04 Sep I versus Me
Although we may not realize it, many of us make mistakes with “I” and “me”.
Do you know which of these 2 sentences is correct and why?
1. Thank you for inviting my husband and I for dinner.
2. Thank you for inviting my husband and me for dinner.
If you thought that the second sentence was correct, you were…right! So why?
“I” is known as a “subject pronoun”, whereas “me” is known as an “object pronoun”. Subject pronouns go BEFORE a verb (they are the ‘doers’ of the verb), while the object pronouns FOLLOW the verb (or a preposition such as “to”, “by” and “for”). In the above examples the inviting was done by someone else, so “my husband and me” are object pronouns – they follow the verb.
What about these sentences:
a. Betty and I are going on holiday tomorrow.
b. Betty and me are going on holiday tomorrow.
In this case, of course, the first sentence is correct because Betty and I come BEFORE the verb. The subject pronoun is needed.
If you haven’t always got this right in the past, don’t worry – you are in good company! Barack Obama also finds this difficult. He has been known to make comments like:
– “…It was a very personal decision for Michelle and I.”
Did you spot the mistake?
Obama and many of us make mistakes with this, normally when there are 2 people involved (“Betty and I”, or “my husband and me”). The way to avoid mistakes is to take away the other person and check whether “I” or “me” sounds better. We would never say “Thank you for inviting I to dinner” or “Me went to the meeting”, would we!
So, now that we understand the difference between subject and object pronouns, “you and I” won’t be making any more mistakes!