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I versus Me

I could have sworn that someone told me once that the proper use of one self when combining with one other was “me” and not “I”.

For example, if I want to state that:

“Jim and I discussed the proposal that was sent.”

really should be:

“Jim and me discussed the proposal that was sent.”

Can you clarify?

  • June 10, 2005
  • Posted by erik
  • Filed in Usage
  • 7 comments

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Here's what I was taught: Use the "case" of the pronoun that you would if the other person's name is taken out of the sentence. For instance, in your sentence, if you remove Jim, your two pronoun options give you:

1. I discussed the proposal that was sent.
2. Me discussed the proposal that was sent.

Most fluent speakers of English would say that #2 is ungrammatical. Therefore, according to the grammarians, the nominative case "I" is the proper form of the pronoun to use in your sentence when Jim is included.

Having said that, I am hearing more and more people speak sentences using the "me" form of the pronoun, rather than "I," when there is a conjoined phrase as you have in your sentence. So, once again, we are left with the question of how long do we wait and for what percentage of speakers before we language usage change as being "acceptable"?

wayneleman June 10, 2005 @ 2:08PM

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This has already been discussed pretty thoroughly in this topic: http://www.painintheenglish.com/post.asp?id=398

lamont2718 June 10, 2005 @ 11:08PM

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What Wayne has said is partially true.

This is the most definitive rule, to cover that issue.

use I when you are referring to the subject, and me when it is the object. Viz. Niti, Bill Gates and I went to lunch, and I paid.

But you will use me when it is the object.

Viz. Niti and Bill gates went to lunch, but they asked me for money.


http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/myself.html


Read the last para carefully.

So in effect: IT IS I is correct :)

binoy.dsouza December 29, 2005 @ 4:33AM

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Ok here is my question. If i have a picture and want to who it is in the picture, would i say for example. " Sean and I" or "me and Sean".

customcarfreakcincyoh November 25, 2006 @ 5:47PM

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The first listing is always the other person....always, "Sean and I," never "Me and Sean." Besides, Sean and I are the subjects, so Sean and I would still be correct.

I would for college educated supervisors who area always saying "Give it to Jim and I." When I is is "You give it to Jim and me."

All this may seem like quibbling, however there need be some rules for us to follow, otherwise we just all do what we want.

d_mdsn December 18, 2006 @ 4:11PM

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No, I don't think that we would "all do what we want" without explicit rules. Society exerts norms on grammar. Most languages have no writing systems or prescriptivists, and yet the speakers understand each other.

goofy December 19, 2006 @ 1:42PM

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John, I have to disagree. "me" or "not me" isn't a complete sentence, so it is not true that you are using "me" as the subject. You would say, "I am", not "me am". Also, while it's a little old fashioned, "not I" is also acceptable. Every English speaking child knows the story of Chicken Little: "Who will help me bake the bread? Not I, said the cat. Not I, said the pig..."

porsche September 20, 2007 @ 8:53AM

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