Cracking the Case. Knowing when to Use I and Me.


Is It Me, or I?

The English pronouns, I and me, are small words that confuse many people. They should not, but I understand why they do. In this article, I have cracked the case of the elusive first person pronouns.

Types of English Pronouns

So, why have four words to describe one person? The answer is that each of those pronouns performs a unique role in the English language. These pronouns fall under the grammatical category, case. The English language has three cases, subjective (I), objective, (me), and possessive (my) and (mine).

Those might be unfamiliar, depending on your generation. Older generations may know them as nominative (I), accusative (me), and genitive (mine). Let’s explore both pronouns, I and me, separately.

Correct Usage of the English Pronoun, I.

The pronoun, I, is the subject of a sentence. That means the person performing the action.

Examples:

 I woke up.

 I paid for lunch.

 I write songs.

When you and another person performs the action of a sentence, the pronoun, I, is required.

My sister and I are dentists.

Tom and I graduated today.

Today, Julie and I went to the movies.

A mistake frequently made happens in sentences like the previous three where the pronoun, me, is used instead of I.

Examples:

Yesterday, my sister and I went to the movies.

Yesterday, my sister went to the movies.

Yesterday, I went to the movies.

The pronoun, I, is the only correct choice. Let’s find out why the pronoun, me, cannot be used in that role of a sentence.

The Correct Use of the English Pronoun, Me.

The next pronoun to discuss is me. The pronoun, me, belongs to the objective case. In other words, the role that objective case pronouns receive the action of the verb.

Examples:

My teacher gave me a compliment today.

He told me a horrific secret that I wish he hadn’t.

My grandmother often sang me to sleep.

Problems arise when you and another person receive the subject’s action.

Example:

Her mother took Nadia and me to the movies.

In the previous example, the person telling the story is the word me. The correct pronoun in that role is also me. Here’s why. First, three people went to the movies, Nadia, her mother, and the speaker (me). Nadia’s mom took her to the movies. Her mom also took me to the movies. Therefore, Nadia’s mom took both Nadia and took me to the movies.

Unless Nadia’s mother is Uma Thurman and this is the movie Kill Bill 3, there was no eye (I) taken (to the movies). When you and more or more people receive the action use and me.              

Example:

You will be able to see my mother, my brother, and me in the video.

The objective pronoun, me, always follows prepositions.

Examples:

He yelled at me.

Give it to me?

The cat loves to sleep on me.


For articles on other topics go here. Visit the Grey Tech Writer to learn more about me. I’m a professional blogger and a technical and academic writer. Leave me a comment if you found this helpful. Share this post if you liked it!

 

 

 

 

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