One of the most difficult parts of learning the English language is mastering the grammar that comes along with it. English grammar can be tricky sometimes as there are rules that seem to change in different situations.
We are going to go over one of the most common grammatical mistakes that ESL students and even many native English speakers make so you don’t have to make the same mistake.
The Difference Between Me and I
It can be difficult at times to understand the difference between ‘me’ and ‘I’ and when they should be used properly when referring to yourself.
On the surface, they mean the same thing, but the difference lies in the sentence structure.
If you are the subject in the sentence, then you refer to yourself as ‘I’ whereas if you are the object then you refer to yourself as ‘me’. There are two main rules that you will need to remember.
- When you are referring to yourself and another person, you always put the other person’s name first. (ex. Wesley and I, Brianna and me)
- When determining whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ to refer to yourself falls on whether you are the subject, the main noun doing the action in a sentence, or the object, any noun that receives an action. (ex. I like playing basketball, The basketball hoop fell on me)
Many people get tripped up when they are referring to themselves and another person and tend to forget this rule. The easiest way to determine whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ is to remove the other person from the sentence momentarily and just focus on you. (ex. Wesley and I like playing basketball. *I like playing basketball.) When you take out the extra person from the sentence and read it through, it still needs to follow the rule. Inversely it is true for ‘me’ as an object. (ex. The basketball hoop fell and Brianna and me. *The basketball hoop fell on me).