I or me?

 In Learn English

“I” and “me” are both pronouns in the English language.  Some instances of which of the 2 pronouns to use – I or me – in a sentence are clear, others…not so much.  ESL students will sometimes use one when the other is called for.  Subject and object pronoun usage in English can be tricky!

English Language Pronouns:  I or me?

Let’s take a closer look at how to know when to choose “I”, and when to choose “me”.

Deciding if it’s the Subject or the Object

Jean and  ?  are taking English together.                         Should you use “I” or “me”?

Jean and I is correct here because the 2 of you are the SUBJECT of the sentence.  “I” is a subject pronoun.

The teacher gave extra credit to Jean and ?.                   Should you use “I” or “me” here?

Jean and me is correct here because the 2 of you are the OBJECT of this sentence.  “Me” is an object pronoun.

Now that may seem straightforward enough, but sometimes you have to take your time and puzzle out the subject and object of a sentence.

i or me“Well, President Bush graciously invited Michelle and I to…”        Those were President Obama’s words at a 2008 press conference.

Even someone as erudite as the former President fell for this common “I”/”me” error!

Michelle and the President are the objects of the sentence—President Bush is the subject—so the correct sentence would be…

Well, President Bush graciously invited Michelle and me to… (I removed the quotes as this is NOT what the former President said)

So, how do you determine if it’s the subject or the object you’re dealing with?

Trying saying the sentence with JUST the pronoun in question—for example:

Well, President Bush graciously invited I to…  You can hear how awkward that sounds, right? 

But…Well, President Bush graciously invited me…  Sounds correct, right? 

This trick will work almost every time!  Go ahead and use it the next time you question which pronoun- “I” or “me”, to use!


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