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What's the 'me' or 'I' rule?

(30 Posts)
FortyCoats Sun 02-Aug-15 15:22:58

When putting both in a sentence?

My understanding as a school child was, it should alway be 'I' when you're talking about yourself and someone but somewhere along the line, I picked up a new rule and I have no idea if it's correct or not confused

Take these sentences...

"Are you taking me and Sarah in your car?" I think that's correct because if I remove Sarah from the sentence/question it reads "are you taking me in your car?"

If the sentence was "are you taking Sarah and I in your car?" and you removed Sarah from the sentence, it would read "are you taking I in your car?" which is obviously wrong.

"Sarah and I are going in your car" is correct (according to my rule hmm) and "me and Sarah are going in your car" is incorrect because, again, if Sarah is removed from the sentences, they would read "I am going in your car" or "me is going in your car"

Am I right, nearly right, a little bit right or way off the mark? confused

<<painfully aware I don't understand the comma rule either>>

Maybe I should tell Sarah to fuck off so I can live happily ever after! grin

karatekimmi Sun 02-Aug-15 15:24:14

I agree with you. That's how I work the rule!!

DrElizabethPlimpton Sun 02-Aug-15 15:29:39

Yes, you are correct.

CharleyDavidson Sun 02-Aug-15 15:30:23

Yes, if you remove Sarah from your sentence and say it and it works then it's correct.

The children in my class consistently say "Me and Sarah have finished." or "Can me and Sarah use this?"

They quickly get used to being corrected and start to use it correctly themselves.

<Steels self to new class arriving in 4 weeks that don't yet know this!>

Queenbean Sun 02-Aug-15 15:32:13

Yes you're correct

People that use "I" for any and all situations in the hope of sounding intelligent are idiots

See also: overuse of "myself"

tribpot Sun 02-Aug-15 15:32:46

Yeah Sarah needs to get her own bloody car grin

It's basically down to whether you are the subject or the object of the sentence. I went for a walk with Sarah. Sarah went for a walk with me.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 02-Aug-15 15:33:04

That's my rule too - take the other person away and then you can see whether or not you should say "me" or "I".

The only issue I have is when someone says "Who is it?" Are you supposed to say "it is me" (more correct, as "it" is the subject of the sentence, IMO) or "it is I" (sounds politer)

kickassangel Sun 02-Aug-15 15:35:59

Your relationship with Sarah is completely up to you, but you are right about whether to refer to yourself as "me" or "I".

The reason is that when you and Sarah are getting into the car, you are the ones doing the action, and are therefore the subject of the sentence. You are doing the verb, so you refer to yourself as "I". Think of any sentence where you do anything. I had a drink. I ate chocolate. I went for a run. I told Sarah to FFTTFSOFAWSGTTFOSM. Whatever. You use "I".

When you are having the verb done to, you become the object of the sentence, and you use "me". Sarah was mean to me. (Sarah is being mean, she'd doing the verb, so she's the subject, the do-er. You're having the verb done to you, so you're the object, and become "me".) Sarah hit me. Sarah won't sit next to me. Sarah really is a bitch to me. etc.

Commas - there isn't one rule. There are many and they are nefarious. British people use more than Americans, but even grammar books disagree on some situations and how they are used. Commas are the Sarahs of the punctuation world.

FortyCoats Sun 02-Aug-15 15:38:38

Yay smile

I can't believe I got it right. I'm brutal with things like this!

Queenbean, what about "I, myself, personally think...blah, blah, blah"?grin

FortyCoats Sun 02-Aug-15 15:43:40

"Commas are the Sarahs of the punctuation world"

Love this ^

As if I wasn't bad enough with commas, I've recently heard of an 'Oxford comma' confused

Thanks everyone smile

kickassangel Sun 02-Aug-15 15:55:27

Oxford commas are passe, and Sarah's best friend. Use commas if it makes sense to you, and there aren't too many in the sentence already. I teach English btw; I say pretty much the same to the kids, without the sweary words.

BackforGood Sun 02-Aug-15 16:05:53

You're right about the "removing Sarah and what would you use then" check, but I've always understood it's more polite to put the other person first, so "Are you taking me and Sarah in your car?" becomes "Are you taking Sarah and me in your car? if that makes sense?

SenecaFalls Mon 03-Aug-15 01:15:55

I love the Oxford comma. So elegant. And still required by many US academic style manuals.

FastWindow Mon 03-Aug-15 01:22:33

Oxford comma? I like a bit of grammar, is it the whole thing with ''James' polo game is under par today as he hit the gin last night? '' or you could equally write'' James's... '' etc.
??
smile

FabulousFudge Mon 03-Aug-15 01:25:40

BackforGood - I agree. It is more polite to put the other person first in the sentence. Sarah and I... ...Sarah and me.

I love the Oxford comma!

FastWindow Mon 03-Aug-15 01:29:47

Ah, don't make me Google it. smile

SueGeneris Mon 03-Aug-15 01:38:41

I also like the Oxford comma. And the em dash.

BitOfFun Mon 03-Aug-15 01:39:43

The Oxford comma is the one that seems to break the 'rule' that in a list, you don't use a comma before the last 'and' in your sentence. It's actually often useful to clarify your meaning, and I'm a big fan.

SenecaFalls Mon 03-Aug-15 01:45:00

Fast Are you asking about the Oxford comma? It's the final comma in a series before a conjunction, usually "and." It's also called the serial comma or Harvard comma.

"I went to the shop and bought fish, milk, and bread."

It's the comma after "milk." It's not used much in the UK, in spite of its name, and is more common in the US. Sometimes you need it for clarity, as in my favorite example: "I would like to thank my parents, Sinead O'Connor and the Pope." You might want one after O'Connor.

SenecaFalls Mon 03-Aug-15 01:47:16

I think BitOfFun's illustration might be my new favorite example. grin

FastWindow Mon 03-Aug-15 01:51:06

Mine too Seneca. Nicely done, Bitoffun.

I was definitely taught not to use a comma after the penultimate item in a list. Was edumacated in the 70s-80s.

Red, blue, yellow and green. Fo sho.

FastWindow Mon 03-Aug-15 01:52:54

And thank you for the quick explanation seneca
Much obligeeed.

mathanxiety Mon 03-Aug-15 02:07:29

Yep, ''me/I' is all about subject and object.

I went to school in Ireland from the late 60s to the early 80s and was taught to always use the Oxford comma. Saves a lot of time having to ponder the implications of not using it.

BackforGood Mon 03-Aug-15 22:00:23

I was at school in 70s and was def. taught to use a comma before the and...... never heard it called the Oxford Comma though - just what you do.

FortyCoats Tue 04-Aug-15 00:21:03

Love those examples Seneca and BoF grin

I went to school in Ireland in the 80s and don't remember the Oxford comma. I was always too busy not paying attention though!

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