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© 2010 Ugur Akinci
Sometimes people are confused whether to use “me” or “I” in a sentence.
For example, which is correct: “Me and Jimmy watched a movie”… or “I and Jimmy watched a movie”?
First off, it always sounds better if you cite the other person FIRST, as in “Jimmy and me…” or “Jimmy and I…”
Secondly, delete the other person and re-form the sentence with you alone and you’ll immediately see the correct usage:
For example, when you eliminate “Jimmy” from “Jimmy and me watched a movie” what’s left is: “Me watched a movie.” Would you normally talk like that? Of course not! You’d instead say “I watched a movie.” That’s also the reason why you should say “Jimmy and I watched a movie.”
Similarly, “What do you want from Jimmy and I?” becomes “What do you want from I?” when “Jimmy” is taken out. But you’d never say “What do you want from I?”, would you? So you know that the correct way to say it is “What do you want from Jimmy and me?”
Thirdly, here is the ACADEMIC explanation: “I” is a NOMINATIVE pronoun used to denote the SUBJECT of a sentence. But “me” is an OBJECTIVE pronoun pointing at the OBJECT of a sentence.
So once you know whether you are the SUBJECT or OBJECT of a sentence, then you’d immediately know which form to use, with or without Jimmy in the same sentence.
“I love reading.” Here, I is the SUBJECT, thus the pronoun is correct. That’s why you should also say “Jimmy and I both love to read” but not “Jimmy and me both love to read.”
Again: “The letter was addressed to me.” Here “me” is the OBJECT of the sentence and the “letter” is its SUBJECT. That’s why you should never say “The letter was addressed to Jimmy and I.” The correct form is “The letter was addressed to Jimmy and me.”