ENGLISCH/753: Questions to Mrs. Gobbledygook (122) Ways to agree (SB)


122. Short ways of agreeing

Dear Mrs Gobbledygook

In a soap-opera from the BBC I heard the expression "me neither". It was used instead of the grammatical correct answer-tag, I learned at my English course "Neither do I". Now I wonder, if this form is correct or not. I would be glad, if you could help...

Alicya Nawrocki (Wysokie Mazowiecie, Poland)


Dear Mrs Nawrocki

In the course of answering your question I would like to establish that especially native speakers of English tend to use phrases like the one you mentioned a lot in informal situations. But, there is not much to say about the "short sentences of agreement" speakers of English use. Listen to everyday's English and hear for yourself.

For example, we can say: "I like playing football" and the response can be: "So do I!"

But can we say "Me too!"? - Yes, we can. It is a little more informal than "so do I" but it is frequently used.

Now, getting nearer to your example, if someone says, "I don't like comedy shows", an appropriate answer and the same you have learnt in your English course can be: "Neither do I". But we can also say "I don't either." And now your question: Can we in that context say "me neither"?

Well, that is something that native speakers of English say in very informal situations but in British English at least it is not considered as elegant as the other two replies.

So it is most appropriate to say: "Neither do I" or "I don't either". But I wouldn't advise any non-native speakers to use "me neither".

Mrs Gobbledygook

19 November 2007