Submitted by jaclyn on June 4, 2007

Me Versus I

I have a picture posted on a website and I was wondering if my caption underneath it is grammatically correct. I wrote “Greg and me” and he feels it should be “Greg and I.” Who is right?

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You are correct. Just consider the caption if you took away Greg, would you use just "I," or "me"? Obviously, me. So "Greg and me" is correct - I think it is just common usage. Think of the titles, "Me and Bobby McGee" or, "Roger and Me" or, "You, Me and Dupree"....

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Common usage that no doubt derives from the other situation where you have a verb involved, like: Roger and I are going to the store. Obviously a different situation than a picture, which is more akin to the situation, "This is a picture of Roger and me." Or for short, "Roger and me."

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Rebecca and John, hurray for perfect explanations! The me-I problem drives me up a wall because it is done wrongly so often! And, the misuse spans generations, so I can't blame a particular education era, lack of sentence diagramming, etc. Why is this such a problem for so many people?!!

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Meg,
Perhaps you should look at the "This is she" vs. "This is her" post.

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"Greg and I" is the correct phrase to use. We use "I" as a subject and "me" as an object. "I" is the answer to the question "Who?" and "me" is the answer to the question "whom?". Example: Who ate the pizza? I ate the pizza. For whom is the pizza? The pizza is for me. Therefore, since the caption tells people who are in the picture, you should use "Greg and I". Just my opinion :)

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I like arg's explanation. I also think that captions to pictures are not complete sentences. They're more like titles. This means you don't really need to worry about grammar. If I write a poem, there is no reason I can't call it, for example, "Therefore," or "Would" or some other function word type thing that we don't ordinarly consider to be able to stand alone. By the same token, I don't think it matters if you caption the picture "Greg and I" or "Greg and me."

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...By the same token, I don't think it matters if you caption the picture "Greg and I" or "Greg and me."...

Well said, AO. Since, as you mentioned, it is a sentence fragment, there really isn't any way whatsoever to know if it means "Greg and I are in this picture" or "This is a picture of Greg and me".

If anything, the existence of an ongoing unresolved argument about it suggests that either could be acceptable. Just my opinion, too.

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So what about "Me & Greg"? Perfectly acceptable in informal spoken English where I come from (Oxfordshire, UK) but hideous when it comes to analysing the grammar.

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I would beg to differ, sam. "Me and Greg" is certainly said and heard, and is informal, but I would never call it perfectly acceptable, even in Oxfordshire.

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Well, let me clarify. I would suggest that "me and Greg" isn't ungrammatical per se, but that instead, it's just plain impolite.

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I agree that it does not matter grammatically to entitle the picture as "Greg and Me" or "Greg and I." To take this conversation to a different level, I think I'd make the decision based on how I would want to be looked at, as either a subject or an object.

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I wish more people would look at me as an object:(

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"Me" as an object, "My" as a possessive or before a gerund (articular infinitive), and "I" as a subject[ or vocative, as in titles.] So it's "Dupree, You, and I."


Get that lesson on first person singular forms?

Collapse the genitive into "my."

And also, note wher I put my periods!

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Here's what I wrote:

"Me" as an object, "My" as a possessive or before a gerund (articular infinitive), and "I" as a subject[ or vocative, as in titles.] So it's "Dupree, You, and I."

Get that lesson on first person singular forms?

Collapse the genitive into "my."

And also, note wher I put my periods!

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Don't you think I just love arg?

Here's what I wrote:

"Me" as an object, "My" as a possessive or before a gerund (articular infinitive), and "I" as a subject[ or vocative, as in titles.] So it's "Dupree, You, and I."

Get that lesson on first person singular forms?

Collapse the genitive into "my."

And also, note wher I put my periods!

Here's what Arg wrote:

"Greg and I" is the correct phrase to use. We use "I" as a subject and "me" as an object. "I" is the answer to the question "Who?" and "me" is the answer to the question "whom?". Example: Who ate the pizza? I ate the pizza. For whom is the pizza? The pizza is for me. Therefore, since the caption tells people who are in the picture, you should use "Greg and I". Just my opinion :)

I admit it. I agree with Arg. "I" in the vocative.

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Hey David, what is wrong with you? every time you make a post, you add ANOTHER post that starts with:

"Here's what I just wrote:"

then you repeat the exact same thing as what you just posted. Everyone can see what you posted. You don't have to tell everyone "what you just wrote." We saw it the first time. Posting it TWICE doesn't make it any more true or false.

You keep doing the same thing in your other posts in other threads. WHY??? On second thought, don't answer that. just STOP DOING IT! I'ts annoying.

This time you did it THREE TIMES!!! Jeez. While we're at it, when you are referring to a previous post, you don't have to repeat the entire thing. It's tedious. We can scroll up and read it just fine thank you. Just refer to it. Did you really need to post a third time just to repeat what you already said AGAIN and repeat what someone else said?

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At first I thought that you posted twice by accident, but you went through the trouble of adding "here's what I wrote" so you KNEW you were posting the same thing twice!!?!?!!!

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Instead of writing "Greg and I" or "Greg and me" just write : " Me and Greg".

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Deidre, Michelle and me presented to the board.

or

Deidre, Michelle and I presented to the board.

Thanks,
James

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This dead horse has been beaten enough … by you, by me and maybe by Dupree.
Correct use of me and I is in every grammar book. Look it up!

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Mary, you can't just "look it up". Correct use of me and I WHEN USED IN A SENTENCE is in every grammar book. Correct use of me and I in a sentence FRAGMENT WITH NO VERB TO INDICATE SUBJECT OR OBJECT is NOT IN ANY GRAMMAR BOOK. THAT'S WHY THIS POST WAS MADE!! GET IT??????

Also, as you can see here and in other posts, there seem to be some people who disagree with what is commonly and consistently presented in every grammar book ("me and Greg" is ok??? Puleez!) There also seem to be a few who claim to be professionally studied in language and, amazingly, insist that what's in the grammar books is completely irrelevant.

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I never said "what's in the grammar books is completely irrelevant", I said that the rules presented in many usage books are an inadequate description of the situation.

And it's not true that every grammar book agrees on this. Look at The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Look up "between you and I" in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage.

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My grandpa was an editor at a newspaper, and this is where I get most of my advice in the grammatical sense.

As for the "Me and Greg" statement, if you think about it, usually it will be said "Me n Greg." Grandpa always asked, "Is Greg really that mean?"

HA!

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'Greg and I' is supposedly the correct way to say it.

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Greg and Yours Truly

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"Greg and I" sounds rather pompous to my ears. I would favour imitating naturalistic speech in a non-formal setting. Nobody would say "Who, I?" would they? Or conversely, "Whom, me?" So there goes the whole accusative, dative twaddle out the window.

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"So there goes the whole accusative, dative twaddle out the window."

I agree.

Personally, I prefer to use subjective, objective and possessive for the few incidences of case in English. Using nominative, accusative, dative et al. is utterly misleading.

For one thing, there is no pure accusative or dative case in English and the objective case is confined to only a few desultory pronouns (not a single noun has an objective case form!).

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Greg and the writer.

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James,

"Deidre, Michelle and I presented to the board." is correct.

Remove Deidre and Michelle from the sentence and see what you are left with.

You would not say, "Me presented to the board."

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"James,

'Deidre, Michelle and I presented to the board.' is correct.

Remove Deidre and Michelle from the sentence and see what you are left with.

You would not say, 'Me presented to the board.'"

You're right, you would not.

However, your reasoning is flawed. Removing "Deidre and Michelle" from the sentence doesn't show that "me" is "incorrect"; it simply demonstrates that "me" cannot be used as the subject on its own.

This is actually a poor example. The subject matter of "Deidre, Michelle and I presented to the board" indicates the use of "Institutional English" (or, if you prefer, so-called "Standard English") rather than a more colloquial dialect. That is to say, someone who is presenting something to a board is probably unlikely to employ "Deidre, Michelle and me presented" even if their natural dialectical inclination is to do so.

A more pertinent example to illustrate what is wrong with your approach here would be:

"Jim and me went to the store"

This construction is perfectly common in English and has been for many centuries, despite attempts to "prove" it is "incorrect."

Now you would show this to be "wrong" through the expedient of removing "Jim and" leaving "me went to the store" - a statement no one would utter (well, a toddler might, but that's of no bearing here).

However, that's precisely the point. If you ask anyone who says "Jim and me went to the store" to take out "Jim" and say it again, they will automatically say "I went to the store." That means they have an internal grammatical rule in their dialect that will not permit "me" to be used as a stand-alone subject.

This is actually fairly grammatically complex.

By the way, you always have to be careful with these little rearrangement exercises. For example, take "aren't I?" - why is this considered "correct" but we can't say "I aren't"?

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I would say 'Greg and Me.'
Since it isn't a full sentence, a good argument can (as we have seen) be made on both sides.

The caption depends on the intent of the writer, I think.
Are you saying in your head "Greg and I are at the movies."
or "The sky is falling on Greg and me."

When Me or I is alone, it seems a more formal approach to say "I" and more casual to say "me."

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i think the fact that it is a caption has a bearing here. It could be argued that the caption embodies an implicit 'This is a picture of...' preceding 'Greg and me'.

In that case, 'me' would be correct.

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When you are describing a picture of yourself to someone it is correct to refer to yourself as "me" You would never say this is a picture of "I" - you would say this is a picture of "me". Therefore, when you tag yourself and someone else in a photo it is only proper to say "insert friend's name and me", never "insert friend's name and I".

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To Anonymous and Bee Tee-Ess, it could just as easily be argued that there is an implicit"...are in this picture." following "Greg and I...". That's the very problem. There's no way to know just what the implicit sentence is. Um, that's what makes it implicit.

And as for "insert friend's name and me", that's not right (or relevant) either. It would be "insert friend's name and mine."

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It should be Greg and me. Since this is a title, not narrative: "this is a photograph of Greg and me". It would be Greg and I if the assumed paraphrase of the title referred to something along the lines of "Greg and I studying the landscape" In both cases, remove 'Greg' and the photo caption would say "me" as it should, and in the alternative, "I study the .... "

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