I know I talk a big game about proper grammar, punctuation, and usage around these parts. It’s pretty obvious that I have a passion for it. However, sometimes that passion becomes overzealousness and hypercorrectness, and then we end up with problems. In my experience, that excessive enthusiasm most manifests itself in the I vs. me conflict.

I vs. me

When to Use I and Me

We all know there is a difference between I and me. Simply put, “I” is a subject, “me” is an object. Generally speaking, there aren’t any issues when you’re only referring to yourself.

As a Steelers fan, I can’t stand the Baltimore Ravens.

I’m sure that Ravens fans would find me equally irritating.

Makes sense. The confusion starts when your first person character is joined by third person companions. The easiest way to remember whether to use “I” or “me” is to take the extra persons out of the sentence and see if the structure still holds up.

Nikki and I agree that Troy Polamalu is one of the best quality guys in the NFL. (I agree that…)

Andy will be cheering for Pittsburgh with Nikki and me this weekend. (…cheering for Pittsburgh with me…)

It’s a simple rule, but it can be overlooked in the enthusiastic desire to get that “I” right.

Do you have any grammar tricks to help you remember the rules? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Write for fifteen minutes about a favorite pastime, hobby, or sport that you share with a friend. Maybe you share a love of a hometown team, or maybe you both love to knit, or you both have a love of golden doodles. How do you express your mutual enjoyment of your chosen pastime? Post your professed fandom in the comments.

Liz Bureman
Liz Bureman

Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she’s not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.