Posted by: Jack Henry | February 16, 2021

Editor’s Corner: It’s Me, Not I

Fair warning—I’m going to harp today. But it’ll be short and sweet (well, maybe it won’t be sweet; it’ll be short and tart…mmm, SweeTARTS®). I’ve talked about this pronoun conundrum before, but I hear so many people who should know better get it wrong that I feel like I have to try to find another way to get the point across.

What point? Using the subjective pronoun I when we should use the objective pronoun me.

Here are some examples of the kind of things I hear that are making me so tart:

  • You can count on Jim and I.
  • Finding a solution will come down to Karen or I.
  • Sometimes, my family treats my sister and I differently.

In all those cases, the correct pronoun is me. How can you know for sure? The easiest way to determine whether you should use I or me is to remove the other person from the sentence:

  • You can count on me.
  • Finding a solution will come down to me.
  • Sometimes, my family treats me differently.

Some people incorrectly assume that if two people are being discussed, they should always use the pronoun I. But we’re not “assumers.” To assume is to suppose without proof. We know where to find proof. As my sister would say, “Google™ that!”

Now, you and I can tackle the world! Enjoy the day.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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