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14 September 2006 — On the Proper Use of 'Me' and 'I' (95)

Listen people, this is easy: you do not always use the word "I" when speaking of yourself and another person.

I'm going to be called a grammar Nazi for devoting an entire weblog entry to this, but it's driving me crazy. Over the past week I've seen this error a dozen times, and from smart people who should know better.

What am I talking about? We're taught from a young age that it's polite to say:

Jane and I are going to the store.

That's well and good for the nominative case, when you and Jane are the subjects of the sentence. But it does not work if you and Jane are the objects of the sentence. This sentence is an abomination:

The man gave ice cream to Jane and I.

This is WRONG, and it hurts my brain. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. I'm serious. It drives me insane. Would you say this?

The man gave ice cream to I.

Of course not! Politeness does not take precedence over grammar. The proper sentence in this case is:

The man gave ice cream to me.

And if you're talking about yourself and another person, then the proper form is:

The man gave ice cream to Jane and me.

I know that sounds wrong, but it's better than "Jane and I". Far better. And if you really want it to sound better, then ditch your notions of the polite and say:

The man gave ice cream to me and Jane.

However, the real answer to your dilemma is to use the handy clear and concise first-person plural.

The man gave ice cream to us.

Isn't that nice?

Are you confused? Here's an easy way to tell whether you should use "Jane and I" or "Jane and me". Ask yourself: if this sentence were only about me, which would I use, "I" or "me"? Use the same pronoun when talking about yourself and another person. Seriously. That's the rule.

You make Kris and I weep when you do this.


Comments
On 14 September 2006 (08:30 AM), jenefer said:

Thank goodness it bothers someone else besides me. That last sentence is indeed painful to read. I can hear mother pontificating as I read.


On 14 September 2006 (08:54 AM), Lynn said:

Thank you ! I hate this.

I also hate that people constantly use the conjuction of "There's" whether in a singular or plural situation. I even hear this on the evening news. Example: There's too many people in this town. WRONG. Would you really say There IS too many people? No. You would say There ARE too many people. Pure laziness.


On 14 September 2006 (10:28 AM), Michael Rawdon said:

Me no understand.  This confuses I.


On 14 September 2006 (03:28 PM), Lisa said:

I've considered doing a blog entry on this, too. I think it's a mistake of the educated--people learn the rule without being taught that, like many English grammar rules, it doesn't always apply. It's a strange one, though. You say "me" in the correct place and risk being thought uninformed by the partially informed. Annoying.


On 14 September 2006 (08:18 PM), Mom said:

Hopefully, I don't do what you're talking about here. (I almost wrote "hear" for that last word -- so many possible typos, so little time.)

Maybe you (or I) should do a blog entry devoted to another of my pet peeves: confusing "your" with "you're". I don't know how many times on my signature tags group, graphics have come through saying "your welcome" (or some members have typed that in after being thanked for their graphics) rather than "you're welcome." It bugs the heck out of me! Naturally, I refuse to use the grammatically-aggravating tags!


On 15 September 2006 (07:13 AM), J.D. said:

I should note that I'm not singling anyone out. Many people make this mistake. I've just seen or heard it a dozen times in the past week, so it's especially fresh in my mind.


On 15 September 2006 (08:05 AM), tim said:

Wait a minute, is someone giving out ice cream?


On 15 September 2006 (02:31 PM), Tony said:

Me and Jeff think your nuts to.


On 15 September 2006 (02:39 PM), Jeff said:

What, there are nuts on the ice cream, too?!?! Can I get mine with hot fudge?


On 17 September 2006 (10:55 AM), Mom said:

My own personal theory is that there is a tie-in between right- or left-brained abilities and spelling and grammar. Also that there is an interesting mix of right- and left-brained people in our family!


On 18 September 2006 (09:51 PM), Kristin said:

Me and Ian want some ice cream, too, but no nuts for him or I.


On 20 September 2006 (06:47 AM), zed said:

hiya! good explanation, this definitely bugs me too. the one thing I don't get here is why you say "me and Jane" is better than "Jane and me" -- I always thought it was better the other way around. I can't seem to find rules about that though. any sources? just curious.


On 20 September 2006 (07:06 AM), J.D. said:

I'm not saying that "me and Jane" is correct etiquette -- it just sounds better to most ears. There's no grammatical difference between "me and Jane" and "Jane and me", as far as I know. Grammar doesn't care about the order of the pair, but etiquette does.


On 05 December 2006 (05:49 PM), Eric Donoho said:

The man gave ice cream to Jane and I know Tarzan got angry 'bout dat.


On 05 January 2007 (04:11 PM), Marian said:

Thank the lord!!!!! This little rant was long overdue...


On 12 January 2007 (06:22 AM), Jean said:

Thankyou for this post. All I knew was that ms-word was constantly putting squiggly lines below the 'I's and 'ME's in my docuements. Now I know when to use ME. I always want to use 'I'. That must be the mistake that is driving you crazy. I will try to do better!


On 24 January 2007 (06:36 PM), Nancy said:

OMG! FINALLY someone else that is bothered by this. What really bothers me is that some of the people I hear say or write it the wrong way, graduated from college! How did they get away with this without being corrected? Anyway, thanks for letting me rant about this.


On 25 January 2007 (11:25 AM), Robert said:

I am more peeved by the newly-common use of the word "myself" (or any other reflexive pronoun) when they mean "me". "You can give the ice cream with hot fudge to Jeff and the one without nuts to myself." That should be "me". Maybe we shouldn't let pro athletes model our grammar for us anymore.


On 05 February 2007 (01:00 AM), Eunice said:

YES! For example, under photo captions, people will put "a picture of Bob and I." Shouldn't it say bob and me...A picture of Bob...A picture of ME?


On 05 February 2007 (08:09 AM), nicola said:

oh it's so wonderful when I stumble across other twisted little grammar pedants like me! I know a girl who has just obtained a masters degree and likes rubbing it in the face of us uneducated types. She labelled one of her photographs from her graduation "Dad and I". Needless to say I emailed her with a rant about as long as this blog just to put her right. And BOY it felt good!


On 09 April 2007 (05:27 PM), eileen said:

The problem is EVERYONE is using the "me-I thing"
incorrectly...newscasters, teachers, I just wrote paper and Microsoft word underlined an objective me in green indicating it as incorrect and corrected with an
I.


On 18 April 2007 (10:11 AM), JOSE L. GIBLER said:

I'm translating a poem from Spanish to English, trying to maintain the rhyme and metrics.
I came accross a verse I translated as:
"The architect was I, for I plotted my journey"
One of my critics remarked that to be gramatically correct should be:
"The architect was me, for I plotted my journey"
Euphonically I prefer the sound of my first choice.
Would someone comment?
If you write to me pepe@gintra.com I will send you the entire poem by Amado Nervo, in Spanish and in my English translation.
Write Subject as "Peacefully"
Thank you.


On 24 April 2007 (08:15 AM), maureen said:

So now I am going to be really annoying but can someone tell me if the following are both correct:

Me and Jane are going to the store.
Jane and I are going to the store.


On 14 May 2007 (06:19 AM), Scott said:

No, Maureen, the first sentence is not grammatically correct as you wouldn't say, 'Me am going to the store.'

Anyway, I'm glad there are other people who get annoyed by the whole 'I' and 'Me' thing. It really irritates me when a person uses it constantly - regardless of wether it is correct or not - and believes it makes him/her superior to us normal, working class people who don't talk proper...


On 14 May 2007 (06:20 AM), Scott said:

No, Maureen, the first sentence is not grammatically correct as you wouldn't say, 'Me am going to the store.'

Anyway, I'm glad there are other people who get annoyed by the whole 'I' and 'Me' thing. It really irritates me when a person uses it constantly - regardless of wether it is correct or not - and believes it makes him/her superior to us normal, working-class people who don't talk proper...


On 01 June 2007 (05:24 AM), Phil said:

Thanks so much! Been studying for SAT, and getting that kind of question wrong, couldn't figure out why, couldn't find the rules anywhere....


On 12 June 2007 (06:13 AM), Wayne said:

Oooh! Now do one about the proper use of "myself!" I'm in the military, and everyone up and down the chain of command seems to think that "myself" is a perfectly fine substitute for "me." EVEN OFFICERS (all officers have a 4-year college degree)!! I've been thinking about adding a tag to my signature detailing its proper use.

By the way, in school I was taught that "I" and "me" always come last in a series. "John, Jane, and I went to the store." "They bought it for John, Jane, and me." A few grammar posts I've found on the web seem to support this. Whether it is an actual rule or just proper etiquette, I can't say for sure.


On 19 June 2007 (08:41 PM), Farah said:

See KJ, I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!


On 25 June 2007 (11:40 AM), Erin said:

All I have to say is THANK YOU!


On 27 June 2007 (01:26 AM), Sarah said:

Hurrah, finally a lot of other people who get annoyed about me and I. The problem in my view is that people think it sounds posh to say I when they haven't a clue why they are really using it. I also agree with the person who pointed out how the 'informed', are deemed 'ill informed' by the 'ill informed' when they use the correct word!.


On 05 July 2007 (11:26 AM), judy said:

You guys are entirely too anal.

Grammar is a myth. As long as you understand what people are saying, it is correct grammar.

Get off your high horse. Smart, Dumb, and average alike don't know all of the rules, and frankly I think it is something you should point out to people outside of an English class. I mean really, who are you to make people feel inferior or embarassed for writing here instead of hear when you damn well know what they meant.


On 07 July 2007 (08:49 PM), Jon said:

it has been 8 months for Kat and me. haha you grammar nazi'd me today!!!


On 29 July 2007 (07:10 PM), gillian said:

AMEN.


On 19 August 2007 (09:44 AM), chichi said:

I have this question, please help me :D

No one is (more sorrier than me) that you missed the awards ceremony.

(A) More sorrier than me
(B) sorrier than I
(C) more sorry like myself
(D) sorrier but me

What choice should I select for the "more sorrier than me" part in the sentence ?


On 20 August 2007 (04:42 AM), Mat said:

B, because you wouldn't say "Me am sorry"


On 22 August 2007 (11:27 AM), jojo the cookie monkey said:

grammar is good it is ur friend like water or tacos. but i do agree with the girl who said some people are too anal, and keep correcting everyone too often, having been in a relationship with one in the past, i know it is kind of a damper!
- light bulbs, cellphone, september, conferences, spaghetti. I think i've made myself clear!


On 30 August 2007 (03:22 AM), Adele, NZ said:

Fantastic discussions guys.. am just pleased that while trying to finalise a chapter for a book I'm helping to write that you guys came to the rescue.... it's after 10pm and my head is foggy.. so foggy that I thought my 'critical buddy/editor' was correct when she changed a sentence from
..it surprised Jane and me TO
..it surprised Jane and I

I will nw change it back to the first sentence and go to bed!
'おやすみなさいーoyasuminasai- goodnight!'


On 06 September 2007 (07:48 PM), Michael Kahn said:

have another question . . .

He's more patient than I am.
He's more patient than I.
He's more patient than me.

my guess is that the middle one is wrong and the other two are OK. Am I right?


On 26 September 2007 (09:28 AM), mominL.A. said:

Re: entry 4/18/07 by GILBER
Euphonically and otherwise, "The architect was I" is correct. It has to do with transitive and intransitive verbs in English. Simply put, if one should not say "Me was the architect" then one should not say "The architect was me". Although poetry and poetic translation may take liberties with English usage, in this case the proper use is to the translation's advantage.
I only passed this website because I just sat through my son's 4th grade class where the teacher is giving the whole class incorrect info on the use of "I vs me". It's just NOT that complicated. Makes me nuts.


On 24 October 2007 (06:07 AM), Bill said:

While collaborating on some business writing, I was surprised by my colleague's claim that gender-neutral writing allows "they" to be used as a singular pronoun as well as plural.

Example: "Once the worker discovers a safety violation, they should notify their supervisor."

I have never heard elsewhere that this practice is now acceptable. Perhaps I am behind the times. I don't know if this new expanded use of "they" is commonly accepted these days, or if my colleague is making an empty claim. Comments?


On 28 October 2007 (06:26 PM), Jeremy said:

thank you! my brother-in-law swears that it's always "I". we have argued the point and he refuses to say he's WRONG!


On 30 October 2007 (10:23 AM), I or maybe ME said:

I hate it when me hears... I et dinner, and I seen a good show.I had done seen it once.My friend Tom give me the tickets..So, Tim and me went together..And the worst.... No, I ain't never seen none...I actually hear professionals using seen, when I think they saw..Okay, don't yell at me. Only having some fun.


On 31 October 2007 (08:01 PM), Sivia said:

I is used before the verb and me is used after verb.


On 04 November 2007 (03:59 PM), Karen said:

What about the "which" and "that" thing? Too often I read and hear "which" when someone should be using "that." It appears that very learned folks such as journalists, authors, lawyers and professors are confusing the two words. Isn't there a hard and fast rule on this or are we dummying down?


On 04 November 2007 (04:02 PM), Karen said:

What about the "which" and "that" thing? It drives me crazy to read and hear "which" when someone should be using "that." Even very learned folks such as journalists, authors, lawyers and professors are confusing the two words. Isn't there a hard and fast rule on this or are we dummying down?


On 13 November 2007 (06:04 PM), Rheal said:

Well, if we're all venting, further or farther?
I get confused on which one to use. For my defense, english is my second language.


On 16 November 2007 (05:21 PM), John said:

Just talk or write I'll understand.


On 20 November 2007 (07:45 PM), Mary said:

Thank you so much! This drives me insane too! I've been trying to nicely correct a certain person I know. Now I can just pass along your website and hopefully the problem will start to correct itself!


On 11 December 2007 (12:04 PM), Josie said:

Thank you. I am one of those, that can never remember if it's "I" or "me", and most often feel a bit embarrassed. Though I could fault my country upbringing, I've been in NYC for years!


On 11 December 2007 (05:59 PM), Rosa said:

Ok so I have a question. When labeling something such as a picture do you label it, my friend and me or my friend and I?


On 12 December 2007 (09:36 AM), Lou Justis said:

Thank you for providing the information on the proper use of 'Me' and 'I'. I thought that I knew how to use me and I correctly but in recent years after hearing so many people use me and I incorrectly, I began to think that I was the one that was wrong. This situation prompted me to start looking on the Internet for a correction for my perceived incorrect grammar usage. Thankfully, I found the "Grammar Nazi"!


On 12 December 2007 (11:35 AM), Nodaker said:

Great thread of comments about grammer regarding I and Me. How about getting into bring and take! I notice more and more people are "bringing" their car to the dealership these days!


On 22 December 2007 (03:24 PM), plobolob said:

Jane and I were given ice cream by the man.
The man gave ice cream to me and Jane.


On 23 December 2007 (11:07 AM), hatt said:

It always confused me but that's a good way to remember it.


On 25 December 2007 (06:25 AM), Ian Rheeder said:

Thanks, my sister-in-law is a grammar teacher and she believes we should always use "Jane & I". "Me" thinks your tip makes perfect sense.


On 29 December 2007 (02:21 AM), Joao Paulo Santos said:

Great post! I'm Brazilian, but I'm always doing my best to have the best written and spoken English I can. It really helped me a lot!


On 17 January 2008 (12:22 PM), Peter said:

Thanks for this grammar nazi.

Me finally understand it.

;-)


On 13 February 2008 (08:32 AM), abby and I said:

you win! I think


On 15 February 2008 (01:26 PM), Jennifer said:

Thank you! I love this...I get so tired of people sounding like cavemen!


On 23 February 2008 (07:39 PM), Kim said:

I'm very confused about using the word-"me". Is it correct to say : " I think me getting hurt is more important"?


On 26 February 2008 (07:59 AM), Sandra said:

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. It drives me crazy when perfectly respectable people use I and me incorrectly. I will use this link over and over again to explain the rule to others.


On 13 March 2008 (07:34 AM), Phil said:

OK, lesson learned. Now .. how about the word 'got' or 'gotten'? I HATE those words and still think they should be erased from the dictionary.


On 24 March 2008 (01:36 AM), angela said:

thanku soooo much! this kills me when ppl do this and now ive finally got a way to prove to my friends that i was right all along and infact that they are the stupid ones who are gramatically incorrect


On 25 March 2008 (09:37 AM), Lois said:

I never saw an answer to the earlier entry regarding the use of "I" or "Me" in this instance.

He's more patient than I am.
He's more patient than I.
He's more patient than me.


On 28 April 2008 (06:26 PM), Dave said:

I know that this is an old article now, but I just stumbled across it and thought I'd throw in my two cents. Another way to remember, for those so inclined, is to use the proper parts of speech and sentence structure: 'I' is a subject and 'me' is an object; therefore, 'I visited with Jane' or 'Jane visited me', respectively. We get this mess (and English grammar really is a mess even for purists) from our roots. In Old English, when a formal case system was used, 'ic' was used for first person singular in nominative (subject) case and 'me' was used in accusative (direct object) case. Another great example of a commonly mixed-up word pair with roots in Old English is 'who' & 'whom' (nom. and dat., respectively)


On 29 April 2008 (02:07 PM), Dave said:

@ Lois

The proper sentence would be he's more patient than I am. Coming in a very close second is he's more patient than I. This form, though "less proper" is still proper. The sentence uses than as a conjunction, and contains a partial clause, i.e. there is a missing verb. The pronoun ('I' in this example) stands in for the full clause and we are allowed to drop the verb ('to be'/'am' in this example). So, he's more patient than I am simply becomes he's more patient than I.

The last option should never be used in formal language but it can find a place in informal speech (as long as your intended audience is not a group of purists). Long-winded reasons follow:

We use she is taller than he rather than she is taller than him because personal pronouns following than should be in the nominative rather than the accusative case. This is due to the fact that 1) than is a conjunction and 2) the single pronoun he is replacing the full clause he is. OK so far? Good, I'll continue. Some people will claim that than is not, in fact, a conjunction but rather a preposition. If than is a preposition, then the following personal pronoun must be in the accusative case because it is then the object of the preposition, hence she is taller than him just like she went with him to the store. These people, however, are silly.

Clear as mud, right? ;-)


On 12 May 2008 (05:47 AM), Rev Slim said:

After reading the entire thread (going back to 2006) about use of I or me, I don't think anybody shared the simple rule that I learned in elementary school that helps figure it out for you without having to even think if the word is being used as a subject or object. The rule: "When in doubt, leave one out." In other words, leave out the word that is being paired with the personal pronoun. This was alluded to in several comments, but not codified in its own rhyming slogan. A 3rd grader, armed with this rule, can figure out that: "Jane and me are going to the store" is incorrect, because leaving out Jane, he would be left with "Me are going to the store."

So far, so good. However, "When in doubt, leave one out" works just as well for objects of sentences: "Will you pick up some cigarettes at the store for your mother and I?" is a typical example of the incorrect use of the word "I" that we are bombarded with in modern society. Using our "when in doubt…" rule, simply leave out "your mother" (yes, I know, it's not usually that simple to leave out your Mother) and you are left with "Will you pick up some cigarettes at the store for I?" which sounds as ignorant as the day is long.

"Jane and me are going to the store" and "Me and Jane are going to the store" do not seem to be problems for adults (unless you are Tarzan), because, growing up, every time we used "me" improperly, we were instantly corrected by a parent or teacher: "Jane and I are going to the store."

Somewhere along the way, "me" became a bad word, so now I am constantly subjected to hearing "supposedly educated" people, many with masters and doctorates, saying something like this: "I want to thank you for your kindness to Julie and I." I hear it every day, but it is wrong, wrong wrong! I don't care if one thousand people with college degrees say it, it is still wrong.

If you struggle with getting this usage correct, I have one additional suggestion for proofing a sentence like "I want to thank you for your kindness to Julie and I." Reverse the order of Julie and I, putting the personal pronoun first: "I want to thank you for your kindness to I and Julie." As soon as you hear yourself saying "your kindness to I…" it should jerk your ear around so badly that you will never, ever use I as the object of a sentence again.


On 13 May 2008 (12:16 AM), Alex said:

ALSO
I HATE the improper use of apostrophes!

CD's for sale. Why is there one in there? There isn't anything belonging to the CD, and there are no letters missing. Why? WHY?

Or when I see "it's home". It's is always short for it is. Nothing else. Stop it.

Stop it now.

I hate that I found this blog.
I will never leave it.
I will merely fill its comment page with things that irritate me.


On 14 May 2008 (12:36 PM), Red said:

Me have gotten the point of the blog. Its obvious.


On 14 May 2008 (05:52 PM), Jane said:

>The other one that annoys me is when
>people say "none of them are..."
>None is contracted from not one, singular.
>Therefore it's 'none of them is'.
>It sounds off, but damnit that's the correct way!

As noted in The American Heritage Dictionary: "The word 'none' has been used as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward. The plural usage appears in the King James Bible as well as the works of John Dryden and Edmund Burke and is widespread in the works of respectable writers today."


On 19 May 2008 (02:39 AM), bong said:

Jane and I gave ice cream to Jane and me... mwahaha


On 26 May 2008 (04:53 PM), Dave Dalton said:

@Peter

Is it me . . . and it is me are both correct. In both cases the subject of the sentence is it and the object of the verb is the speaker. When referring to one's self as an object we must use me.


On 26 May 2008 (08:29 PM), Dave Dalton said:

Somehow the last part of my post got deleted so I'll post it here:

I am aware of the "traditional" rule (in quotes because there seem to be few resources that say "this is and always has been a rule of English grammar") that says if the subject and object are the same then the subjective case must be used for the object when following a linking verb. Personally (and in this I'm not alone) this makes little sense since an object is an object. That the subject and object are the same shouldn't matter. If I were an identical twin should I say He's my twin brother; so he's basically I and I am he.? How about Hey, a mirror! That reflection is I or That dark smudge in the back of the photograph seems to be he?


On 24 June 2008 (10:48 PM), Shannon said:

I am so happy there is a post about this; you can't begin to fathom how many times I will see pictures described as "such and such person and I." The amount of annoyance I face from this is endless.


On 25 June 2008 (11:17 PM), mk said:

Yay!! I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by this!


On 10 July 2008 (07:40 AM), Jaimmie said:

I learned this when I was in fourth grade. It drives me crazy when people say, "This is Dad and I". I see this often on MySpace when people are referring to their friends/relatives in their photos. I even had a friend email me saying that I was wrong, and it should be Dad and I instead of Dad and me. I simply replied saying, "Would you say, 'This is I in this picture', or 'This is ME in this picture'?

Who is correct?? Him or I...or is it me...wait it's I...!!!!


On 11 July 2008 (10:52 AM), Lynn said:

Hmm...I came looking for answers because I had been confused about the proper use of "I," "me," and "myself" under certain conditions. What I found was the correct information, but written with sharp tongues...on several forums. I graduated with a degree in chemistry and OMG the HORROR...I do not know everything! However, I bet I know a few things that none of you do. Most people are taught grammar in grade school and that's the end of it. Excuse us all for failing you. Even more horrifying is the number of people who get antagonistic over something this trivial. I'm glad that people care enough about the English language to make it a concern, because god knows not enough care, but you might want to chill out a bit in your delivery.

Ultimately, I thank the poster for the info. It's a great help even though the sarcasm stung a little.

And...if anything in my post is grammatically incorrect, please know that I really don't care nor will I be back. :)


On 13 July 2008 (02:05 PM), grammar nazi from hell said:

Oh, my, freaking, god. This pisses me off so very much. Have you ever perused the photos of ANYONE on myspace? CONSTANTLY: my brother and I, my friends and I, a clown and I, on and on and on and on! Enough already!


On 15 July 2008 (10:32 AM), bobing said:

Shouldn't that last statement be "You make Kris and me weep..." Just like "You make me weep..."

You should practice what you preach


On 15 July 2008 (05:36 PM), zimba said:

"You should practice what you preach"

it was a joke.. wow..


On 24 July 2008 (12:14 PM), KaraLehann said:

KaraLehann at Yahoo dot com

omg this is such a good post........

On 12 May 2008 (05:47 AM), Rev Slim said:

After reading the entire thread (going back to 2006) about use of I or me, I don't think anybody shared the simple rule that I learned in elementary school that helps figure it out for you without having to even think if the word is being used as a subject or object. The rule: "When in doubt, leave one out." In other words, leave out the word that is being paired with the personal pronoun. This was alluded to in several comments, but not codified in its own rhyming slogan. A 3rd grader, armed with this rule, can figure out that: "Jane and me are going to the store" is incorrect, because leaving out Jane, he would be left with "Me are going to the store."

So far, so good. However, "When in doubt, leave one out" works just as well for objects of sentences: "Will you pick up some cigarettes at the store for your mother and I?" is a typical example of the incorrect use of the word "I" that we are bombarded with in modern society. Using our "when in doubt…" rule, simply leave out "your mother" (yes, I know, it's not usually that simple to leave out your Mother) and you are left with "Will you pick up some cigarettes at the store for I?" which sounds as ignorant as the day is long.

"Jane and me are going to the store" and "Me and Jane are going to the store" do not seem to be problems for adults (unless you are Tarzan), because, growing up, every time we used "me" improperly, we were instantly corrected by a parent or teacher: "Jane and I are going to the store."

Somewhere along the way, "me" became a bad word, so now I am constantly subjected to hearing "supposedly educated" people, many with masters and doctorates, saying something like this: "I want to thank you for your kindness to Julie and I." I hear it every day, but it is wrong, wrong wrong! I don't care if one thousand people with college degrees say it, it is still wrong.

If you struggle with getting this usage correct, I have one additional suggestion for proofing a sentence like "I want to thank you for your kindness to Julie and I." Reverse the order of Julie and I, putting the personal pronoun first: "I want to thank you for your kindness to I and Julie." As soon as you hear yourself saying "your kindness to I…" it should jerk your ear around so badly that you will never, ever use I as the object of a sentence again.

Thank you thank you thank you!


On 24 July 2008 (12:16 PM), KaraLehann said:

Oh shit my email addy is wrong. It is 85 after Lehann


On 02 August 2008 (06:35 PM), Meme said:

For a while now, I have wondered,if it was just my mother and me who realized how many highly regarded people in our society are so ignorant when it comes to properly using "I" or "me" in a sentence. Heck! I gingerly corrected a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher friend of mine, once and she said, "I'm not incorrect. I'm a teacher and I know!" Ouch! I left her alone... For some reason, I Googled, Google'd, googled or google'd the proper use of "I" and "me" today, just to see what came up. To my delight, I found this post with comments from a lot of people that are irritated by our societal ignorance just like my mother and me. In fact, my mother and I are irritated with a lot of common simple writing errors too! Surely, most of you are also and have noticed my intentional use of them. This post was started quite awhile ago and I imagine it's probably going to continue for a while. I give it continued life with its post by ME ME ME!!!

btw...In junior high and highschool, I cut English all the time and guessed or cheated on just about every test, so I am not a self-proclaimed finatical grammatical expert by any means. Surely, I've misplaced commas here or there but, I still check their proper placement from time to time to keep I in check...kidding!

It's ironic. I didn't go to class, I cheated on tests,I was immature and ignorant,yet I retained so many simple grammatical rules. How is it that so many mature people that probably went to class and didn't cheat or guess are so ignorant? My theory is they aren't leaders...and that includes our bright president! BTW...my mother got her Masters in English, so I confess I had a little more home schooling than the average kid. Cheers!


On 07 August 2008 (11:53 AM), smokie said:

your blog just helped me in my gmat sentence correction. hahah good one. thanks


On 23 August 2008 (04:30 AM), Jenn G. said:

I was so glad to see this... The "me" vs. "I" problem bothers me daily... I am not grammatically perfect, but I cannot stand to see myspace captions like this, "Mark and I at our wedding." Would she really say, "this is I at our wedding?" No. But I see it on 90% of photo captions, and I was beginning to think I was crazy, maybe I was wrong all this time. "Mark and I." "This is I." If people just stopped to think about it, they would realize it is wrong! Thank goodness I'm not crazy! Some people may say so, but I happen to think preserving ANY language is important. But myabe that's just I. Lol...


On 26 August 2008 (11:12 AM), gaurav said:

thanks a lot


On 05 September 2008 (08:53 AM), stephanie said:

which is correct?
"The only ones speaking should be Phyllis and ME?
or The only ones speaking should be Phyllis and I?


On 12 September 2008 (07:58 AM), Tafari said:

THIS IS NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR!!!!!!


On 07 October 2008 (06:13 AM), Emyr said:

"On 15 September 2006 (02:39 PM), Jeff said:

What, there are nuts on the ice cream, too?!?! Can I get mine with hot fudge?"

Dear dear me, it should read :-

May I have mine with hot fudge please?

You do not say "Can/could I" when making a request or asking for permission. This is such a common problem, even in the UK.

Also you do not end a sentence with a preposition. I.e. The house I grew up in. It should read 'the house in which I grew up".


On 08 November 2008 (06:29 AM), R. Stephen Dubuque said:

Thank you for this refresher English lesson.
I had forgotten that I was always told to use "I" singularly. If it sounds right, it is right. If it doesn't sound right it is not right.


On 21 November 2008 (03:53 PM), Noni said:

Hi, i have been having a long running debate about which one is correct, can any one help? If you were asked to list who is in the band and the answer is you, Sean and Michael, how would you list it? Me, Sean and Michael or Sean, Michael and I? I use the leave it out rule which leads me to think me. But you would say, i am. Hmmm


On 23 November 2008 (11:54 AM), Nadia said:

I am so guilty of this. I am not an English guru but I take interest in finding out the grammatically correct way of speaking and writing. This was well written and easy to understand. Thank you.


On 28 November 2008 (02:10 AM), Dave said:

@Noni

If you were to answer the question who is in the band? with a proper sentence, i.e. subject & verb and you were the sole member your response would be I am. Therefore, with the trio, the correct answer would be Sean, Michael, and I are. This can be shortened to Sean, Michael, and I. Please see my post of April 29, 2008--the one that begins "@ Lois"--for the explanation as to why it shouldn't be "me".


On 28 November 2008 (02:16 AM), Dave said:

@Noni

If you were to answer the question who is in the band? and you were the sole member your response would be I am. Therefore, with the trio, the correct answer would be Sean, Michael, and I are. This can be shortened to Sean, Michael, and I. Please see my post of April 29, 2008--the one that begins "@ Lois"--for the explanation as to why it shouldn't be "me".


On 28 November 2008 (01:03 PM), Dave said:

@Emyr

"People who live in glass houses . . . " ;-)

On 07 October 2008 (06:13 AM), Emyr said in a reply:


"What, there are nuts on the ice cream, too?!?! Can I get mine with hot fudge?"


Dear dear me, it should read :-

May I have mine with hot fudge please?

You do not say "Can/could I" when making a request or asking for permission. This is such a common problem, even in the UK.

Also you do not end a sentence with a preposition. I.e. The house I grew up in. It should read 'the house in which I grew up".

----------------


  • Dear dear me, it should read :-


Should have a comma and no hyphen at the end: Dear, dear me—it should read:

  • You do not say "Can/could I"


Well yes, he does say that; "can" isn't capitalized: One [or "you" if the speaker is talking to one person only] should not say "can/could I"

  • Also you do not end a sentence with a preposition.


Comma and, once again, "yes, he does". Modern English (especially AE but even BE, however not RP) accepts a terminal preposition as long as its use sounds natural. (However I do agree that one shouldn't end in a preposition.): Also, one [you] shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

  • I.e. The house I grew up in. It should read 'the house in which I grew up"


The abbreviations i.e and e.g. should never be capitalized and should never begin a sentence. Quotes are needed for the example and there should be no period. Ditto marks (single quotes) should not be used. Finally, a period is properly placed within quotation marks: . . . do not end a sentence with a preposition, i.e. "the house I grew up in" should read "the house in which I grew up."

Just some good-natured ribbing :-)