Commonly Confused Word Pairs: I/me

October 2, 2008: Issue 258

The words I and me often cause confusion when they’re paired with other nouns. When they’re part of a subject, we can usually figure things out.

correct: Cloris and I danced a spectacular fox-trot, but the judges weren’t kind.

Proper usage doesn’t come so naturally when these words are the object of a verb or preposition. To many people, me sounds incorrect in these constructions, even though it’s absolutely right

incorrect: Between waltzes, Misty gave Maksim and I some volleyball tips.
correct: Between waltzes, Misty gave Maksim and me some volleyball tips.

incorrect: I think Rocco’s a little wooden, but let’s keep that between you and I.
correct: I think Rocco’s a little wooden, but let’s keep that between you and me.

Hint: If you’re not sure, try dropping the other noun from the sentence. You’ll see that “I danced” or “gave me some volleyball tips” is the obvious choice.

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