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According to ME, you, him....

Heyah everybody there! Does a phrase like ‘according to me,...’ really exist in English? Technically speaking, it’s seems possible to have such phrase but as a university student I was told that nobody speaks like that. Also, none of my English dictionaries gives any examples of that kind. Well, we do often hear the instances of ‘according to her/him/reports/Peter/the minister’ ...etc. but not ‘according to me’? Is that so or am I wrong?

  • December 14, 2004
  • Posted by marta
  • Filed in Usage

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Oh, it's possible to have that construction in English--there's nothing grammatically wrong with it at all. Any English speaker would understand what you meant by it. But it is just not something that anyone would say under any normal circumstances.

The phrase "according to X" is really a way to bring the words of a third party into a dialogue. You might be talking on the phone, and say over the shoulder to your mom, "According to his wife, he left a hour ago." Or you might be writing a student paper, and say, "Women are 100% more likely than men to have had a hysterectomy, according to a study published last year."

I've also heard the phrase used to give a slightly ironic, skeptical tone to a comment, for example, "She is so in love that, according to her, that man can do no wrong." Compare, "She is so in love that she thinks that man can do no wrong."

Neither usage really lends itself to commenting upon yourself. The best you could do would be something like, "According to the article I wrote five years ago for the Journal of Psychological Studies, you're a certifiable nutcase."

speedwell2 December 14, 2004, 8:29am

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Everything you say is "according to you", so it's an extremely redundant phrase and as such should never be used in any formal writing or speech. The only possible appropriate use is conversationally, when one is combatting the argument "according to so and so..." and for emphasis one might reply "well according to ME...". Again, this is only appropriate and effective if you are clearly a more viable source than "so and so" and should not be used in any other circumstance.

Clive December 30, 2004, 4:30am

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I hear the phrase quite often actually. It is usually a wry retort... well according to me it is!

IngisKahn December 16, 2004, 5:09pm

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Hello, there !

"According to X" is synonym for "if we are to believe X". It suggests a distance between who (or what) the speaker quotes and what the speaker thinks.

ex : According to Mr Smith, this jumper is blue.
(That's what Mr Smith thinks ; but for me, it's green)

As a consequence, "according to me" suggests that the speaker quotes himself, which can only be used either ironically or if you're a conceited person, since it is synonym for something like :

"As far as I am concerned, I personally think that ... "

(strongly stressing "personally" and the first "I")

kedemferre February 24, 2006, 6:19am

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It is now part of the English language. Why this should be so is an interesting question; as pointed out by other posters, the term 'according to' implies an external authority, and to use it of oneself is redundant. However, it seems to have slipped into popular usage, first as a joke, and then - according to me only recently - as common, non tongue-in-cheek usage. Can't say I like it much myself, but language does that

Best wishes
Timothy Mason

Timothy Mason April 3, 2005, 2:25pm

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In conversation, you could state "I think..." or "In my opinion..." or "I feel..." No one else would be able to use these phrases in reference to anyone else but themselves.

denise December 16, 2004, 1:52pm

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When you use the phrase "According to X..." in English, you are commenting on how accurate you believe the information to be. For example, "according to the U.S. government, seven people died yesterday" or "according to Iraqui sources, twenty died". The phrase is used to cite to authority.

It would be rare to cite yourself as an authority. As others have posted, you would normally say "I think" or "In my opinion".

If you used the construction "According to me..." you would be telling the listener that in addition to your opinion, there is some other opinion on the matter at hand. Further, you would be implying that the other opinion is more widely accepted than yours.

For example, "According to me, physical mail is more efficient than email."

Thomas December 16, 2004, 4:26pm

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I can only imagine using this phrase in a humorous context.

joachim December 16, 2004, 4:34pm

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I think the phrase "according to me" sounds illiterate.
It sounds like the speaker is the absolute authority and sounds impolite. You could make fool out of yourself the this phrase comes out of your mouth.

AMITAV July 26, 2006, 12:46am

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I think the phrase "according to me" sounds illiterate. It sounds like the speaker is the absolute authority and sounds impolite. You could make fool out of yourself the moment this phrase comes out of your mouth.

amitav July 26, 2006, 12:49am

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accordin to me. according to me can be used because as everyone understand what we mean.there is no problem

ozkan October 25, 2005, 12:38pm

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As Speedwell2 rightly puts it, "according to" is usually used to introduce the opinion of a third person, and as others have said, possibly to add authority (or perhaps distance) to a statement, so is normally only used in the grammatical third person. But as joachim has hinted, it can be used in a humorous way in first and second persons:

A: You're for the high jump!
B: According to who?
A: According to me, that's who.

A: He's the best boss we've ever had.
B: According to you maybe; it's not what most of the rest of us think.

Incidentally, first person use is a mistake that a lot of foreign learners make, as in many languages similar constructions are entirely standard - in Polish, Spanish and Italian, for example. I say a mistake because, though it may be grammatically possible, it is idiomatically unnatural and so will sound strange to a native speaker, unless used ironically, as in my examples.

Warsaw Will October 27, 2013, 6:26am

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As was said, one use of "according to so and so..." is to lend authority to the rest of the statement. I think that often when you hear "according to me..." the speaker is not so subtly suggesting that THEY are an authority and that you should give extra weight to their opinion.

porsche October 26, 2005, 2:06pm

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I've just discovered that "according to me" seems pretty well standard in Indian English, as a site search of Indian newspapers shows. Here are some examples:

"According to me, badminton is the No.1 sport of the country" - Saina Nehwal, top Badminton player, quoted in The Times of India

"According to me Kareena has surpassed Julia Roberts from the original," - film director Siddharth Malhotra, quoted in the Hindustan Times

"According to me, the present collegium system works well." - Justice P. Sathasivam, currently Chief Justice of India - interviewed in the Hindu

Try googling any of the following:

"according to me" site:
"according to me" site:
"according to me" site:

Warsaw Will October 27, 2013, 3:24pm

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