How to Use I and Me Correctly

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The proper use of the personal pronouns "I" and "me" are confusing to many people. 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 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, "It was I who called." In this sentence, the pronoun "I" is the subject of the verb "called."

  • Understand that the personal pronoun "me" is used as the object of the sentence. For example, you would say, "Bill called James and me on the phone." In this sentence, the pronoun "me" is receiving the action from the verb "called."

  • Decide to use "I" or "me" by checking your sentence for the presence of these certain verbs: am, are, was and were. If the pronoun follows these verbs, then use "I." For example, if someone asks, "Was that you at the party last night?" You'd say, "Yes, it was I at the party."

  • Find another clue by locating the verb in the sentence. If the pronoun is located after the verb, then use "me." For example, "The interviewer asked Katie and me questions." The pronoun "me" comes after the verb "asked." Note, that this doesn't work if the pronoun follows a verb as shown in Step 2.

  • Conduct a simple test to determine whether you should use "I" or "me" in sentences with a compound subject, such as "James and I waited," or "Take Missy and me to the park." Simply take out the other person and see how it sounds. For example, "I waited," makes more sense than "Me waited." Also, "Take me to the park," makes more sense than, "Take I to the park."

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that grammar rules aren't well known by everyone. Don't be surprised if people erroneously correct you.
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