‘I’ or Despicable ‘Me’? 2 Tips to Remember
Have you ever found yourself stumped about whether you should use “I” or “me” in a sentence? About once a week, I come across one or the other used in the wrong way. Most of the time it’s in conversation. Whomever I’m talking with will vacillate between the two, trying them out, switching them, the gears in their head down shifting as their gaze turns glassy. Then, after a moment, they surrender, deciding I suspect, that while they may look dopey not knowing the answer, they look equally dopey fumbling with only chance to guide them.
2 rules: subject or object
If you’ve found yourself in that situation, stop worrying. Avoid confusion by following two simple rules.
- Use the “I,” and other subjective pronouns like “we,” “he,” “she,” “you,” and “they,” when the pronoun is the subject of a verb:
She drove to work.We waited for the train.Samantha and I are going to lunch.
The last sentence is one that often sends people into a tailspin. Use “I” instead of “me,” because “Samantha and I” is the subject of the verb “are going.”
- Use “me,” and other objective pronouns like “us,” “him,” “her,” “you,” and “them,” when the pronoun is the object of a verb:
Marcus congratulated them.
The wounded fox followed Samantha and me to the door.
Again, the last sentence is the one that most of us have trouble with. Use “me” instead of “I,” because “Samantha and me” is the object of the verb “followed.”
A twist: after a preposition
As with any good English grammar rule, there is a twist. Luckily, this one isn’t complicated.
- Use the pronoun “me,” and other objective pronouns like “us,” “him,” “her,” “you,” and “them,” when the pronoun is the object of a preposition:
Samantha road to the station with Alex and me.
This one might be the knottiest of all. For whatever reason, a preposition used like this, especially “with,” tricks many people’s’ ears into thinking “I” sounds correct. Use “me” instead of “I,” because “Alex and me” is the object of the preposition “with.”
What grammar tip do you rely on most? Let me know in a comment or Tweet me!
by Ed Carpenter — He’s a bad mutha … shut yer mouth.