The Difference between 'I' and 'Me'
'I' and 'me' are both words that mean the same thing, but each one must be used in a different circumstance. To know about this issue, start here.
I vs. Me
Me vs. I: Subject or Object?
If you want to know the difference between 'I' and 'me', first, you must know the difference between subject and object pronouns:
- 'I' is a subject pronoun,
- 'me' is an object pronoun.
'I' is a subject pronoun, so it must be used as a subject in a sentence. Look at the example:
What about a Coordinated Subject?
Now, imagine we have a coordinated subject, which means a subject consisting of more than one person, joined together with the coordinating conjunction 'and'.
Because 'mike' and 'I' are both subjects, you cannot say 'Mike and me are friends', because 'me' is not a subject pronoun.
'Me' as the object pronoun is mainly used in different ways:
- As the Direct Object of a Verb
In these sentences, 'me' is the direct object of the verb. It receives the action of the verb.
- As the Indirect Object of a Verb
Here, 'me' is the indirect object of a verb. It shows who is receiving the goal of the direct object.
- As the Object of a Preposition
Here, you cannot say 'between Edward and I', because after the preposition 'between', we need an object pronoun.
- After the Verb 'Be' as the Predicative
After the Verb 'Be'
Technically, in formal English, we should use a subject pronoun after the verb 'be'. The subject pronoun is called predicative nominative. But in modern English, it has become more common to use 'me' after the verb 'be'. But don't be surprised to hear sentences like the examples below especially in British English:
You can use 'I' instead of 'me' in the sentences 'it is me' or 'you're smarter than me', but it may sound too formal and not accepted in modern English. However, they are technically correct, especially in British English.
- As the Implied Object of an Incomplete Sentence
'Sam invited me to the party ! ' 'Really ? Me too ! '
'Me' is correct here. Because it is the implied object of the incomplete sentence 'Sam invited me to the party, too!' You'd never say 'Sam invited I too.'
How to Decide between I and Me?
We might have two or more people as a subject or object, including us. They can be coordinated by the word 'and'. If you want to know whether to say, for example, 'my brother and I' or 'me and my brother', you can omit the other persons and then recreate the sentence. If it makes sense and sounds right, it is correct. Look at the examples:
If you omit the other persons, we have 'I played football', which is correct. You cannot say 'me played football.'
If you omit the other persons, we have 'our mom called me', which is correct. You cannot say 'our mom called I'.