Consider the below example –
I did this work.
This work was done by me.
Both sentences mean the same. The only difference is the voice. First one is active voice (focuses on subject ‘I’), second one is in passive voice (focuses on the work done).
So, in effect, “I” acts as a subject in a sentence
“Me” acts as an object!
I – is a nominative pronoun, i.e. the subject or the one who performs the action. For example,
● I went to school today.
● I was taken aback with her sudden resignation.
When using with another noun or pronoun, often people get confused whether I should be used or me should be used. The same rule applies. When the subject (I) is doing the action, use “I”.
● You and I should catch up for a coffee sometime.
● Niki and I are best friends.
Me refers to the person on whom the action is being performed. That means the subject is someone/something else. For example –
● He asked me to come for the movie.
● Shyam has invited me and you to the party. (and not I and you)
● My manager wants to meet Penny and me regarding the new project.
So, here is the rule and I re-iterate it –
● Use I when the subject is doing the action.
● Use me when the subject is something else. Me, then becomes the object.
If you are wondering what is subject/object or how to identify subject or object, here is another trick –
When you want to write or speak a sentence, you can follow these simple steps to identify whether to use I or me –
Consider the example – If Pluto and (I/me) go for the movie, who will take care of the kids?
Remove the other noun here… then rewrite the sentence –
If I/me go for the movie, who will take care of the kids?
Which one do you think makes sense?
If I go for the movie…. OR If me go for the movie….
The correct answer, as you may have guessed is – If I go for the movie, who will take care of the kids?
Therefore – If Pluto and I go for the movie, who will take care of the kids?
Vineet invited you and I/me to the party.
Remove ‘you’ and rewrite the sentence –
Vineet invited I/me to the party.
Which one is correct?
Vineet invited I or Vineet invited me ….
Yes, the right answer is – Vineet invited me to the party.
Hence – Vineet invited you and me to the party.
Just between you and I/me, I don’t like that girl very much.
Between needs at least two people to compare. That means, a plural pronoun should be used.
In such cases, consider ‘we’ as an equivalent to ‘I”, and ‘us’ as equivalent of ‘me’.
‘We’ and ‘I’ are subject pronouns and ‘us’ and ‘me’ are object pronouns.
So, we can rewrite the sentence as – Just between we/us, I don’t like that girl very much.
Which one out of ‘we’ and ‘us’ is correct?
The correct answer is – Just between us, I don’t like that girl very much.
Hence – Just between you and I/me, I don’t like that girl very much.
With these examples, we also learn that we should use subject pronoun with another subject pronoun and object with object, and not mix subject and object pronouns.
For example, always say –
He and I OR we (He and I are going for the conference tomorrow.)
Her and me OR us (Pam told her and me to wear a nice gown for the function.)
But NEVER use –
He and me (or she and me)
Him and I (or her and I)
Follow these simple rules of subject and object pronouns and you will never go wrong with using I and me ever again! Few examples for you to sort –
● You should not pressurize ___.
● It is not ___ you should be talking to. (this is a tricky one, remember ‘it’ is dummy here, so think of what could be the subject here.)
● When can you give ___ my book?
● When can __ get back my book?