Grammar is an interesting thing, really. For those of us who make a living from our knowledge of the written word, it becomes apparent that there is a time and a place for proper, by-the-book grammar, and an equally valid time and place for bending the rules to connect with your audience. That being said, I think it's important to know what's correct and what isn't. I mean, I may choose to use the word ain't for emphasis in the right context, but I should at least know it isn't going to fly at a business meeting.
So, I want to share with you today a grammatical error I hear all the time, and one I think the majority of people don't even realize is wrong. It has to do with the pronouns I and me -- and when it's best to use each one. Let's look at an example:
Wrong: My friend gave the tickets to James and I.
Right: My friend gave the tickets to James and me.
The difference comes down to who's doing the action (subject) versus who's receiving it (object). In this case, the pronoun is an object, so it should be me. A good rule of thumb is to use your thumb and cover up the names and conjunction that come before the pronoun and see if it makes sense. In other words, you wouldn't say "My friend gave the tickets to I" -- you'd say "My friend gave the tickets to me." Easy, right?
Below is an example of when the pronoun is the doer, or the subject. In this case, I is the correct pronoun. Use that thumb again to cover up "James and" -- you wouldn't say "Me went to the store." You'd say "I went to the store."
And there you have it, an easy way to remember when to use I and when to use me. Most of the time, even difficult grammatical concepts can be made simple. You just have to know the tricks, or hire a professional.
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