A weekly grammar tip created by Academic Center Peer Writing Tutors.
University of Houston-Victoria
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Victoria, TX 77901
|Using I and Me Correctly
by Tracy Macias
For many, knowing when to use I and when to use me is a troubling dilemma.
When the pronouns I and me appear in a sentence by themselves, it is easy to choose the correct one.
Example: “I am going to the store” is generally not confused with “me is going to the store.”
Example: “Would you like me to drive you to the store” is not confused with “would you like I to drive you to the store.”
However, when I and me are paired with other nouns or pronouns in a sentence, the decision to use I or me can become confusing.
Example: “John and I are going to the store.” Not – John and me are going to the store.
Example: “Would you drive John and me to the store?” Not – Would you drive John and I to the store?
Here is a tip that can help you determine whether to use I or me. By simply removing the other noun or pronoun, you can determine which word (I or me) is the correct choice.
To further investigate this idea, let’s look at this sample sentence.
Example: “My mother bought my brother and I new shoes.”
First, leave out the words “my brother and.” Next, read the sentence as it now appears: “My mother bought I new shoes.” If the sentence sounds correct, you have chosen the appropriate pronoun. In this case, the sentence doesn't sound correct.
The correct pronoun is me, as in "My mother bought my brother and me new shoes.”
Let's consider another example:
Incorrect: Yesterday, me and Jason went to the movies.
You wouldn't say "me went to the movies." So, the correctly worded sentence would read, "Yesterday, Jason and I went to the movies."
Also, note that when you use the word I along with another name, the other name should always come first as a matter of courtesy. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: I and Sarah are going for a
I – Pronoun used as the
subject when the writer/speaker is the subject, as in the following
sentence: I am going to the store.
Me – Pronoun that is used as the object form of the word I when the writer/speaker is the object of the preposition or of the verb, as in the following sentence: Would you like to go to the store with me?
|Recommended Grammar Website of the Week
by Tracy Macias
In addition to our own website, we would like to recommend Guide to Grammar and Writing, a website started by Dr. Charles Darlin. You can find the Guide to Grammar and Writing website at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/. For a more in-depth look at the “I” versus “me” issue, log on to http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/cases.htm
|Test Your Knowledge
by Tracy Macias
Test your knowledge of I and me by choosing the correct pronoun for each of the sentences below.
1. Jane and (I/me) are going to the store.
2. Will you give my sister and (I/me) your phone number?
3. Mom gave Jim and (I/me) new clothes.
4. To Paul and (I/me), Star Wars is the best series of movies ever.
1. Jane and I are going to the store.
2. Will you give my sister and me your phone number?
3. Mom gave Jim and me new clothes.
4. To Paul and me, Star Wars is the best series of movies ever.
Comments about this newsletter should be directed to Summer Leibensperger, email@example.com.