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Grammar Refresher: When to Use “and I” and When to Use “and Me”

This is a very common grammatical error, both in written and spoken English. There is actually a very simple way to remember when to use “and I” and when to use “and me”.

Part of the problem is that some people have been reminded so often to say “and I” that they think it is always correct. Perhaps some well meaning parents or teachers thought that it sounded more polite.

Which is correct:

A. Mary and I went to the store.
B. Me and Mary went to the store.

In this case A is correct. “Mary and I” is the subject of the sentence. The pronoun “I” is the subjective form.

How about this one:

A. Dad gave my sister and me each a dollar.
B. Dad gave my sister and I each a dollar.

A wins again! “my sister and me” are the object in this sentence. Dad gave the dollar to us, think of object as the recipient. The pronoun “me” is the objective form .

Here is a quick trick that doesn’t involve remembering the words subjective and objective. In the sentence:

• Mary and I went to the store.

► Try saying it without the other person’s name:
a) I went to the store.
b) Me went to the store.

►See, you know enough about subjects and objects to know that a) is correct.

How about the second example. Take out “my sister” and say the sentence with “I” or “me”:

a) Dad gave me a dollar.
b) Dad gave I a dollar.

I’m sure that you can tell that a) is correct.

If you try this simple trick, you will find that this is easy.

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17 Responses to “Grammar Refresher: When to Use “and I” and When to Use “and Me””
  • Betty Carew
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Excellent Karen. I certainly need reminders growing up in Newfoundland although we were taught proper Englisg in school our special dialect has a way of sneaking through no matter how much you know about proper English lol.

  • Uma Shankari
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Useful refresher. There are are many such topics waiting to be covered.

  • rutherfranc
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    thanks for the refresher.. Me promise to use it properly..

  • kate smedley
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for this, I am never sure, but that’s a great way to work it out.

  • Alina Beck
    March 14th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Yep, that’s the exact method I used to use when I was teaching! Thanks for the refresher.

  • Dee Gold
    March 14th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    good reminder

  • Anne Lyken Garner
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    This is how I recommend remembering it too. Many people find it tricky to learn.

  • jo oliver
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    My grandmother taught me this same trick as a child. She would say: “Ask yourself who went to the store? Did I go to the store or did me go to the store?” Very well done.

    So many educated people try to sound so proper that they make a fool of themselves in the process. I have heard everyone from the media to movies use the wrong I or me wording.

    Another thing that I hate to hear is “often” pronounced with the “t”.

  • Ruby Hawk
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    We can all use a refresher course. I learned the way you discribed; take the other person out of the sentence. I have to confess that here most of us pronounce the “t” in often, myself included.

  • Sakuragi
    March 18th, 2009 at 5:21 am

    This is great! Teachers rule!

  • Bozsi Rose
    March 25th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    We all need grammar refreshers! Very well done!

  • ladybaby
    April 26th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I read these things and I wish I could understand them. I have a learning disability where I can not spell and English Gramma is like trying to understand Chinese to me. I always got A’s on my essays, once I looked up half the words for spelling. I never used Gramma because I never understood it. I just use “Common Sense” to write. If I allowed Gramma to hold me back, I would never write anything. I read these kind of suggestions, and I keep hoping I will remember them, but I usually don’t. So far I guess my natural talent has gotten me through.

  • Carl
    December 21st, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Can anybody solve this one? I’m having a bit of trouble finding the right way to write this.

    “The charger broke mine, my sister’s and my girlfriend’s phone.”

    Or is it…

    “The charger broke my sister’s, my girlfriend’s and my phone.”

    Or does phone need to be plural?

  • Karen Gross
    December 21st, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Hey Carl,

    Try taking the other people out of the sentence – then you would say: “The charger broke my phone.” Then add the other people: “The charger broke my, my sister’s, and my girlfriend’s phone.”

    Good question – lots of people are confused by that one.

  • Harold Theisen
    March 8th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    The charger broke my phone and the phones of my sister and girlfriend.

  • Drew
    May 9th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    eh

  • 2012
    May 15th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    AVID 2012 ! Mr.Adama’s Class!

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