Grammar Tip: Sometimes It's Okay to Use "Me"
Written by
Maria Murnane
March 2016
Written by
Maria Murnane
March 2016

A lot of people out there are afraid to use the pronoun "me." I think the aversion must start in elementary school, when you proudly declare "Me and Gloria are best friends!" and your mom shakes her head and says, "Gloria and I are best friends."

Mom is right because in that instance "I" is a subject. However, "me" is correct when you need an object. 

Here are some examples of how to use "I" and "me" correctly:

*Gloria and Maria are in charge of the team

*Gloria and I are in charge of the team (CORRECT)

*Gloria and me are in charge of the team (INCORRECT)

That was super obvious, right? How about these:

*That's a great photo of Gloria and Maria

*That's a great photo of Gloria and me (CORRECT)

*That's a great photo of Gloria and I (INCORRECT)

In this case "me" is the correct choice because it's an object. 

Confused? Remove Gloria from the sentence, and the answer becomes more obvious:

*That's a great photo of me (CORRECT)

*That's a great photo of I (INCORRECT)

Here are some more examples:

*You can call Gloria or Maria with that information

*You can call Gloria or me with that information (CORRECT)

*You can call Gloria or I with that information (INCORRECT)

The correct choice here is "me" because it's an object. Again, removing Gloria makes it more obvious:

*You can call me with that information (CORRECT)

*You can call I with that information (INCORRECT)

When you're not sure whether to use "I" or "me," ask yourself, Is this a subject or an object?And if you're still not sure, get rid of the other person in the sentence, and you'll know the answer. (Sorry Gloria!)


Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services to aspiring and published authors. Have questions? You can find her at

This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2016 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • Sweet and super useful for me, er, ah I? No no really I mean for's not me means it? 

  • Jill Jepson

    Thanks, Kelly. Language change has been my life's work, and I find it infinitely fascinating!

  • Jill Jepson

    Hi Mardith. You make a good point, but the fact is that, until modern times, the idea of "correct" English just wasn't an issue. There was immense variety in such a little space (i.e. England), the vast majority of people were illiterate, and the very notion that one way was "right" and another "wrong" wasn't part of people's consciousness. The evidence for that comes from the general acceptance of variant forms we find in writings, among other things. Think of a situation in which there are no schools and no general education, no dictionaries or grammar books, and where, when people did become literate, it was because they were taught one-on-one by a tutor. Modern people have become so stuck on the idea that "correct grammar" actually exists and is real, that it's hard for us to think that this was't an issue in the past, but every bit of evidence we have shows that it wasn't.

  • Jill Jepson, that's fascinating!  How language evolves would make an interesting blog post here....

    Kelly Hayes-Raitt

    Mosey on over to my web site and sign in for your free gift -- an mp3 of me reading my book's first chapter about a beggar in Iraq! ...And a pre-publication discount!

  • Mardith Louisell

    Kate, who knows if they were or not?   There have probably always been the persnickety ones who are more upset than others. Not to mention all the remnants of previous usage that remain in different pockets of language.

  • Thanks Maria

    even after 44 years of being a writer I still wonder about those two elusive "me"s and "I"s.

  • Jill Jepson

    I agree that writers should understand these distinctions and be able to use them, but I do want to point out that this issue isn't as neat as it might seem. In Old, Middle, and Early Modern English, "me" was an acceptable subject pronoun. In general, the distinction between object and subject pronouns has been disappearing from English for centuries--just as the distinction disappeared completely for nouns (historically, pronouns often go through the same processes as nouns,only more slowly). This change is occurring not only in American English. It is very prevalent as well in many dialects of English in Britain, although in a somewhat different form. People were not upset as "you" became the only second-person pronoun in English because the notion that languages needed to be perfectly standardized, with everyone speaking the same, supposedly "correct" way, did not arise until the 18th century. When I'm not writing, I'm a professor of linguistics. Among other things, I teach History and Structure of the English Language, which makes me immediately suspicious whenever I hear someone use the word "correct" with respect to English.

  • Kate Gladstone

    Mardith, I wonder whether the people who spoke English long, long ago were equally upset when they realized that "you" had started,losing the distinction between subject and object (not to mention the distinction between singular and plural. Have we all been using bad grammar for centuries because "ye" disappeared as a subject rest long ago (except during Shakespeare performances and maybe church)? Should we be saying "Yikes!" over that, too?

  • Mardith Louisell

    Thank god, Maria, for someone writing it clearly and simply.  "Me"  is fast disappearing as an object. Soon, we won't remember this rule. It has become so inculcated in American speech that even  people who are grammar experts slip sometimes in speech. Yikes!

  • Birdie Newborn

    There is one important exception to the grammatical rule. If, in your story, you put a character's words in "quotes," then it is OK to use colloquial speech, such as "This is me you're talkin' to. Gloria and me, we got a good thing goin' here, so don't mess with us." 

    That is the intentional use of bad grammar to characterize one speaker.