Sunday, May 5, 2013

Get It Right: I And Me

One of the most common mistakes we hear is the almost interchangeable usage of the word I and me. As most people will know, they are not interchangeable and here's why.

I

I as the word, rather than the letter, is the subject personal pronoun for the first person. Lost? Put simply it refers to the speaker (the first person), is a replacement for their real name (personal pronoun), and indicates that they are carrying out the action or verb in the sentence.

John and I are going to the park.
If somebody says "I am", thanks to the use of "I", you know that they are not only referring to themselves as they are using "I" but also that they are the active participant in the sentence.

The real problem arises when paired with other people, places or things. We often hear "Me and John are going to the park", for example. Aside from making our ears twitch and our sphincters tighten, it's also wrong. Imagine the second person wasn't there and it was just you going to the park. You wouldn't say "me am going to the park" as it's stupid.

Me

Me, unlike I, is not the subject of a sentence. It is the object. Ensure that you use it only in cases when the word could be replaced by him, her, us or them.

I and me follow similar rules to who and whom since they also portray the difference between subject and object. If you still struggle with that difference, we're sorry to say that you get an F.