JS Tip 472: Sorting Out "I" and "Me"

From the Writing Workshops: Sorting Out “I” and “Me”

Last week’s tip on reflexive pronouns prompted this week’s tip. 

In last week’s tip, we suggested writing “Please call Jennifer or me” instead of writing “Please call Jennifer or myself.” 

Several people wrote and asked if “Please call Jennifer or I” would be appropriate. 

Here’s our answer: Unfortunately, no, it wouldn’t be appropriate. 

“I” is always a subject; “me” is always an object. Problems arise when someone else joins the sentence (in this case, Jennifer). 

The best way to choose between “I” or “me” is to drop (temporarily) the other person in the sentence (in this case, Jennifer): “Please call I.” No. That doesn’t work. “Please call me.” Yes. That works. 

Put Jennifer back in the sentence. The sentence now—correctly—reads, “Please call Jennifer or me.” 

Consider “Jennifer and me took the calls.” Drop (temporarily) Jennifer: “Me took the calls.” No. That doesn’t work. “I” is appropriate: “Jennifer and I took the calls.”  

Simple. We hope. Straightforward. We hope. 

If you’d like to know more, let us know. 

We love this stuff. We really do. 


Mark Brooks