Knowing when to use I or me is one of the most common mistakes in grammar use by students in their essay writing. It can seem tricky to know how to use the right pronoun and of course it also applies to other variants, such as he and him, we and us and they and them. Luckily the answer is clear and there is a simple rule to help you know exactly when to use I or me, helping you to achieve your best essay writing every time.
When to use I or me: is it the subject or the object?
The easy way to work out the correct grammar use of I or me in your essay writing is just to check whether the pronoun is the subject of the sentence or the object. If it is the subject, you use I. If it is the object, you use me.
“Adam and I went shopping”
Here you use I because it is the subject, the person doing the verb, which is shopping. However:
“Mum drove Adam and me to the cinema”
Here you use me because it is the object, being driven by someone else.
This also applies to the other pronouns, for example:
“He and Laura went bowling” (because ‘he’ is the subject of the verb went).
“Laura took him bowling” (because ‘he’ is the object of the verb took).
A simple trick to work it out
It’s easy to check whether you are using the right form of I or me – simply check if the sentence sounds right by simplifying it, keeping in the pronoun and verb.
For example: “Mum drove Adam and I to the cinema”.
If you take out Adam, “Mum drove I to the cinema” sounds wrong, so you know it is me, as “Mum drove me to the cinema” sounds correct.
When to use I or me: prepositions
Final top tip: after a preposition always use the object form (me, us etc.)
For example: “The river lay between me and the field” or “The responsibility is on me now”.
So remember, use these simple rules every time a preposition comes up in your essay writing and you will never again have to ask ‘Should I use I or me?’