Monday, December 8, 2014

I and Me, which is correct?

Pretty much everyone knows when you are talking about yourself and you are the subject of the sentence, you say "I" as in "I went to town."

"Me went to town" is something a 3-year-old would say.

Although lots of people who should know better say "Me and Joe went to town" when, of course, it should be "Joe and I . . ."  ("Me and Joe" always sounds like "Mean Joe" so I respond with "How mean is Joe?")

And, "Joe and me" is also wrong because you use "I" when you are the subject and "me" when you are the object. And the other person always comes first (I know, not fair).

But what about the end of sentences? When do you use "I" and when do you use "me"? This confuses a lot of people.

Well, it depends. If you are the object of the sentence, use "me": "Joe gave the ball to me."

However, if you are comparing yourself to something, use I: "Joe is taller than I."

Some people get this mixed up, thinking "I" is correct in all circumstances and say "Joe gave the ball to I" which makes me want to pull out what's left of my hair.

To figure out if you should use "I," add "am" (i.e., a verb).  "Joe is taller than I am" is correct. And you can just drop the "am." I hope you wouldn't say "Joe is taller than me am."

But you wouldn't say "Joe gave the ball to I am." So you use "me" in that case.

The easy rule is, if you can add "am" (or "was") and the sentence still makes sense, use "I". If you can't add "am," use "me."

And, on a related note, you don't say "Joe is taller than him" because "Joe is taller than him is" is wrong. You say "Joe is taller than he."

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