So this is something new I’m going to start doing. It’s separate from the editorial-like posts I mentioned last week. I’ll try to post one of these every other Wednesday. Basically all it’s going to be is a lesson in proper spelling and grammar. If there’s something specific you want me to talk about (when it comes to spelling/grammar) let me know in either a comment or by contacting me in some form or another.
So this first lesson I will be discussing the difference between I and me. This is a common problem that a lot of people just can’t seem to get right. Now sometimes I’ll let it slide if I’m having a conversation with someone and they say “My friend and I” when it should be “My friend and me” (or “Me and my friend” as I’ll talk about later) or vice versa. I get it, it’s difficult to know when you’re speaking and it’s on-the-spot. You don’t have time to think about the sentence before you say it. But I draw the line when you’re typing.
Whether it’s in an essay, or a Facebook post, or in a blog, or some other form of writing, you should always use the proper form of I or me.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Stephen, both ‘I’ and ‘me’ mean the same thing. Shouldn’t that make them interchangeable?”
In a sense: yes. Yes it should make them interchangeable, but it doesn’t. If you want to sound smart you need to know when you should use I and when you should use me.
So here’s a simple trick that I learned a while back. When you are writing a sentence that has “My friend and I” or “Me and my friend”, remove the other person in the sentence and see which one sounds correct.
“My friend and I went to the mall” is correct because you wouldn’t say “Me went to the mall”, you’d say “I went to the mall”.
“Me and my friend took a trip” is incorrect for the same reason. Would you really say “Me took a trip”, or would you say “I took a trip”?
“If you want me and my friend to come along” is correct. “If you want me to come along” is how it would sound without the other person. You definitely wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) say “If you want I to come along”. That just sounds stupid.
Now, while it’s technically neither correct nor incorrect form to say “My friend and me”, it sounds better to say “Me and my friend” whereas it sounds better to say “My friend and I” rather than “I and my friend”.
It’s a very simple trick to remember: Just remove the other person from the sentence.
Some sentences you’ll have to change slightly to get the right result. For example, “My friend and I are performing.” Well, you wouldn’t say “I are performing”, but you would say “I am performing”, so I is still correct.
I hope that this post has taught you a valuable lesson in the difference between using I and me.
Now here are some practice sentences to see if you’ve figured it out (in these examples, they will all start with “my friend” even when it’s “me”):
1. My friend and (I/me) ran a marathon.
2. It caught my friend and (I/me) off guard.
3. Why did you sneak up on my friend and (I/me)?
4. It was a terrible storm that my friend and (I/me) were caught in.
5. Those masks made my friend and (I/me) look ridiculous.
6. You’re way better at this than (I/me).
Do you know someone who makes this mistake all the time? Share this post with them so they can easily learn when and how to use “I” or “me”.
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