Posted by: Jack Henry | June 15, 2017

Editor’s Corner: I or Me?

Hi, folks.

I’ve covered this topic before, but I hear and see this mistake regularly from very conscientious writers and speakers, so let’s review when it’s correct to use I and when you should use me.

I and me are both pronouns that you use to refer to yourself. The difference is that I is the subject of a sentence, and me is the object. A problem often occurs when you are talking or writing about you and another person.

For example, look at the following sentences. Would you use me or I?

· Last night, the baby slept with Clifford and ___.

· Mom and dad are fighting about you and ___.

People often get this wrong, but in both sentences, you would use me because me is the object in the sentence. (The object of a sentence is the entity that is acted upon by the subject. The baby and mom and dad, respectively, are the subjects of the two previous examples.)

Conversely, you would use I when you (and someone else) are the subject of the sentence. (The subject of a sentence is the person/people, place, thing, or idea that is doing or being something).

· Bertha and ___ are going to the cinema tonight.

· The champagne that Lavinia and ___ purchased is chilling in the ice bucket.

I realize that explaining this in terms of subjects and objects isn’t necessarily helpful, and that’s why I have a useful mnemonic for you: just remove the other person from the sentence to figure out whether to use I or me.

· Last night the baby slept with me.

· Mom and dad are fighting about me.

· I amgoing to the cinema tonight.

· The champagne that I purchased is chilling in the ice bucket.

If you want to dig into this topic a little more, watch this helpful two-minute video from Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large. Have a lovely day!

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

Symitar Technical Publications Writing and Editing Requests

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