RSS

“me” vs. “I” and “we” vs. “us”

05 May

There's something in the spoken English language that baffles me more than anything else. It's the mis-use of "me" and "I" when talking about something that happened.

 

At the risk of sounding like a seventh-grade English teacher…"Me" is an object word; "I" is a subject word.

 

This means that you can give or tell things to "me"…you can't give or tell things to "I".

 

For some strange linguistic reason, legions of well-educated Americans think that proper English must include "I" when paired with someone else. For example, people who say, "Our parents invited Tom and I for a barbecue." If Tom hadn't been included, would that same person say, "Our parents invited I for a barbecue"?

Of course not…"Our parents invited Tom and ME for a barbecue."

 

One of the major NFL sportscasters, describing the action during a game, said "Between he (the quarterback) and the receiver…." Totally wrong. Correct version is, "Between him and the receiver…."

 

The same principle applies to "we" and "us"…"we" is a subject word, and "us" is an object word.

 

A prominent PBS radio host recently said, "You know, the eel is not the most appealing fish, especially for "we" Americans. OMG…bad grammar on public broadcasting!

 

She should have said "us" Americans. The word "we" is a subject word (like he, she, they, or I) that starts a sentence. The word "us" is an object word (like him, her, me, or them) that completes a sentence to finish a thought or statement.

It's stupid. Why can't well-educated people get this simple bit of grammar right?

 

 

About Grammar Nazi

Marketing specialist focusing on concept development for new products and services. University degree in editorial journalism. Major corporate and brand experience with one of the world's largest and best advertising agencies.
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *