I or Me?

A while ago I wrote about “myself” and how it is not a substitute for “I” or “me.” Use “myself” at the end of a sentence for emphasis, only when you’ve already mentioned yourself.  For example, “I painted the living room myself.”  You could put a period after “living room,” but the last word emphasizes that no one helped you.

Whether to use “I” or “me” is so easy:

Use “I” when it’s a subject.  “Sarah and I went to the movies last Sunday.”  Just temporarily take the other person out and you’ll always know whether you need “I” or “me.”  You’d never say “Sarah and me (or Me and Sarah!) went to the movies.”  Please, tell me you wouldn’t.

Use “me” when you need an object.  “The package arrived for Sarah and me.”  Take Sarah out and you wouldn’t write, “The package arrived for I.”  Putting Sarah back into the equation changes nothing.

For some reason, people think “I” is a classier or better pronoun that “me.”  It isn’t.  They are equal.  It just depends on whether you need a subject or an object.  Take out the other person temporarily, and you’ll always get this right.


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