Many of us can remember being told that you should never say “you and me” – not only is it grammatically incorrect, but it’s impolite! – instead, you should always use “you and I”. However, savvy grammarians know that this isn’t always the case, and that there is a time and a place to use “me” instead of “I”. How do they tell the difference?
Both <I> and <me> are pronouns used to describe oneself, and can be used when there are other individuals in the sentence. <I> is used when you’re the subject of the sentence. <Me> is used when you’re the object of the sentence. To figure out if you’re the subject or the object, you can use a simple verbal trick: drop out the other individuals and see if the sentence still makes sense. Here’s out it works:
- Start with your sentence: Mom wanted John and I to take out the trash.
- Take out the other subject (in this case, John): Mom wanted I to take out the trash.
- Does the sentence make sense? In this case, no, you would say Mom wanted me to take out the trash! So <me> would be the correct word to use.
Here’s the trick again:
- Start with your sentence: Cheryl and me were awarded blue ribbons.
- Take out the other subject: Me was awarded blue ribbons.
- Does the sentence make sense? No! So <I> would be the correct word to use.
With this grammar trick up your sleeve, you’ll never get confused by <I> and <me> and again!
What was your biggest takeaway from this “Is It Me or I? How to Tell the Difference”? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
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