'I' and 'Me'

"I" and "me" are both pronouns, but they are used in different ways. Many non-native speakers of English find it hard to differentiate one from the other and it is reflected in their consistently incorrect use of the two pronouns. Please read on as this article attempts to clarify the differences between "I" and "Me".

"I" is used as a subject pronoun. A subject is what a sentence or clause is talking about. 


• I went shopping yesterday.

The above example is very simple and the pronoun "I" is obviously the subject of the sentence. (You cannot say "Me went fishing.") Confusion may occur when we use compound constructions.


• My wife and I travelled to Hawaii last year. 

To make things easier, one simple test can be used. Simply remove one subject and listen to how it sounds. If we remove "My wife and" from the sentence, we can easily hear which pronoun is correct. We would never say "Me travelled to Hawaii last year."

"Me" is used as an object pronoun. It is part of a predicate and what the verb is acting upon. 


• She asked Kenny and me to prepare for the party.

It's easy to hear that "me" is correct in this construction if we remove "Kenny and": "She asked me to prepare for the party" sounds correct, while "She asked I to prepare for the party" is obviously wrong.

"Me" can also serve as the object of a preposition.


• My friends are laughing at me.

Now look at the following sentences. Only one of them is correct.

a) She gave me a set of saucepans as a wedding present. .

b) Before you leave, please inform John and I of the wonderful news. 

c) The argument between Cindy and I lasted for several weeks.

Answer: In sentences b) and c), the pronoun "I" should be replaced with "me".

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