a pronoun arrangement such as these:
I and you
I and he/she
You and he/she
I, you and he/she
or You, I and he/she
or He/She, I and you
These should rather be:
You and I
He/She and I
He/She and you
He/She, you and I
Egs: The girls, you and I are responsible for this.