Here’s a quick grammar quiz for you. Which of the two sentences below is correct?
Julia took Edward and I to the movies.
Julia took Edward and me to the movies.
While you might hear either of those sentences in conversation, only one of them is actually right. Do you know which? It’s the second sentence. Not sure why? Let’s take a closer look at these two, sometimes confusing, personal pronouns.
It’s All About Me (or I?)
Personal pronouns like I, me, his, she, their, and them don’t usually give writers much trouble:
I had a cup of coffee before leaving for work. (I is the subject of the sentence.)
They left me a note before leaving on vacation. (Me is the object of the verb left.)
Where things can start to get tricky, however, is when you have a sentence with two subjects or two objects joined by the word “and.” For example:
The stray cat followed Alex and I / Alex and me all the way down the street.
Anna and I / Anna and me decided to go for a walk.
The good news is that there’s a simple trick for figuring out which pronoun to use. All you have to do is remove the other person from the sentence. When you do, it immediately becomes obvious which pronoun is correct:
The stray cat followed me all the way down the street.
I decided to go for a walk.
The same then holds true when you add the other person back in:
The stray cat followed Alex and me all the way down the street.
Anna and I decided to go for a walk.
So when in doubt, simplify the sentence in question and you’ll find it much easier to figure out which pronoun is actually correct.
Did you know that nearly two-thirds (64.6 percent) of companies either don’t check their content to ensure it contains the right words and phrases, or they rely on editors who don’t always catch everything?
Learn about the importance of correctly managing your company’s words and phrases in our guide Strong Resources, Effective Terminology.