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me or I

A group of us were discussing the use of “me” and “I”. Which of these sentences is correct? “My mother bought some sweets for me and my sister.” or “My mother bought some sweets for my sister and I.” thanks for your help in advance.

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I completely agree with IngisKahn. Anyone who says "for my sister and I" clearly is trying to sound smart while only demonstrating their ignorance. This is one of my biggest pet peeves.

While I'm on this topic (and I know it's only slightly related), I may as well rant about the similar misuse of "myself," which should never be used as a subject and only sometimes used as an object when the subject is "I." For example, these sentences are wrong:

"John and myself had a great time yesterday."
"Our teacher gave the papers to John and myself."
"If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of the staff, myself included."

This sentence demonstrates the correct use:

"I hurt myself."

While this egregious mistake is not heard nearly as often as the "for me and I" and all its wonderful variations, it is still commonly used when a person is trying to sound especially formal. It also bugs the hell out of me.

Always remember--as Red Smith said, "'Myself' is the refuge of idiots taught early that 'me' is a dirty word."

lamont2718 April 27, 2005 @ 7:59PM

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Oh, and to Persephone Imytholin:

Could you please direct me to a site where I could find the rule that you cited? I don't think I've ever heard of it before.

lamont2718 April 27, 2005 @ 8:03PM

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Upon perusal of the OED, I found this definition of the pronoun "I."

"Sometimes used for the objective after a verb or preposition, esp. when separated from the governing word by other words.
This was very frequent in end of 16th and in 17th c., but is now considered ungrammatical."

I think that's pretty clear.

lamont2718 April 27, 2005 @ 8:18PM

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I was told when I was little that the easy way to remember is that if you would say "my mother bought some sweets for me" then you say "my sister and me". if you were saying "I bought some sweets" then its "my sister and I etc."- just use what you would if you were on your own (and of course always put the other person first ;)
I don't know all the proper rules but this has always served me well.

charlie-parry April 29, 2005 @ 12:29PM

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It depends on what you mean by "correct." If you mean what is right according to grammar rules, then several others have already posted the "correct" answer, which is what I was taught in school, namely,

"My mother bought some sweets for my sister and me."

Here is what I was taught:

1. When a pronoun is the object of a preposition, which we have in the word "for" here, use the objective case which would be "me" for the first person singular pronoun.

2. Put the other person's name before your own to show that you are being polite.

Now, as to what is truly "correct," that is open to debate. I still cringe when I hear English speakers using the nominative case after a preposition, as in

"My mother bought some sweets for my sister and I."

But many, many native, fluent English speakers are talking and writing this way these days. They do it automatically. They are not using the nominative case to make some social statement. It is simply that English language usage for pronouns is changing. If enough English speakers adopt this new usage, eventually there will be few speakers left who still follow the pronoun rules I was taught. Then a shift will take place where those who say what is "correct" and incorrect usage will have to give up and accept the new usage, just as strict grammarians eventually had to give up requiring people to use different pronouns for second person singular and plural, such as "thee" and "ye."

Descriptive linguists, who do not advocate sloppy speech, would say, in this case, that usage determines what is correct or not. Most English teachers disagree with them. If you associate with people who no longer use the objective form of pronouns after a prepositions, you need to be aware that you may be perceived by them to be "uppity" if you use the form taught by prescriptive grammarians. If you don't mind being perceived as "uppity", and, in fact, take pride in using "correct" speech then use the forms taught by English teachers. Just be aware that usage of some language forms does create some social perceptions that we may not intend.

wayneleman May 26, 2005 @ 9:19PM

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Which is correct.

You are like me.

You are like I.

I say the second one is correct. but it's been bugging me. Or should I say, bugging I?



gpollitt December 6, 2005 @ 4:45PM

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what if, for instance, you were to say "John and I at a dance" in refering to a picture
or would you say

John and Me at a dance

cathyforney December 18, 2005 @ 7:59PM

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Which of the two constructions is grammatical- 'They do it better than us' or 'They do it better than we.'?

sangeetabahuguna March 21, 2006 @ 6:22AM

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