Grammar Rant

I am far from a tyrant when it comes to grammar.  I am ready to let slip the odd “less” instead of “fewer” if only because I struggle to decide at times whether something can be counted (because if you can, it’s fewer, folks).  I am even reconciling myself to the demise of the adverb (it’s she ran quickly, people).  But I cannot get past the use of “I” when it should be “me”.  Perhaps this is because the most ardent mis-users are so convinced they are speaking properly.  Since I don’t expect mis-users to believe me, here’s on the topic:

“This confusion usually occurs when you have I/me connected to another pronoun or name with “and” or “or.” I believe that the blackboardconfusion begins when someone says something like “John and me are ready” and that is corrected to “John and I are ready.” The speaker then thinks, “Oh, the word ‘and’ means that I should always use I.” This is not the case. “And” has nothing to do with it; the reason you say “John and I” in that sentence is that “John and I” are the subject. If they were the object, you’d use me: “He told John and me to get ready.”

If you are not good with grammar concepts like subject and objects, there is still a very easy way to decide whether to use I or me: try out the sentence with just I or me (or if you need a plural, we or us – “we” is equivalent to “I” and “us” is equivalent to “me.”):

He told Tom and (I or me?) to get ready.
He told I to get ready? NO
He told me to get ready? YES
Therefore, He told Tom and me to get ready.

Leave a Reply