Confusing I and Me

A Common Grammar Problem

2 boys dressed identically

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Picture this: Jesse Kasserman, a high school senior with a strong academic record and high hopes, walks into the office of Dr. James, an admission representative of XYZ University. “Thank you for inviting my mom and I to see the campus,” he says.

The college representative cringes.

Which is Correct?

Jesse might have blown the interview already. Why? Jesse should have said “my mom and me.” Smart people everywhere agonize over the misuse of “I” and “me.” It’s one of the most common mistakes in word usage.

People seem to fear the word “me” and to many people, it sounds just as wrong to hear the sentence, “The secret is just between you and I.” But it's correct. 

“I” is a nominative pronoun and is used as a subject of a sentence or clause, while “me” is an objective pronoun and used as an object. Sound too technical? Then think of this:

The trouble with “me” usually begins when speakers are stringing together two or more objects in a sentence. “I” is not an objective case word, but people try to plug it in as an object because it just sounds smarter.

Examples

All you have to do is leave out the second object. Look over these examples, and you’ll see it’s really simple.

You might be tempted to say:
WRONG: “Would you explain that to John and I?”

But then, when you omit the other object, you’ll have:
WRONG: “Would you explain that to I?”

Now that just sounds silly. Try this:

RIGHT: “Would you explain that to John and me?”
RIGHT: “Would you explain that to me?”

Practice

Now practice with these:

WRONG: Leave the decision to Laura and I.
RIGHT: Leave the decision to me.
RIGHT: Leave the decision to Laura and me.

WRONG: Please join Glenna and I for lunch.
RIGHT: Please join me for lunch.
RIGHT: Please join Glenna and me for lunch.

WRONG: It’s just between you and I.
RIGHT: It’s just between you and me.

WRONG: The group consists of Laura, Joe, and I.
RIGHT: The group consists of Laura, Joe, and me.

Don't forget, when composing an essay or any research paper, be sure to go back and proofread carefully.