Perhaps you recall asking your mom something like, “Could you make a snack for Jim and me?” and she corrected you by saying, “Jim and I.” And then you rolled your eyes and repeated, “Jim and I,” because it was the quickest way to get those chocolate chip muffins into your growling tummy.
But guess what? Mom was wrong, and you were right.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to grammar, because people constantly try to correct me when I use “me” properly. Not only is this unnecessary—because even if I was wrong, it’s every day conversation, people, calm down—it’s extra funny because their correction is incorrect.
While “I” should be the subject of a sentence (I ran across the road) and “me” should be the object of a sentence (She tugged me across the road), sometimes we confuse them when there are multiple objects or subjects. There’s an easy trick for knowing which to use:
Simply subtract the other subjects/objects and let your ear determine if they should be paired with “me” or “I.”
For example: The sprinkler sprayed my friend and I.
Subtract “my friend” and we’ve got: The sprinkler sprayed I.
Doesn’t sound quite right, does it? That’s because the sprinkler sprayed me. Therefore, The sprinkler sprayed my friend and me.
Another example: Betty, Alex, and me went to the movies.
Subtract the Betty and Alex part and we’re left with: Me went to the movies.
Darn. I guess Mom’s still right sometimes. But at least now we know when.