Ask a Teacher: 'I' or 'Me'?

2018-09-01

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1
  • Welcome to Ask a Teacher -​ a new program where readers ask questions and teachers answer them.
  • 2
  • Some of the first words English students learn are "I" and "me."
  • 3
  • But even native English speakers do not always know which one to use in a sentence.
  • 4
  • In today's Ask a Teacher, Fernanda from Brazil gets right to the heart of the problem.
  • 5
  • Here is her question.
  • 6
  • Sometimes I don't know when to use "I" or "me."
  • 7
  • For example, I want to tell someone that I made some food with a friend.
  • 8
  • How can I say it: "Monica and I made the food?" or "Monica and me made the food"? -Fernanda, Brazil
  • 9
  • Hello Fernanda!
  • 10
  • I can tell by your first sentence that you know to use the word "I" when you​ are the only subject of the sentence.
  • 11
  • You correctly wrote "I want..." for example.
  • 12
  • In this case, "I" is the subject and "want" is the verb.
  • 13
  • But you are asking about a situation involving two people: you and your friend.
  • 14
  • Let's review what you already know to find the answer.
  • 15
  • "I" is a subject pronoun. It refers to the person performing the action of a verb. Use "I" for the subject of the sentence.
  • 16
  • "Me" is an object pronoun. It refers to the person receiving the action of a verb. Use "me" for the object of the sentence.
  • 17
  • In your sentence about cooking, are you and your friend the subject or the object of the verb "made"?
  • 18
  • In other words, are the ones making the food - or is the food making you?
  • 19
  • You are making the food, of course.
  • 20
  • So, the answer to your question is: "Monica and I made the food."
  • 21
  • In this sentence, the whole subject is "Monica and I."
  • 22
  • Let's look at a few more sentences with "I" as part of the subject:
  • 23
  • In September, Monica and I are starting classes.
  • 24
  • When can Monica and I visit the new museum?
  • 25
  • And sentences with "me" as part of the object:
  • 26
  • What did you bring back for Monica and me?
  • 27
  • David is giving Monica and me a ride to the airport.
  • 28
  • If you're still not sure whether to choose "me" or "I," try keeping just the pronoun. Listen:
  • 29
  • What did you bring back for Monica and I?
  • 30
  • You would not ask, "What did you bring back for I?"
  • 31
  • The correct way to form the question is: "What did you bring back for me?"
  • 32
  • Then you can just add the other person back to the sentence: "What did you bring back for Monica and me?"
  • 33
  • And that's Ask a Teacher.
  • 34
  • I'm Alice Bryant.
  • 1
  • Welcome to Ask a Teacher -​ a new program where readers ask questions and teachers answer them.
  • 2
  • Some of the first words English students learn are "I" and "me." But even native English speakers do not always know which one to use in a sentence. In today's Ask a Teacher, Fernanda from Brazil gets right to the heart of the problem. Here is her question.
  • 3
  • Sometimes I don't know when to use "I" or "me." For example, I want to tell someone that I made some food with a friend. How can I say it: "Monica and I made the food?" or "Monica and me made the food"? -Fernanda, Brazil
  • 4
  • Hello Fernanda!
  • 5
  • I can tell by your first sentence that you know to use the word "I" when you​ are the only subject of the sentence. You correctly wrote "I want..." for example. In this case, "I" is the subject and "want" is the verb.
  • 6
  • But you are asking about a situation involving two people: you and your friend.
  • 7
  • Let's review what you already know to find the answer.
  • 8
  • "I" is a subject pronoun. It refers to the person performing the action of a verb. Use "I" for the subject of the sentence.
  • 9
  • "Me" is an object pronoun. It refers to the person receiving the action of a verb. Use "me" for the object of the sentence.
  • 10
  • In your sentence about cooking, are you and your friend the subject or the object of the verb "made"? In other words, are the ones making the food - or is the food making you?
  • 11
  • You are making the food, of course. So, the answer to your question is: "Monica and I made the food." In this sentence, the whole subject is "Monica and I."
  • 12
  • subject pronouns
  • 13
  • I, you, he, she, it, we, they
  • 14
  • object pronouns
  • 15
  • me, you, him, her, it, us, them
  • 16
  • Let's look at a few more sentences with "I" as part of the subject:
  • 17
  • In September, Monica and I are starting classes.
  • 18
  • When can Monica and I visit the new museum?
  • 19
  • And sentences with "me" as part of the object:
  • 20
  • What did you bring back for Monica and me?
  • 21
  • David is giving Monica and me a ride to the airport.
  • 22
  • How to decide
  • 23
  • If you're still not sure whether to choose "me" or "I," try keeping just the pronoun. Listen:
  • 24
  • What did you bring back for Monica and I?
  • 25
  • You would not ask, "What did you bring back for I?" The correct way to form the question is: "What did you bring back for me?" Then you can just add the other person back to the sentence: "What did you bring back for Monica and me?"
  • 26
  • And that's Ask a Teacher.
  • 27
  • I'm Alice Bryant.