Grammar Week Redux: Me vs. I in Lists

We’re not going to go a full grammar week this week, but I’ve had a couple of people ask me questions and I thought I would answer them periodically.

We’ve all seen it (or had it done to us) a million times:

“Me and Stacy are going to the movies.”
“You mean ‘Stacy and I.'”

In fact, so many of us have the “and I” beaten into us so hard that we do it all the time. But, my friends, it turns out that there are times when you are supposed to use me, not I.

You use “I” when the list is the subject of the sentence. “Lisa, Jane, and I have decided to move in together.” You use “me” when the list is the object of the sentence. “Dave was so mean to Robert, Jordan, and me.”

Have I lost you? Don’t be lost. There’s an easy way to remember which to us.

If you would use “I” in a non-list situation, use I in the list. And vice versa for “me.” Like so:

I had chicken paprikash for dinner.
George and I had chicken paprikash for dinner.
George, Paul, John, Ringo, and I had paprikash for dinner.

What did you say to me?
What did you say to Kylie and me?
What did you say to Kylie, Reona, and me?

So, if you’re confused, take the list out and decide whether “me” or “I” is more appropriate in the sentence. And then, perhaps, we shall be able to avoid mistakes like “That’s so relieving for Fred and I.”

Feel free to drop me a line about any other grammatical questions you have, Squiders!

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