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I versus Me

Kindly excuse me for the click bait title. But this post is about one of the everyday challenges that writers face when writing about themselves: choosing between when to use I and when to use Me.

What is I or Me?

Both I and Me are singular forms of first person pronouns. So, if you are referring to yourself, you can use either of those. In fact, you might just use both in one sentence – depending on the place value (For example, I thought Shyam was going to accompany me for today’s Cricket match.)

Let me ask this to you: when you knock someone’s door and they ask, “Who is it,” what do you answer? Most of you will say, “It’s me” because that’s what’s used mostly so it SOUNDS acceptable. However, the correct answer is “It’s I.” See, “It’s I” is a fragmented version of the complete sentence, “It is I who am knocking the door.”

Here, choose what’s correct:

Ram took Shyam and I/Me to the Cricket match.

Quickly; this one is easy: Ram took Shyam and me to the Cricket match. You are right!

Let us now reverse the sentence and choose what’s correct:

Shyam and I/Me went to the Cricket match with Ram.

For those who wish to know the rule, these are cases of the linking verb. A linking verb is a verb that connects the subject with its predicate without expressing any action. In the following sentence “is” is the linking verb, “Ravana is dead.” Any verb that gives the sense of “to be” (Remember these are non-action verbs.) is a linking verb, so you should be able to spot that quickly. By the rule, if your pronoun follows the linking verb, use I, or the other forms, such as she, we, or they.

The correct answer to the question is, therefore, “Shyam and I went to the Cricket match with Ram.”

A simple way around, just in case you confuse the use of I versus Me is to remove the extra person from the conversation. Let us look at the examples we discussed by removing the extra person from the conversation:

  • Ram took I/Me to the Cricket match.
  • I/Me went to the Cricket match with Ram.

Here’s an alternative method to remember when to use what:

  • When you are the subject, use I.
  • When you are the object, use Me.

You can apply the rule similarly for we versus us, she versus her, and they versus them. Hope this helps. Happy writing.

Published by Suyog Ketkar

He is a certified technical communicator. He believes that writing continues to be an easy-to-do-but-difficult-to-master job. In his work time, he proudly dons the “enabler” cape. In his non-work time, he dons many hats including one of a super-busy father.

2 thoughts on “I versus Me

  1. This is a great piece of information. Also, thanks for your answers about Technical Writing on Quora. They are pretty helpful. 🙂

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