I vs Me

From Christoph's Personal Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Mistakes made with the two English pronouns I vs. Me are very common. This article will attempt to make the difference between these very simple with examples.


I is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it refers to the person performing the action of a verb.

I want to go.

This is the one I like.

You and I need to get ready.

Michelle and I are going to the beach.

Note: "we" (plural) is equivalent to "I" (singular).


Me is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to which a preposition refers.

Michelle told me to leave.

She gave me ten dollars.

Between you and me, this is a bad idea.

She needs to talk to Robin or me.

Note: "us" (plural) is equivalent to "me" (singular).


This confusion usually occurs when you have I/me connected to another pronoun or name with "and" or "or." I believe that the confusion begins when someone says something like "Michelle and me are ready" and that is corrected to "Michelle and I are ready". The speaker then thinks, "Oh, the word 'and' means that I should always use I." This is not the case. "And" has nothing to do with it; the reason you say "Michelle and I" in that sentence is that "Michelle and I" are the subject. If they were the object, you would use me: "He told Michelle and me to get ready."

If you are not good with grammar concepts like subjects and objects, there is still a very easy way to decide whether to use I or me: try out the sentence with just I or me (or if you need a plural, we or us—"we" is equivalent to "I" and "us" is equivalent to "me"):

He told Tom and (I or me?) to get ready.

INCORRECT: He told I to get ready?

CORRECT: He told me to get ready?

Therefore, He told Michelle and me to get ready.

If Michelle and (I or me?) get married, we'll have two kids.

INCORRECT: If me get married?

CORRECT: If I get married?

Therefore, If Michelle and I get married, we'll have two kids.

Just between you and (I or me?), this is a bad idea.

Because "between" needs to be followed by a plural, we'll use "we" and "us" to figure this out.

INCORRECT: Just between we?

CORRECT: Just between us?

Just between you and me, this is a bad idea.

Do not use a subject pronoun and object pronoun together.

CORRECT: He and I ("He and I are going to town.")

CORRECT: Him and me ("She told him and me the truth.")


INCORRECT: He and me