A lot of people were absent the day the teacher taught how to use “I” and “me” in a sentence. While the general rules for using these personal pronouns are quite simple, nine out out ten people misuse them. The proper use of the personal pronouns “I” and “me” doesn’t have to be confusing.
Identifying whether the pronoun is the subject or object of the sentence is the best way to determine which word to use. Here are some simple grammar rules and tips to help you make the right choice.
Recognize that the personal pronoun “I” is used as the subject of the sentence. For example, you would say, “I read the book.” In this sentence, the pronoun “I” is the subject of the verb “read.”
Understand that the personal pronoun “me” is used as the object of the sentence. For example, you would say, “Bill called me on the phone.” In this sentence, the pronoun “me” is receiving the action from the verb “called.”
Locate the verb in the sentence. If the pronoun is located after the verb, then use “me.” For example, “The interviewer asked me questions.” The pronoun “me” comes after the verb “asked.”
Conduct a simple test to determine whether you should use “I” or “me” in sentences with a compound subject, such as “James and I raced to the train,” or “Take Mary and me to the park.” Simply take out the other person and see how it sounds. For example, “I raced,” makes more sense than “Me raced.” Also, “Take me to the park,” makes more sense than, “Take I to the park.”
If you remember the following two simple rules, you will never go wrong.
- Always refer to yourself last in a sentence. (John and I are going to the store.)
- Never start a sentence with me. (I am going to the store.)
The personal pronoun me always following a preposition (on me, for me, by me, from me, to me). The word “me” is never the subject of a sentence. Never say: “Me and my sister are here. If so, you have broken both rules. You did not put yourself last, and you started the sentence with “me.”
Avery good way to test your answers with a compound subject is to put your finger over the other person’s name and see how the sentence would read with only a reference to yourself in the sentence. For instance: “Jack and I saw the sunrise.” Put your finger over “Jack and” and you would have “I saw the sunrise.” Here is an example using me: “My father gave Jack and me $7.00.” Put your finger over “Jack and” and the sentence would read: “My father gave me $7.00.”
If you follow the above rules, you will always use the pronouns “I” and “me” correctly. See if you can correctly use I, or me in the following sentences. If you don’t get the following sentence right, don’t blame me.
1. Jack and (I, me) went to the movies.
2. The gift cards were given to Jack and (I, me).
3. My sister and (I, me) are great friends.
4. Julie and (I, me) don’t like spinach.
5. The jobs were given to Peter and (I, me).
1. Jack and I went to the movies. (subject, and putting self last)
2. The gift cards were given to Jack and me. (direct object, putting self last)
3. My sister and I are great friends. (subject, putting self last)
4. Julie and I don’t like spinach. (subject and putting self last)
5. The jobs were given to Peter and me. (direct object, putting self last).