Judy Hagey

Nonfiction Editor ~ Freelance Writer

Grammar: I – Me

grammar

Warning: You are entering a full-bodied grammar rant zone.

I guess I have my mother to thank for being a grammar snob.

She was always on our case about using I and me correctly.

Frankly, a lot of people today could use a mother like her.

Facebook is full of cringe-worthy grammatical faux pas, like these:

                Myself and my friend are going to go to town.

                Her and I hung out together.

                My brother gave my friend and I a ride to school.

And it's not just Facebook. I recently found a similar error in a book published by a major publisher.

Quick review:

                Use I when you’re the doer.

                Use me when you’re the receiver.

Need a more technical explanation?

                I is the nominative or subject form of the personal first person pronoun.

                                I ate pizza for lunch.

                Me is the objective form – the object of the action.

                                Joe arm wrestled me for the first slice.

The singular subject isn’t usually the problem; it’s when the first person pronoun is paired up with another first person pronoun, forming a compound subject or object, that errors creep in.

                Joe and I ate pizza for lunch.

                Not: Joe and me ate pizza for lunch.

                Joe arm wrestled Pete and me for the first slice.

                Not: Joe arm wrestled Pete and I for the first slice.

When a compound subject or object has you questioning whether you need the nominative or objective form of the pronoun, simply remove the companion and you’ll get it right.

Joe and I ate pizza for lunch.

Joe arm wrestled Pete and me for the first slice.

And remember, etiquette demands that you let others go first. So let’s not have any of this

I and Joe had pizza for lunch. OK?

About Judy

One Reply

  1. Always good to refresh the brain cells on properness. This made me giggle a bit. Mom never corrected us, but watch out for Dad! And at our house, I may be the writer, but Nelson is the grammarian.  🙂

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