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Using “I” or “Me”

Using “I” and “me” has always created confusion among learners of English (here I might include myself as well). For some reasons I have never though seriously about this (until a couple of years ago) although I knew there are mistakes in my usage of these pronouns.

According to my experience as a teacher the vast majority of learners of English (at least the Vietnamese learners of English) use “me” instead “I” and not vice-versa. The mistake particularly occurs when more than a subject is used in a sentence.

Example:
My friend and me went to China last year. (Wrong)
My friend and I went to China last year. (Correct)

The first person personal pronoun can take two forms:
Subject of a verb – I
Object of a verb – Me

Use "I" as subject of a verb

As a subject of a verb, “I” is usually (if not always) placed before the verb and refers to the person who does the action of the verb. Basically, it is the subject of the sentence.

Example:
I live in Vietnam.
I bought a new house.

Use "me" as object of a verb

As an object of a verb, “me” is usually (if not always) placed after the verb and refers to the person affected by the action of the verb.

Example:
My wife told me to cook.
She left me alone.

I can give you uncountable examples when native speakers of English make this mistake. Why is this happen? Probably ignorance will be the proper answer.


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