If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I’m a stickler for proper grammar. Lately, the widespread misuse/overuse of “I” has come to my attention, so I thought I’d take today’s blog to clear up confusion and provide a little trick for remembering the correct usage.
Many people tend to use the pronoun “I” for everything, even when “me” is correct. For example, I often hear people say things such as:
- This is an opportunity for John and I to spend some time together. (Incorrect)
- Having Chris and I work together on this project was a smart idea. (Incorrect)
On the surface, they may sound correct, but let’s look at those offending sentences again and try out the switcheroo technique, where we simply switch the order of the objects:
- This is an opportunity for I and John to spend some time together.
- Having I and Chris work together on this project was a smart idea.
Those definitely don’t sound right now. That lets you know that you should replace your “I” with a “me.” The following sentences are CORRECT:
- This is an opportunity for John and me to spend some time together.
- Having Chris and me work together on this project was a smart idea.
Even if you’re convinced you will never fully understand parts of speech, you probably wouldn’t say “This gift is from I and Steve,” so why would you say “This gift is from Steve and I“? If you use the switcheroo technique, I bet you will say “This gift is from Steve and me,” or “This gift is from me and Steve.” And you will be correct!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.